The New Orleans Saints have a tall task in front of them for their 2017 home opener. After beginning the regular season with a Monday night loss on the road against the Minnesota Vikings, the Saints now must contend with the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. The Patriots are coming into this game with an 0-1 record as well, after getting drubbed at home last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
One of the most surprising things about the Saints opening day loss is how ineffective their normally high powered offense was at times against a very good Viking defense. Today we look at a few key match ups to watch as the New Orleans offense tries to rebound at home in Week 2.
WR Michael Thomas vs. CBs Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore
Thomas is perhaps the best offensive weapon that quarterback Drew Brees has at his disposal. His 92 receptions for 1,132 yards and 9 touchdowns set rookie records last season, and have many believing that Thomas is on the cusp of being considered among the NFL’s best receivers. He was held in check by an outstanding Minnesota secondary last week, finishing with only 5 catches for 45 yards.
New Orleans was missing star wideout Willie Snead, currently serving a three-game league suspension, along with another top target from a year ago in Brandin Cooks, now in a Patriot uniform after an offseason trade. Now, Thomas faces a New England secondary with top rated corners Stephon Gilmore and the subject of many trade rumors involving the Saints themselves this offseason, Malcolm Butler.
The Patriots pass defense was torn apart by the Chiefs’ Alex Smith last Thursday. Smith…
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