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Saints vs. Jets: Four points of interest

The season opener is only a couple weeks away and the Saints look to build upon their victory in Los Angeles.

NFL: New York Jets at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Halfway through the preseason, the Saints head north to take on the New York Jets. Through two games there were plenty of ups and downs from all three phases of the team, but we have yet to see the the entire first unit play together. Game three is typically considered the “dress rehearsal” for the season so this should be a good preview of whats to come this year.

Starting the starters

This will most likely be our only chance to see most of the starters play together until the season opener. While we may not see much game-planning and defensive scheming, it will be a good chance to evaluate Drew Brees’s chemistry with his new weapons. Jared Cook, Latavius Murray, and a plethora of new wide receivers will look to build upon what they have done throughout the first two preseason games.

The defensive line rotation will also be an area to focus on. I would expect a Jordan, Brown, Onyemata, Davenport starting unit, but after that you have defensive ends Trey Hendrickson, who has been making a lot of noise this preseason and veteran Wes Horton. On the interior, new comer Mario Edwards Jr. should factor in to the rotation if he is healthy enough to play, as well as second year defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth.

Behind them are a handful of hopefuls that are looking to make a few splash plays to help their case to make the team.

NFL: Preseason-New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy’s Redemption

Teddy Bridgewater had one bad half and some members of the Who Dat Nation were ready to send him to the XFL. Coach Payton mentioned that he was battling an illness at the time, so that should explain some of his miscues, but he should still look to rebound once Brees is pulled.

This could be one of the last times we get to see him play in a game before the team has a decision to make to resign him if they believe he is the heir-apparent to Brees.

Special Teams

Is this the game we finally see Marcus Sherels return a punt? Deonte Harris has been electric thus far, but has had his fair share of mistakes when it comes to fielding punts, including one at a practice.

Aside from who’s returning the kick, will the special team coverage units be able prevent any big returns like they gave up last week against the Los Angeles Chargers? This was certainly a point of emphasis through this week of practice, but some fringe players need to make their claim for a roster spot by playing mistake free and showing that they can contribute on special teams. This will be a good time to see how this unit will hold up.

NFL: Preseason-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Erik McCoy vs, Quinnen Williams

The top two picks for both teams will have a chance to display why they were so coveted by their teams. McCoy looks entrenched as the starting center for the Saints, while Williams has been the force that many expected him to be.