As the New Orleans Saints prepare for a matchup with the New York Jets on Sunday, one matchup to keep an eye on will be that of surging rookie receiver Elijah Moore and the Saints defensive secondary.
The Saints are currently 5-point favorites to the Jets, according to DraftKings sportsbook, and a big reason why is their defense.
But they’ll have their hands full with Elijah Moore, who has been absolutely lighting defenses up as of late.
Since Week 9, Moore is PFF’s fifth-highest graded receiver, with an impressive 82.1 receiving grade. In that time span, he’s leading all qualifying receivers in touchdowns (5), seventh in yards (392) and fifth in yards per route run (2.47).
Playing nearly 70% of his snaps on the outside, Moore has been a pretty potent deep threat for the Jets. His average depth when targeted is 12.5 yards (17th out of 52), and he’s averaging 14.0 yards per reception (11th).
The Saints’ pass defense is a bit of an enigma because while they give up a good amount of yards through the air (10th most in the league), they actually are pretty good on a play-for-play basis. The defense is just so good against the run that opposing teams give up on running the ball and throw all game against them.
Dennis Allen’s pass defense is top 10 in completion percentage allowed and top three in forced incompletion percentage.
Marshon Lattimore, who will likely be matched up with Moore on the outside a good bit in this game, leads the league in pass breakups with 14, according to PFF. However, he also has been wildly inconsistent and has allowed the second-most receiving yards in the league when targeted (738) on 17.6 yards per catch (tied for most among corners).
So, this will be an interesting matchup to say the least. We’ll see how much Latt follows Moore throughout this game, if at all.
But whether or not the Saints can contain the young stud receiver could be a deciding factor in this ball game.
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