Pat yourself on the back, we made it to football season.
The New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans are slated to begin their seasons this Sunday at noon. Both teams will enter this season with well-known and tenured weapons on offense and defense. There will also be a fair number of rookies and new signees who will have to step up and make an impact.
Here are three numbers to know heading into the game.
76.9 Yards Per Game
What does this mean: The amount of opponent rushing yards allowed per game by the Tennessee Titans in 2022.
Why should I care: The Titans were second to none when it came to rush defense last season. Running against this team would have been difficult even with a healthy Kamara. It will be a big rest from Jamaal Williams and rookie Kendre Miller. Carmichael will need to craft a game plan focusing on a subpar Titans secondary but still finding ways for the running game to contribute.
Unless the Saints sign *another* running back, the RB depth chart during Alvin Kamara's suspension currently looks like:— John Sigler (@john_siglerr) August 30, 2023
Adam Prentice (FB)
Tony Jones Jr.
What does this mean: Rushing yards the Saints allowed in week one last season
Why should I care: Stopping the run was the weakest link for New Orleans this time last year. Cordarrelle Patterson and the Falcons dominated the front line. The Saints will need to control the run game and see production from rookie Bryan Bresee and other newcomers. If Patterson was able to rush for 120 yards last year, imagine the damage Derrick Henry can do. If the Saints can somewhat contain Henry, winning this game becomes exponentially easier.
Most rushing yards in a game since 2020:— StatMuse NFL (@statmusenfl) September 4, 2023
253 — Jonathan Taylor
250 — Derrick Henry
229 — Josh Jacobs
219 — Derrick Henry
215 — Derrick Henry
212 — Derrick Henry
Will all 3 of these guys record another 200-yard game? pic.twitter.com/2Ly3LEStjf
What does this mean: Turnovers committed by the Saints in 2022
Why should I care: Both the Saints and the Titans struggled to avoid turnovers last season. The Saints committed 25 turnovers (6th-most NFL) and the Titans committed 23 (13th-worst NFL). The Saints have upgraded their quarterback from Dalton/Winston to Carr, but he’s been known to struggle with interceptions. If he throws multiple picks, Tennessee could steal a week one victory. Likewise, if Ryan Tannehill tries to test a solid Saints secondary, it could be a very long day for the Titans.