It’s finally time to step between the lines.
It’s also time to look at a few key matchups for this matchup, as there are many storylines to follow in this game.
Derek Carr vs. His former self
Carr is preparing for his first snaps in the Black and Gold after a four-year, $150M deal this offseason. Many people have concerns about him joining the Saints after his lack of playoff victories in his career.
However, that’s a team issue considering he played for one of the worst franchises of the last 15 years. His individual numbers in Oakland/Las Vegas were impressive, averaging close to 4000 yards a season with a 217/99 TD/INT ratio in his career.
But the biggest question is can Carr silence the critics and prove that he can lead a team on a playoff run in what will be a very weak NFC South.
Saints rookies vs. new style of play
Welcome to the big time, right?
Don’t get me wrong, guys like Bryan Bresee, Isaiah Foskey, Jordan Howden, and others have all played in big-time moments. Conference championships, national championships, and bowl games prepare you to face the bright lights.
But are they prepared for the NFL?
What I mean by that is the pace of play and the style in which the game is played is so much different than college football. So how long of an adjustment period will they undergo in order to be acclimated?
Patrick Mahomes vs. Saints defense
The two-time Super Bowl MVP will come to New Orleans on Sunday playing the entire first quarter. Will it take that long to knock the rust off or will the Superdome faithful be in for a treat with the magician?
The Saints will have a strong presence up front with Bresee, Cam Jordan, and Nathan Shepherd, so it’ll be a great first test to go up against Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and that high-powered KC offense.
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