The New Orleans Saints come into Week 11 with the injury report not looking good, per usual. With both edge rushers ruled out, along with Werner, Dennis Allen has to dig into his bag of tricks to cause some havoc.
With Lattimore, Cam and Werner out you could say three of the top four players on defense (DD being the other) won’t be out there on Sunday. Some would assume this should lead to a conservative game-plan for DA but the opposite might be best for Sunday.
The Rams have been struggling on offense essentially all year. With Cooper Kupp out, along with Stafford being turnover-prone, DA should look to amp up the pressure.
The Rams’ already-average offensive line is banged up, so it’d be inexcusable for New Orleans not to put together a solid performance in the dome.
The Rams currently have 6 offensive linemen on their roster who can play Sunday.— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) November 18, 2022
3 of those 6 weren't on the team in Week 1.
The Rams have 7 offensive linemen who are on IR or too injured to play Sunday.
While DA has been conservative at times with the soft zone-play calling, he still hasn’t went away from his beloved two-man under look.
2-Man (Two-Deep, Man-Under)— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) November 10, 2022
1. NO — 20.1%
2. BUF — 13.6%
3. AZ — 11.9%
4. DET — 11.8%
5. LAC — 11.3%
28. HOU — 3.2%
29. ATL — 2.9%
30. IND — 2.3%
31. LAR — 1.4%
32. SF — 1.0%
With that being said, it might be the perfect time to get an extra guy or two in the box. Give Stafford one-high safety looks rather than constant two-high looks. Force their backups to make tough catches, force Stafford to consistently make tight throws.
Alontae Taylor has looked nothing short of promising, particularly in man. Paulson Adebo has his moments where he’s slacking but we know he has the ceiling, range and mechanics. Fans hold him to a high standard. I love the young DB’s in this spot. Dial up some well-timed blitzes, let Mathieu roam around and play robber some. Demario Davis has already surpassed his career high in sacks (6) for a season, there’s no reason not to unleash him some more. The pass rush hasn’t been what we’re used to and with the team’s two best pass rushers out, it’d be smarter to scheme pressure than rely on the back end of the depth chart to apply it. Adding onto that, I’d expect more reps from Payton Turner on Sunday. He’s looked good in the sample size we’ve seen him.
One thing to pay attention to is the Saints’ run defense, they haven’t looked good. Tackling has been an issue since week one. The Saints currently have allowed the 8th most rushing yards (1,305), the 12th highest YPC allowed (4.6), and have allowed the 10th most rushing touchdowns (11).
Fortunately, Los Angeles is bad at establishing any kind of competent running game. They rank last in rushing yards (613), averaging 3.2 YPC. The Rams also rank last in rushing attempts and rushing first downs. New Orleans has to dominate the LOS, it’s really no other way around it.
Los Angeles lacks home-run hitters in their receiving corps now and their offense never looked consistent when they had one. A foot-on-the-gas, “my guy is better than your guy’” approach defensively is the way to go for this matchup. It should be simple but effective. Sitting back in zone would play into Sean McVay’s hands. We’ll see if DA has a similar plan in mind.
Obviously, the offense should focus on winning time of possession and getting AK/Taysom both established early, putting the defense in a more feasible situation.
Saints host the Los Angeles Rams on 11/20 at noon.