Oct 30, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Paul Kruger (99) celebrates their victory against the Seattle Seahawks at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints won, 25-20. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
THE MATCH-UPS, PART 2 – (WEAKNESS VS. WEAKNESS)
If the New Orleans defensive Front 7 cannot pressure the passer against THIS offensive line, then they may NEVER be able to do so.
Denver’s offensive line may very well be among the worst in the NFL. WR’s Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas do present huge threats, but the Broncos do not have overwhelming pass receiving talent outside of them — and even they have been neutralized at times by the play calling of their own coach and declining play at quarterback (Peyton Manning to Trevor Siemian is a MONUMENTAL drop-off in talent)
Saints CB Delvin Breaux’s return to the lineup should at least control one of Denver’s receivers, most likely Demaryius Thomas. It will be key for the Saints other coverage packages to contain a pedestrian Bronco passing offense.
Broncos RB Devontae Booker has taken the reins of Denver’s primary running back. While he does show potential, the return of Saints DT Sheldon Rankins combined with the rest of the front seven of New Orleans; have played better against the run in recent weeks.
Oct 13, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Denver Broncos offensive guard Michael Schofield (79) and offensive tackle Donald Stephenson (71) look across the line during the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Pay particular close attention to the right side of the Denver offensive line, where veteran Donald Stephenson has struggled since he has returned from missing his past 3 games because of a calf injury.
Stephenson, like most of his teammates on the Broncos offense, had a very tough night last Sunday at Oakland.
What that means is that Saints left defensive end Paul Kruger — who should be lined up directly across from Stephenson — could see his share of opportunities to generate some “heat” on Siemian.