On week 3 of the NFL season, the New Orleans Saints will travel to Foxborough to the New England Patriots. Both teams have already suffered a defeat and are facing a groundbreaking duel. The offensives jolted into the new season, everything points to a defensive battle.
On week 3 of the NFL season, the New Orleans Saints face the New England Patriots. Both teams had to come to terms with a defeat in the still young season and now want to end the month of September with a positive balance.
Before the season started, Bill Belichick emptied the piggy bank: The defense received numerous newcomers. Belichick had the repainting cost just under 125 million US dollars, based on the total contract volume.
Coupled with the return of some props from the “opt-out”, the New England Patriots turned their defensive department upside down. With success: The Pats defense has allowed 23 points and created five turnovers – each of the second best values in the league.
Last week they dominated the New York Jets and rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, who threw four interceptions.
Bill Belichick continues to rely on a variable defensive scheme and a large number of players with different strengths in his defense. 22 players in the Patriots squad have already received snaps on the defensive. Belichick has a good knack for setting up the right eleven players depending on the game situation and making the life of the quarterback difficult by moving a lot before and after the snap.
The Pass Rush is particularly impressive in the new season. New signing Matt Judon has already collected ten pressures and one sack. Youngster Josh Uche, whom Belichick pushes around a lot on the defensive line or uses as an edge rusher, has seven pressures and three sacks.
New Orleans Saints and Jameis Winston
The defensive strength of the Patriots could become a problem for the New Orleans Saints and Jameis Winston. The quarterback got under the wheels of a dynamic Panthers defense, which also works a lot with movement before and after the snap.
Winston only made half of his passes, threw for 111 yards and no touchdown, and posted two interceptions. It should certainly not be helpful that numerous coaches did not travel due to the corona, center Erik McCoy failed on the offensive line, the running game for running back Alvin Kamara did not get underway and the receiving corps is very thinly staffed anyway.
The start of the season with a five-touchdown gala by Winston against the Green Bay Packers looked very promising. And that’s exactly where the problem lies: with Winston as the starter, the Saints rollercoaster rides. On good days it goes high, on bad days it goes deep.
Sean Payton is without a doubt one of the better play designers in the league. He succeeds in bringing the strengths of his offensive players to the fore and concealing the alleged weaknesses.
However, it should also be difficult for the renowned head coach to send a competent offensive onto the field if the individual quality is as manageable as with the Saints. The receivers and tight ends in particular have barely been able to set accents and create plays on their own and beyond the scheme.
Ways to win for the Patriots: The Patriot Way
Sounds simple, but the Patriots have to play down their boots. In concrete terms, this means: avoiding simple mistakes (turnover, penalties, etc.), playing in a disciplined and “unspectacular” manner. In short: The Patriot Way.
The already mentioned defense, especially against Winston, will create turnover and give the offensive opportunities to score. They have to be used. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones showed himself in his first two games from a good, if not spectacular, side.
The signal caller distributes the balls sensibly in the short passing game and has not yet recorded any interception. Its average target depth is only 5.7 yards. Should the Saints-Defense pick themselves up after the weak performance with the Panthers and some injured starters return, Jones must show that he can also make difficult passes.
Then it is no longer sufficient to only move in the short passing game and take the supposedly “easier” throws.
Ways to win for the Saints: Establish a running game
It is already clear that wanting to establish the running game in a pass-heavy league in 2021 sounds a little old school. The analysts clearly state that the passing game is more efficient than the running game. And yet there are always games that don’t end in a points battle, but in a good old defensive battle.
The Patriots secondary is also peppered with both individual quality and depth of the squad. It doesn’t matter if Winston has a good day or a bad day, it shouldn’t be an easy day for the quarterback.
The running defense of the Patriots ranks with 4.2 permitted yards per run, however, in the middle of the league. It may sound unsexy, but the effectiveness of the Saints’ running game could play a crucial role in the game against the Pats.
On the defensive, try to make the day uncomfortable for Mac Jones. Means not only to attack him with four pass rushers, but also to put pressure under pressure with lightning. In addition, the Saints must succeed in defending the short passing game aggressively. In addition, one could increasingly place the cornerbacks and linebackers in coverage zones near the line of scrimmage or let man defenses play.
Fantasy tip: Patriots defense
A tip that either hits the nail on the head or goes completely in the pants. The Patriots Defense can celebrate a turnover festival against Winston, but it can also be dismantled just as easily.
The strengths of the Patriots Defense have already been examined in detail. If Bill Belichick succeeds in luring Winston out of the reserve with various formations, movement before and after the snap and various pass-rush concepts, the Patriots Defense can be worth gold for this week.