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.
- Can we get more out of Jared Cook? Jared Cook and Drew Brees have played five quarters of football together this year, that’s it. When Cook signed with the Saints this past off-season, big things were expected of him in the passing game. Will we start to see the fruits of that signing?
- What about Tre’Quan Smith? This could very well be the return of Tre’Quan Smith as well this week. If the Saints want to make an extended run in the postseason, they’re going to need to be able to rely on more than just Michael Thomas in the passing game, no matter how great Thomas has shown to be.
- Will the sacks finally come? The New Orleans Saints defensive line has generated plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks all year, but they’re tied for 10th in the NFL in sacks. They’ve had to worry about containing mobile quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Mitchell Trubisky, and Kyler Murray, but with Matt Ryan in the pocket, hopefully this will be the week the sack numbers start to increase.
- Do we get “petty” Sean Payton? Sean Payton infamously gave the “choke” signal to Devonta Freeman after the Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl. If the Saints are up 20-3 in the third quarter, and then score a touchdown, will petty Sean Payton go for a two-point conversion instead of kicking the extra point? Gosh, I hope so.
- Can the team stay focused? The Saints open as significant favorites to beat their division rivals, but will they let it get to their heads? Will they “eat the cheese” as Payton likes to call it? If the Saints want to make 2019 a special year, they will need to stay focused, not take any opponent for granted, and take each week one game at a time.
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.