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5 Questions for the Saints in Week 12

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Here’s what I’m looking for Sunday afternoon.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to a new series piece for 2019. Before each game, I’ll point out the five questions I have for the team that I’ll be looking out for in the upcoming game.

In Week 12, the New Orleans Saints return home for their first matchup in 2019 against the division rival Carolina Panthers. Here are the biggest questions I have for the team:

  1. Was last week a fluke? Replacements like Nick Easton and PJ Williams played well when pressed into duty. Was that a one-game fluke or actually what we can expect out of these two players?
  2. Can the Saints contain CMC? This game is a meeting of the two non-QB favorites for the 2019 MVP in Michael Thomas and Christian McCaffrey. Much like Thomas and the Saints, the Panthers offense will live and die behind Christian McCaffrey - stopping him will be key to stopping the Saints.
  3. Will they clean up the penalties? The 2019 version of the New Orleans Saints offense can’t afford penalties to put them behind the chains. If this team wants to make a run of things, they will need to clean up the unnecessary holding and false start penalties which are killing drives on offense.
  4. Has Marcus Williams finally re-established himself for the Saints? It’s seemed that the Minneapolis Miracle affected Marcus Williams more than he let on after his outstanding rookie year. Williams struggled in his sophomore year, but has seemed to turn another corner in Year 3, snagging an interception in back-to-back games last week.
  5. Is Marcus Davenport still a thing? Whether due to injury or something else, Marcus Davenport’s snaps seemed significantly limited last week, with Trey Hendrickson playing more time than we’re used to seeing at defensive end. Was this an anomaly, part of the rotational game plan, or a sign of something more concerning?

So those are the things I’m looking at in the game. What about you? What are you looking at specifically in this game? Something different? Tell me in the comments. Send me presents.