With a 10-day break right around the corner, the New Orleans Saints will be looking to carry momentum into that stretch with a win on Thursday Night Football. But first, the Jacksonville Jaguars are a tough task for the Black and Gold to handle in order to get that momentum.
Here are some key matchups to watch:
Saints defensive front vs. Jags offense
The Saints have done a nice job at times this season of getting after the quarterback. Carl Granderson has 4.5 sacks early in the season and has played as one of the better defensive linemen in the league.
Through six games, Trevor Lawrence has been sacked 16 times. So, the Jacksonville offensive line has struggled like the Saints to protect their quarterback. Whether it’s Lawrence or CJ Beathard under center tonight, the Black and Gold need to get home and make it a long night for the opponent.
Josh Allen vs. Saints offensive line
I know this is the same conversation just flipped in the other direction, but Allen has been a force that no team has been able to control. Already with seven sacks in the first six games, the linebacker out of Kentucky has had a tremendous start to the year. Add his play to the Saints’ offensive line health and he’ll likely add to that total tonight. Ryan Ramcyzk, James Hurst, and Landon Young will all miss tonight’s game, meaning there’s very little margin of error for the Saints in terms of protecting their $150M quarterback in Derek Carr.
Chris Olave vs. mental lapse
Olave has had a strong start to the 2023 campaign with 32 catches for 414 yards and a touchdown. Averaging nearly 70 yards a game, Olave has made big plays when called upon.
However, there have been multiple instances where he and other players just seem to be out of it on the field and don’t have the sense of effort, you’d come to expect on an NFL field. Some people have labeled it lack of trust in the offensive system, some have said it’s because he’s still young, and some have even said he’s not the player people thought he would be. I certainly don’t buy that last one, but whatever the issue, the offense flows much better when Olave is at his best. Tonight, let’s see a level of mental fortitude and have a big night so that this New Orleans Saints team can carry momentum into a much-needed break.
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