Saints vs. Raiders Preseason 2013: Keys to the Game

Mind the Gaps, Greg!!! - Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Want to know what Hans will be watching for in this week's preseason game against the Raiders? Dive into HansDat's Hot Reads to find out!

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Tonight the New Orleans Saints take on the Oakland Raiders in the Dome as we hit the halfway point of Preseason 2013. (Praise J1000!!!) As usual on Gameday, I'm here with my Hot Reads to help you hone your gametime focus to a razor-sharp edge.

Ever been to the Raiders SBNation site? You should try it, you might like it!!

Silver and Black Pride

Primary Option

Even though Sean Payton sez Charles Brown has pretty much won the job, I'm still taking a Long Look at Left Tackle. Is Brown REALLY for real? He certainly didn't s*** the bed against the Chiefs, but can he hold up for longer than the 19 snaps he played last week? Can he stay healthy over time and NOT be a turnstile? That info only comes with time, which I have plenty of in this preseason.

Checkdown # 1

With the 2013 defense not quite purring like an engine yet, it's time for me to Lift the Hood on the Linebackers and see what's what. Due to injuries to projected starters, Will Herring (31), Ramon Humber (28), Baraka Atkins (28), Rufus Johnson (23) and Curtis Lofton (21) saw the most snaps last week, but will that hold true this time, too? And who will excel?

Checkdown # 2

I was shocked to see the sieve-like coverage on special teams last week, so I'm hoping that McMahon Minds the Gaps and gets his charges to do the same. Was last week's performance an aberration or a trend? Will we have to get used to holding our breath on all three phases of special teams now, and not just makeable FG attempts?

Safety Valve

He's healthy and out of the tub, so it's time to Send In Seneca!! We saw Luke McCown spell Drew Brees in the second quarter last week and receive significant playing time, so if we're going to see what Seneca Wallace's got left in the tank (is he gassed?), it's now or never.

Bonus Read

I'm really, really, really wanting to see the first team Offense Click Early. I know it's only preseason, but I'll feel a whole lot better if I see a sweet opening drive that leads to seven points for the Saints.

* * *

There's a peek at my clipboard, so what's on your list of "what to watch for" in the game?

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