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 14, the New Orleans Saints are playing the San Francisco 49ers in a battle for NFC supremacy. Here are the biggest questions I have for the team:
- Can the Saints offensive line hold up? The San Francisco 49ers have one of the best defensive fronts in football, and the Saints will likely be without the entire left side of their offensive line for the second week in a row. Will they be up for the test after a full week of practice?
- Will Sean Payton stick with the run game? A talented defensive front might make you think you can’t attack San Francisco on the ground, but that’s not the case. Assuming Sean Payton is patient with the run game, the key to beating the 49ers might not be with Drew Brees, but rather Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray.
- 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.
- Do we see more Taysom Hill? The 49ers seemed to struggle at times defending Lamar Jackson and the read option of the Baltimore Ravens. If Sean Payton watched the game, which you know he did, could we see more Taysom read option calls this week?
- Can the Saints run defense stand strong? The Saints have one of the best run defenses in the NFL, and the 49ers boast one of the NFL’s best rushing attacks. It could seem like a situation where the unstoppable force meets an immovable object, but the Saints will likely be without one of their better run-stopping linebackers in Kiko Alonso. Here’s to hoping Manti Te’o can catch back up to speed quickly.
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.