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5 Questions for the Saints in Week 17

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

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-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 17, the New Orleans Saints wrap up the 2019 regular season by facing off against their division rival Carolina Panthers:

  1. Do we pull the starters? The Saints have the #3 seed locked up, and a first round bye has little to do with whether the Saints win or lose - do we see the starters come up early in the game?
  2. Does Michael Thomas build a cushion? Michael Thomas broke Marvin Harrison’s 17-year-old record for most receptions in a single season in Week 16. Does he push for more to cement the record for himself for years to come? Do we see 150? 155?
  3. Who plays safety? No Vonn Bell and no Marcus Williams likely means CJ Gardner-Johnson is forced to play for the injured bell, and last week it was PJ Williams who came in for the injured Marcus Williams. Is it PJ’s turn again this week, or do we see someone like DJ Swearinger make his Saints debut?
  4. Can the Saints contain McCaffrey? The defense might not have a lot to play for, but if they can keep McCaffrey under 65 rushing yards, they’ll make sure they’re not on the wrong side of history books as McCaffrey tries for a 1,000/1,000 season for rushing and receiving yards. Keeping him under 200 scrimmage yards keeps him from breaking the all-time single season scrimmage yards record as well.
  5. Does the full offensive line start the game? Considering how little this particular game could end up meaning for the Saints, if Larry Warford, Terron Armstead, and Andrus Peat all still suit up and are ready to go anyway, it means they must be healthy and ready to go for the playoffs.

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.