Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 3, five days before the Washington Redskins visit the New Orleans Saints.
My first look at what the Redskins will be facing when they take on the Saints on Monday night.
Drew Brees just keeps rolling along
The Saints quarterback completed over 80 percent of his passes in the Saints’ first three games. He came back to earth against the Giants with a 56.2 completion percentage but he’s still at a league-leading 75 percent for the year.
A representative from the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be in the Superdome on Monday night to collect the ball he will throw to break the NFL’s career record for passing yards. Brees needs just 201 to get there and even if the Redskins’ passing defense has a good night he is very likely to set the record.
The Saints pass defense gives back a lot of what Brees gets
It’s a good thing for the Saints that Brees gets a lot of passing yards; defensively, they give back a lot of what they gain. The Saints are 30th in the NFL in passing yards allowed and 31st in adjusted net years per attempt against.
This doesn’t mean that Alex Smith and company will be able to roll down the field on this unit. Against the Giants, they ran a soft Cover 2 scheme and held New York to 234 yards passing. The Colts used a similar scheme to attempt to frustrate the Redskins’ passing attack in Washington’s Week 2 loss.
Kamara is the weapon of choice
Alvin Kamara has gone over 100 yards rushing or receiving in three of the Saints’ four games this year. He is tied for the league lead with six touchdowns. The second-year back put away the Giants last Sunday with a 49-yard touchdown run on a play that was designed to just run out the clock.
And, oh yeah, Mark Ingram, another threat to rush over 100 yards or grab a key pass out of the backfield, is back after serving a four-game suspension. The Redskins’ rushing defense has been shaky in the last two games and they weren’t playing anyone nearly as talented as both members of this duo.
Redskins must keep the lid on
After turnovers, one stat that does a good job of pointing to which team will win an NFL game is explosive plays. Teams that can eat up the field in chunks of 20 yards-plus more often than their opponents have a good chance of winning the game.
The Saints have piled up a lot of big plays offensively. In four games they have 22 explosive plays. New Orleans has at least six such plays in three of their four games. In three games the Redskins have allowed just five plays of 20 or more yards. If the Redskins can keep the Saints from scoring in a hurry they will have a good chance of winning. If the Saints can tear off a couple of four-play, 75-yard drives, the visitors will be in trouble.
Trending on social
Since they have played only three games and 30 other teams have played four, the #Redskins lead the NFL in total yardage allowed with 834. When it gets broken down to yards per game they are third with 278.0.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) October 2, 2018
They are in the top 10 in many defensive categories but they are lagging in two important ones—third down conversions (20th) and red zone defense (24th). Better, but still work to do.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) October 2, 2018
Today: Alex Smith press conference 12:00; Practice 1:00; Jay Gruden news conference and open locker room after practice, approx. 3:00
Upcoming: Redskins @ Saints (October 8) 5 days; Panthers @ Redskins 11; Cowboys @ Redskins 18
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