The New Orleans Saints, sitting at 5-4 and in first place in the disastrous NFC South, have one more contest before their Week 11 bye. The Black and Gold will head out to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to battle with Josh Dobbs and the Minnesota Vikings.
Let’s look at some of the key matchups to keep an eye on:
Saints defense vs Joshua Dobbs
Two weeks ago, Kirk Cousins went down with a torn Achilles tendon. Last week, the injury woes continued for Minnesota when their rookie signal caller from BYU, Jaren Hall, had to leave with a concussion. Luckily for the Vikes, they traded for veteran Josh Dobbs at the deadline, and he was able to come in and guide them to a win over Atlanta (always appreciated). Now, the Saints have the task of trying to control a running quarterback, a task the Black and Gold rarely live up to.
One of the biggest X-factors for tomorrow will be whether or not guys like Cam Jordan and Carl Granderson can make things difficult for a quarterback still trying to learn a new system.
Can Olave break out?
This isn’t really a matchup, but it’s definitely something I’m going to be watching.
Olave has had a decent season statistically, but it doesn’t take a football guru to see that something is off with the second-year star. Now, could it be a sophomore slump similar to what Paulson Adebo went through in 2022? Certainly. But at the same time, the Saints need Olave to come up big for them in the second half of the season. So, could this be the game that he breaks out and shows that he can still be the top target?
Blake Grupe vs his own mind
Everyone knows that being a kicker is one of the most mentally taxing positions in sports. It’s 90% confidence and self-belief, almost muscle memory.
The UDFA kicker has had his struggles at points, especially recently. However, I still feel like the Saints made the right choice in going with him rather than Lutz. But what Grupe needs more than anything is a stretch of made kicks to build his confidence in himself back up. Once he can get to that point, the young kicker will be off and running for the Black and Gold.
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