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Saints at Washington: Key Matchups in Week 5

Key matchups which could determine the outcome of this week five game

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
Marshon Lattimore has to go 12 rounds with a great receiver from the Football Team
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints head to Washington to face the Football Team in week five. The Football Team is coming off of a win against the Atlanta Falcons and now must face another NFC South competitor. Meanwhile, New Orleans is still reeling from an overtime defeat to the lowly New York Giants last week. Both teams will be looking to keep pace in the NFC. These are the key matchups which will likely decide this NFC game in week five.

Sean Payton vs Sean Payton

Which Sean Payton are Saints fans going to get this week? In week four, the dueling sides of Payton was shown, mostly for the worst. On two separate fourth-and-three occasions, Payton did opposite things which baffled many. On one, he decided to be aggressive and trust his All-Pro running back in Alvin Kamara. On the other, he sent a struggling kicker out to attempt a nearly 60-yard field goal. The Saints have always been an aggressive team under Payton. This is the team who used to keep throwing the ball, even when up big. This used to be the team that would trust Kamara and the offensive line on fourth-and-short nearly every time. Payton has got to decide which Payton he wants to be. Is this a team who will settle for field goals, be conservative on offense, and try to rely on the defense? Or will this be a team who plays with aggression to try and take wins from the other team? This last game before the bye week should let us know.

Marshon Lattimore vs Terry McLaurin

Two of the league’s best, at their position, go against one another in week five. Marshon Lattimore is having one of the best seasons of his career so far. After signing a monster 5-year extension, Lattimore has not rested on his laurels. He rushed back from a hand surgery to play in week four. The Saints secondary has needed him and he has stepped up, allowing a meager 10 receptions on the entire year so far.

This week though, he gets someone who has been great as well. Terry McLaurin is putting up career numbers so far this year. Through the first four games of the season, McLaurin has career highs in several statistics. McLaurin currently has his highest yards per game, receptions per game and catch percentage. These two players will certainly challenge each other in this week five matchup. If the Saints want to play in a defensive battle, Lattimore’s success could determine the winner in this important game.

NFL: New York Giants at New Orleans Saints
Can this Saints offense get on track in week five?
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Alvin Kamara vs Washington Defensive Front

The Saints offense has been trusted to really just Alvin Kamara so far this season. Kamara has rushed the ball 20 times or more in three of the Saints first four games. He also has caught the ball 10 times on the year on 14 targets. Kamara has still not scored a touchdown though. It seems that Kamara is one of the few offensive players that he trusts so far this year. This week, Kamara will have to rise to the occasion though. He goes against a ready Washington defense.

The Washington Football Team is 10th best in the NFL against the rush. This is actually much lower than some would have expected going into the year. Many thought that the Football Team could contend with the best defenses in the league but so far that has not happened. Although, they still have been very good. The Football Team allows right at 4-yards per carry to opposing rushers. The Team has also only given up three touchdowns on the ground so far this season. What could hurt them though is big runs. The Football Team has allowed five rushes for 20 or more yards on the season. Only one other team has allowed more and that is the Miami Dolphins. Kamara and this Washington front will be a matchup to watch all game in week five.

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