Sometime in the second half next Monday night, Drew Brees will probably break the NFL's all-time passing yardage record.
The legendary quarterback needs to get 201 pass yards to break the record and even an off-game for Brees usually means more than that. Washington head coach Jay Gruden is aware of Brees, and the Saints explosive offense in general.
"They will keep you up," Gruden said, asked if New Orleans is causing the Redskins coaching staff any sleepless nights. (Listen to the full interview on the Redskins Talk podcast below.)
The Saints average more than 34 points-per-game, third in the NFL. Twice this season New Orleans has gone for more than 40 points. The offense is potent.
"They’re great players. It's led by Drew Brees and Sean Payton, an excellent coach and quarterback combo for a long time, very successful. They know how to attack defenses."
In four games this season, Brees is averaging 324 pass yards per game and has thrown eight touchdowns against zero interceptions.
The Saints are 3-1 and that's been without 1,124-yard rusher Mark Ingram on the field. He will be back Monday, as will elite offensive weapons like running back Alvin Kamara and wide receiver Michael Thomas. Thomas' 42 receptions lead the NFL, and he's fourth in the league with 445 receiving yards. Kamara is tied for the NFL lead in rushing TDs.
For Gruden, a win this week is about defensive performance.
"It's going to be important for us to give them different looks, be in the right spots, and really, really rush the passer," Gruden said.
Rushing the passer has been interesting for Washington.
After three games, the Redskins ranked in the middle of the pack with seven sacks, but almost all of Washington's sacks, and most of the QB pressures, have come from the interior.
Matt Ioannidis leads the Redskins with three sacks and Jonathan Allen has registered two. Ryan Anderson and Daron Payne each have one.
Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith have none. To beat the Saints, it seems like the 'Skins must get production from Smith or Kerrigan. Preferably both.
In their Week 4 win over the Giants, Brees was only sacked once but New York applied consistent pressure. He threw for 217 yards with no touchdowns, though New Orleans relied on their run game.
Limit Brees and the Redskins give themselves a chance to win in New Orleans. The Saints can still run the ball, and piled up 170 rush yards last week in New York.
Overall, the Saints can beat you on the ground and the Saints can beat you through the air.
Jay Gruden knows it, but he's got a plan to get some sleep this week before traveling to Louisiana.
"I'm sleeping fine," the coach said, "I take a pill."
MORE REDSKINS NEWS