Not the Full “Legion of Boom”
Oct 23, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; The Arizona Cardinals offense squares off against the Seattle Seahawks defense during he first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The better news for the Saints is that two of the Seahawks best players on defense have already been ruled out for Sunday. Defensive lineman Michael Bennett has been ruled out with a knee injury.
Bennett has been an absolute force this year, leading Seattle in tackles for loss with four. He also has three sacks on the season.
This is a big loss to Seattle’s front four. However, the Saints offensive line will still have to contend with his backup Frank Clark — who has posted 4.5 sacks this year, an impressive number.
They will also have to account for the other side of the line with the dominant Cliff Avril bringing the pressure all game long.
Make no mistake, this will be a stern test for a Saints offensive line that has exceeded expectations thus far this season, but it is a little easier without Michael Bennett.
Oct 16, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) reacts after suffering an injury during the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Atlanta, 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
The other noticeable absence is the heavy hitting strong safety Kam Chancellor, who will miss his third straight game with a groin injury.
This is a big loss to the attitude that “The Legion of Boom” brings. Chancellor is known as the enforcer on this vaunted defense because of his swagger but mostly because of his devastating big hits.
There’s no doubt that Mark Ingram, Coby Fleener, and the rest of the Saints offense are silently counting their blessings that they won’t have to make tough catches in the middle against this warrior.
Even without those two players, the Seahawks still have one of, if not the best defense in the NFL. Free Safety Earl Thomas will look to take away the deep ball from Brandin Cooks and company, while Richard Sherman is always a threat to make a big play.
The middle linebacker, Bobby Wagner, is one of the best in the game and is playing at a tremendously high level.