The Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1) will take on the Saints in New Orleans this Sunday, October 30th. The Saints are coming off of a loss to the Chiefs, and the Seahawks recently came out of their game against Arizona with a tie.

Five Things to Watch For

1) Jimmy Graham

Does the name sound familiar? Graham made a name for himself in New Orleans and managed to revolutionize the tight end position in the process. The NFL was taken aback when the Saints traded Graham to the Seahawks in exchange for a first-round draft pick and center Max Unger. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Graham hasn’t been quite the same weapon as he was in New Orleans, but he will have extra incentive to play well in his “Domecoming”.

2) Brandin Cooks vs. Richard Sherman

The Saints’ offense has been explosive and at times, unstoppable this season. Third-year wide receiver Brandin Cooks is a big reason for the Saints’ offensive success. He is leading the team with 486 yards and four touchdowns through six games. Richard Sherman, one of the league’s best cornerbacks, is performing at a high level once again. Although Sherman rarely struggles, when he does, it’s against smaller, quicker wide receivers like Cooks (5’10”, 4.33 second 40-yard dash). This should be an exciting matchup to watch.

3) Saints’ Offensive Line vs. Seahawks’ Pass Rush

Despite concerns in the preseason, the Saints’ offensive line has performed relatively well in pass protection. So far, they’ve only allowed Brees to be sacked nine times, tied for second lowest in the league. On the other hand, the Seahawks have 20 sacks as a team. Left tackle Terron Armstead is planning on Sunday, and Andrus Peat was listed as “Questionable” on the injury report. For the first time in several weeks, the Saints could have all of their starters on the offensive line at their disposal. Drew Brees will need plenty of time to throw if he is to lead the charge against a stout Seattle defense. Luckily for the Saints, Seahawks starting defensive end Michael Bennett will be out on Sunday.

4) Cameron Jordan and Nick Fairley

The Saints’ pass rush has been abysmal, to say the least. Fairley has 3.5 sacks and Jordan has 2.5 sacks. The Seahawks’ offensive line is battered and has played poorly. To make matters worse for the Seahawks, Russell Wilson is dealing with a knee and pectoral injury. His lack of mobility has hurt him, and the Saints will have an opportunity to take advantage of his limitations. Jordan and Fairley must bring the heat and force Wilson to make bad throws. If the Saints are going to have defensive success, it’ll start up front.

5) Coby Fleener

Although Fleener started off the season slow, heĀ is starting to look much more comfortable in the offense. Seattle’s strong safety, Kam Chancellor will be out on Sunday, and he is notorious for giving tight ends problems. Fleener will be an important part of any offensive success as Seattle’s cornerbacks could give New Orleans’ receivers problems. Look for Drew Brees to target Fleener early and often.

Predictions

  1. Drew Brees will throw for more than 350 yards. This prediction doesn’t sound outlandish, but Seattle’s defense is elite.
  2. Jimmy Graham will be held out of the end zone.
  3. The Saints’ defense will sack Russell Wilson five or more times. Wilson and his offensive line are battered, and the Saints will take advantage.
  4. The final score will be 27-21 in favor of the Saints.