In Week 16, the New Orleans Saints were able to clinch their fourth consecutive NFC South division title with a Christmas Day win over the Minnesota Vikings. This week, the New Orleans Saints play for postseason seeding, facing off against the division rival Carolina Panthers Sunday afternoon.
Here are the biggest questions I have for the team heading into Sunday’s game:
1. Can the Saints avoid injuries? First and foremost, the biggest issue for the Saints as they prepare for the postseason will be health. The Saints will need everyone healthy - or as healthy as they can be at this point in the year - if they want to make a deep playoff run. They obviously cannot afford any serious injuries in the final week of the regular season.
2. Will the Saints rest any starters? There is still plenty to play for this week with the #1 seed in the NFC still on the table. However, as between the #2 or #3 seed, there isn’t much difference since only the top seed in each conference receives a first-round bye. Maybe the Saints will, or should, rest certain starters like Alvin Kamara.
3. Can the Saints still focus on the Panthers? The Saints likely got caught looking past the Philadelphia Eagles just a few short weeks ago, and we saw what happened. If the Saints are indeed going to play for the #1 seed in the NFC, they can’t take a division rival for granted, considering the Panthers are only playing to play spoiler for the Saints at this point.
4. Will we see Christian McCaffrey? Christian McCaffrey clearly had no care for my fantasy football teams, so because all of my fantasy football leagues are over, that means of course we’re going to see Christian McCaffrey return from injury for a meaningless Week 17 game against the Saints. This will only make the Panthers that much harder to deal with.
5. What about Trey Hendrickson? Forget just new injuries and health concerns, what about old injuries? Trey Hendrickson was tied for the league-lead in sacks at the time of his injury, and the Saints defensive line clearly plays better when he’s playing. So does he play? If he doesn’t, does that mean the Saints are being cautious, or is there bigger concern?
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. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, on Instagram at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, follow us on Instagram at @SaintsCSC and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel.