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Saints at Broncos Key Matchups: Can Trey Hendrickson keep it up?

The Saints have a unique match-up this weekend: They face off against the desperate Denver Broncos

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints travel to combat the 4-6 Denver Broncos squad. This game will be the Broncos Super Bowl and there will likely be some risks by Vic Fangio’s squad in this one. Expect some type of onside kick, fake punt, early shot plays, or more aggression on 4th down.

Outside of potential trickery by the Broncos—The Broncos do indeed have to put 11 men on the field and try to match up to the Saints. It will be a very tough task for the declining 4-6 team to try and overwhelm the hottest team in the NFL: The New Orleans Saints.

Let’s dive right in & see how these conference foes square up!

Trey Hendrickson vs Garrett Bolles

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

An unstoppable force is about to meet an immovable object. Trey Hendrickson is going up against Garrett Bolles. Who will be the victor of this soon to be battle?

Trey Hendrickson leads the NFL in sacks (9.5), while Bolles is graded as the top LT in the league, per Pro Football Focus. It’s very intriguing to see both of these players turn out to be the top at their position, in major categories. Hendrickson has been seen as a rotational pass rusher in the first few years of his career, while Bolles wasn’t just not elite, but labeled a bust before 2020.

The Saints have a Top-3 defense right now and it starts up front. If they can’t pressure Drew Lock, we may see the Saints secondary not look as good as adverstised. Because there are some serious WRs on the the Broncos team—Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Tim Patrick.

Marshon Lattimore vs Jerry Jeudy

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints were without Marshon Lattimore in their huge divisional win in Week 11. It should appear that they can insert Lattimore and at the very least, maintain their elite performance. This isn’t exactly the case. Despite gaining the most votes for an NFC corner, Lattimore has struggled against hungry, less known wideouts. We saw Allen Lazard cook Lattimore on Sunday Night Football, Raiders WR, Zay Jones catch a touchdown on Lattimore, and Chargers WR, Mike Williams moss Lattimore in the Chargers/Saints game.

If we see Trey Hendrickson not get pressure on Lock & Lattimore struggle against Jerry Jeudy, it could very well be a 1-2 touchdown difference and force the Saints offense to play free turnover football. Jerry Jeudy had 125 receving yards a couple of weeks ago. He hasn’t topped 100 yards since then. Fingers crossed.

A.J. Bouye vs Michael Thomas

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Thomas is back, baby! We saw the WR finally flex his arms, a little. In Week 11, Thomas recorded 9 receptions for 104 yards with Taysom Hill at the QB position. Thomas will need to have another 100+ yard performance if their dual-threat QB drops back to pass over 30 times in Week 12.

Thomas will be faced off against AJ Bouye in Week 12. We should all remember the former Pro-Bowl CB, who was featured on the Jaguars team competing in the AFC Championship with Blake Bortles. After spending much of the year on injured reserve, Bouye is back & ready to face MT. If Michael Thomas gives the veteran, beat up CB fits, it will likely be an even better day for Taysom Hill in Week 12. If Thomas struggles, we may see more play design for Kamara & Taysom Hill direct runs after half-time.

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