The New Orleans Saints will look to rebound after falling to the Titans in a devastating loss. The Saints sit at 4-5 as a result of that loss. The Redskins (3-5) are coming off a loss to the Patriots. By winning this game, the Saints will return to .500.

The Saints had numerous problems last Sunday, most of those problems stemmed from the defense. The lack of a pass rush was very apparent, and the secondary couldn’t keep up with their assignments. Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller couldn’t get anything going. The return of LB Hau’oli Kikaha should be a boost to the Saints’ pass rush. Unfortunately, the Saints are still weak  at linebacker as Dannell Ellerbe, David Hawthorne, and Ramon Humber will be absent.

Hau'oli Kikaha

Hau’oli Kikaha

If the Saints are going to have any chance of winning, they need to limit the penalties. It seems like the penalties come up at the worst of times. The Saints offense has been playing at a very high level these past few weeks. I honestly believe the Saints would be one of the best teams in the league if their defense was half decent.

Luckily for the Saints, the Redskins’ pass rush isn’t the best. They have only tallied 13 sacks on the year. We all know what Drew Brees can do to opposing defenses when he has time. I expect Brees to come out firing. The health of OT Terron Armstead, who has been listed as “Questionable”, is crucial. He has been one of the best tackles in the league this year, and he does a phenomenal job of keeping Brees protected.

It’ll also be important for the Saints to get their run game going early on. According to ESPN, Washington has the 18th ranked defense. On average, they allow 132.5 rush yards a game. If Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller can run the ball effectively, look out for this offense. When this offense is balanced, it is just about impossible to stop them.

Now on to the defense, the Saints’ biggest problem. Let’s make it clear, injuries have not helped. Despite the fact that the Saints have dealt with some major injuries, just about every team has. It is a very physical sport that unfortunately results in a lot of injuries. The Saints defense is ranked 31st in the league. Just in case you didn’t know, that is second to last. They are allowing 29.8 points a game. They have looked absolutely terrible these past two games. It appears they are incapable of stopping the big play.

Kirk Cousins is in no way an elite quarterback, and the Saints need to make sure he doesn’t look like one. DB Keenan Lewis appears to be getting healthier each and every week. The moment he returns to a starting role alongside Delvin Breaux the Saints defense will improve significantly. Brandon Browner has simply been committing too many penalties. His penalties have cost the Saints many times. It is important to recognize that it isn’t just him, the whole defense is responsible.

Brandon Browner

Brandon Browner

The Saints must put pressure on Cousins; he must be forced to make bad throws. The run game must also be stopped effectively. The Redskins average 91.3 rush yards a game. Too many big plays have been allowed this season, and it must turn around this Sunday. Losing to the Redskins on Sunday would most likely end any chances of the Saints making a run at the wild card spot. Rob Ryan needs to have a good showing if he wants to have any shot at coming back next season. His job is undoubtedly in jeopardy.

I choose the Saints to win this game, 31-27. The offense has been playing at a very high level the past few weeks and I expect that to continue. I also believe Keenan Lewis will be able to play a larger role in the game. He is crucial to this defense’s success.

Before I end this post with my closing statement, I’d like to recognize the terrible events in Paris. It is truly saddening to see such a terrible string of events occur.

Hopefully the Saints march into D.C. hungry and go get the win! WHO DAT!!!

New Orleans Saints Head to the Capital to Take on the Washington Redskins
New Orleans Saints Head to the Capital to Take on the Washington Redskins