The New Orleans Saints look to bounce back from an ugly loss to the Los Angeles Rams last week when they take on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon. Seattle comes into the game with a 2-0 mark after topping Pittsburgh last week.
Next Man Up
After making it to the NFC Championship Game last season, the Saints have not started this year as planned. They have been just one of the teams already dealing with a quarterback injury. In Week 2, future Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees suffered a thumb injury that required surgery and will likely keep him sidelined for at least six weeks.
The Saints have plenty of weapons on offense, but now, with Brees out, they will have to see what they can do with Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill under center. Head coach Sean Payton has eluded to the idea of using both quarterbacks going forward to keep defenses off guard.
Bridgewater was a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings; he was a Pro Bowler with high expectations whose career was plagued early by injury.
This opportunity will give him a second chance to prove he can play in the league and possibly take over for Brees when he retires or if Bridgewater gets picked up by another team in need of a quarterback.
Hill has almost the exact opposite story, but not any less impressive. Hill was not selected in the 2017 NFL Draft; he was picked up later by the Packers only to be let go and eventually find a spot on the Saints roster.
Hill may be the only quarterback who found his place by playing well on special teams. He has provided explosiveness to the New Orleans offense both on the ground and through the air. He has played special teams, wide receiver, running back and quarterback for the Saints.
With their quarterback situation in question, look for the Saints to rely heavily on their Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara and their defense to keep them in games.
Back In The Mix
The Seahawks have remained a very serious threat in the NFC West despite the “Legion of Boom” breaking up over the past few years. Russell Wilson is an elite QB who can put the team on his shoulders and get a win even when the rest of the offense is not producing. The Seahawks have recently added to their defense both in free agency and through the draft and have started this season 2-0.
Their biggest addition this offseason has been Jadeveon Clowney at linebacker to pair up with Bobby Wagner. Clowney adds to their pass rush and should be able to put pressure on the Saints’ inexperienced QBs.
The Seahawks escaped the first two weeks with wins by a combined three points over the Bengals and Steelers. Most of the Steelers game was against backup quarterback Mason Rudolph, and now facing the Saints backups, Seattle will look to take full advantage in a very tough NFC West Division.
While the Seahawks do not have an elite top wide receiver, the Saints’ top cornerback, Marshon Lattimore has been less than impressive over their first two games, making the Saints less of a threat to slow down Wilson.
Look for Wilson to attack New Orleans through the air, relying heavily on rookie DK Metcalf. As long as Seattle can keep Saints pass rusher Cameron Jordan out of the backfield, the Seahawks should be able to dictate things on offense.
What to Expect
I believe the two-quarterback system could keep Seattle off balance in this one. With that being said, I think Seattle’s home-field advantage and Wilson will be too much for the Saints to handle without their leader, and the Seahawks will win another close one.