The keys to the New Orleans Saints offense will be given to Andy Dalton on Sunday, as New Orleans faces the Minnesota Vikings in London.
With Jameis Winston essentially missing practice all week, HC Dennis Allen says Dalton will get the nod - “Just a little bit of the accumulation of the wear and tear,” Allen said, regarding Winston. “It’s a long season. I don’t think his body responded quite the way we anticipated over the first couple of days. So we’ve rested him this week.”
“Andy has done this,” Allen said. “He’s performed at a high level in our league, and that’s really one of the big reasons why we brought him here, is in case he’s called upon, we feel highly confident that he can go in and do the job.”
Football is a game of matchups and while this change most likely doesn’t give the team the best odds for the long run, we could see some issues resolved with Dalton.
Last year, Dalton had the fifth lowest average depth of target in the NFL. Meanwhile, opposing QBs have the fifth highest completion percentage against Minnesota at the moment.
This gives all of the signs towards a performance from AK we’ve been waiting on. Expect Dalton to utilize AK in the passing game to the extent most Saints fans have begged for.
While Michael Thomas is due to sit out, this could mean another big performance from Olave.. this time with a different result. We know Olave can take the top off at any given moment but look for Dalton to use Olave in the short/medium passing game, letting Olave pile up some YAC.
Guard Andrus Peat will also miss the game. His replacement will most likely be former Oregon Duck Calvin Throckmorton. Throckmorton isn’t completely new, having played close to 1,000 snaps last season.
Let’s hope the chemistry within the offensive line continues to gradually improve and let’s hope Pete dials up 20-25 touches for AK.
The defense rises to the occasion regardless of who the team is playing - If the offense simply executes and takes care of the ball, New Orleans will win.
Saints vs Vikings will kick off NFL Sunday, at 8:30 am.