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49ers @ Saints Key Matchups - Can Hendrickson continue to feast?

The Saints will be featuring new-comer Kwon Alexander against his old ball club in San Francisco.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In Week 10, the Saints are getting a 2019 rematch with the NFC Championship squad from last season-San Francisco 49ers. We know the Saints are loaded, as they enter the scrimmage coming off a blowout win against Tampa Bay. The Saints picked off Brady three times and harassed him all night. On offense, we witnessed a precision light show with Drew Brees and company. Brees didn’t lean on everybody’s favorite WR-Michael Thomas, but rather connected with Adam Trautman and Tre’Quan Smith in the endzone.

As for the San Francisco 49ers, don’t sleep on the 4-5 squad. The 49ers have beaten the Patriots and Rams this year. You can’t ever draw up what Kyle Shanahan will throw at you. Especially when they still have weapons on the field, despite George Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo missing the contest.

Let’s take a close look at what these position groups and which talented player needs to seize their match-up!

Jordan Reed vs Saints pass defense/Malcolm Jenkins

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Reed is one of the most underrated tight ends in the league. He’s a Top-40 tight end because he’s never on the field. When he’s on the field, he’s a Top-12 TE playing under his former offensive coordinator in Washington (Kyle Shanahan) on the field. He’s one of the quickest tight ends, displays some of the best foot work, and he shows his versatility by often splitting out wide for jump ball catches. Especially in the red-zone.

The Saints pass defense needs to stay on their feet. Although, the Saints had a “perfect” game on defense in Week 9. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows in the deep film study. Malcolm Jenkins had a questionable pass interference call on the first drive against Rob Gronkowksi. On another drive, Tom Brady barely overthrew Gronk, when he managed to pass the Saints safeties. Last but not least, Gronkowski had a step on Demario Davis in the red zone and dropped a touchdown. The Saints need to know that Reed will be a tougher one on one match-up in every one of these instances.

Marshon Lattimore vs Brandon Aiyuk

NFL: Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Marshon Lattimore had himself a day in Week 9. It was expected as his foe-Mike Evans took the opposite side of the field. Lattimore put the clamps on Evans all day. The highlight of Lattimore’s day was breaking up a pass intended to Evans in the end-zone. Lattimore just flat out switches gears and it’s clear when he has tighter coverage with Evans, no busts, and he often aggravates after the play. He just has more energy and instincts in play.

The problem has never been Evans, though. Lattimore’s struggles have come against average WRs, which is very strange. He will need to be on his best behavior in Week 10, as he faces a rising WR out of San Francisco.

Brandon Aiyuk is the first round pick for the Bay Area’s squad. As of late, he’s been pure dynamite. He recorded a 6-115-1 stat line in Week 8, then a 8-91-1 signature in Week 10. A breaking out weapon isn’t the ideal opponent that Saints fans want for a star CB that relaxes a bit against underrated opponents. Lattimore needs to be on his A-game.

Trey Hendrickson/Marcus Davenport vs Trent Williams

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Hendrickson enters Week 10 with a third place ranking in the whole league with 7.5 sacks. After Hendrickson, Davenport leads the whole league in pressure rate. That’s not a bad combination opposite All-Pro defensive end, Cameron Jordan. Trey Hendrickson had two sacks in Week 9, while Davenport has two sacks in his three last games.

This combination will need their season high performance, if that’s not been showcased. Well, why is that? It would be due to the reason that their opponent is Trent Williams. Trent Williams is the best left tackle in football, according to Pro Football Focus. Williams needs to be the bright spot on his offense, as their down a few pieces. As for the Saints pass rushing combination on their right side, they’ve been the engine behind the Buccaneers win and thrashing of Nick Foles. The Saints still can’t trust their pass defense to cover for ever against any QB. The bash brothers on the right side pass rushing needs to get home.

All in all, when it comes to this match-up — An unstoppable force will be meeting an immovable object. Somebody has to break? The winner of this game will likely win this match-up.


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