The New Orleans Saints secondary has reached lows that we haven’t seen in the past five years or so. Whether that be due to the lack of health of their players or poorly projected leaps from some of their better players, nothing seems to go right with this team or that group.
This week, the Saints will welcome the Las Vegas who sit on a 2-4 record, trying to climb their way out of a hole as well. This is a team full of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball starting with Davante Adams who is still playing like the top five receiver that we saw in Green Bay. They also bring in a matchup nightmare in Darren Waller but probably won’t play in this one due to some lingering hamstring issues, but you know, everyone plays when it’s Saints week. Hunter Renfrow is another guy who had a huge year last season. A very refined route runner who can really put a mix of defenders in the slot, one of the Saints biggest weaknesses this season (and we all know why).
On the Saints side of things, the health of their players is the biggest talking point once again. Bradley Roby has just been placed on IR meaning he will miss a good portion of time going forward. Marshon Lattimore is still dealing with an abdominal tweak as well as Paulson Adebo who was still monitoring his injury status for this week. With an extra few days of rest, it should allow for this team to get back some players in what coaches and players have described as the time for a “reset”. This definitely feels like a game where they need Marshon Lattimore to battle through his ailments for the simple fact that 17 on the Raiders is not just your average Joe. If this group can get healthy soon and stay healthy, they have enough talent in the room to form a formidable unit. The question is just when? According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Saints are 2.5-point home underdogs against their Week 8 opponent,
An interesting thing to look for in this game is how will the Saints approach the nickel corner position? Assuming that Lattimore and Adebo are full go’s for this game, I would love to see the team throw Alontae Taylor in the slot. He played a very solid game last week against Arizona and deserves to get more snaps after his performance. His athletic build bodes well for that spot as he is a very fast and physical corner, who is a willing tackler. It can’t get any worse than it is now at that spot, give the kid a shot.
What to expect in this game? I fully expect the Raiders and Derek Carr to take advantage of that slot cornerback position as well as giving Davante Adams his opportunities all over the field. It all comes down to health in this secondary. If they run out there with Chris Harris Jr., expect Hunter Renfrow (or whoever is in the slot) to put on a show. Lattimore being healthy will be the key to containing this Raiders passing attack, but it isn’t something we can count on. So until then, expectations should be on the lower end.
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