Oct 30, 2011; St. Louis, MO, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is sacked by St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long (91) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Saints 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Strength vs. Strength: The Saints offense vs. the Rams defense
This is the 3rd consecutive week that Drew Brees and company. will face a very rugged, top ranked unit. The Rams defense is near the top 5 in both total defense and points allowed.
Run by former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, these Rams boast Pro Bowl-caliber talent at all 3 levels. Opposing offenses can neither throw, or run the ball with any sustained success against them, and LA is consistently one of the top turnover causing defenses in the NFL.
New Orleans has not scored a first half touchdown in either of the last two weeks. Granted, the defenses that they were facing in Denver and Carolina; were also among the top units in the league, but New Orleans must reverse this disturbing trend if they are to avoid their 3rd loss in a row.
The Saints “young gun” trio of wide receivers — Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and Michael Thomas — must make plays down the field to open up both the running attack and the mid-range sight-lines for Brees in the passing game.
If the Rams defense has a weakness, it’s been when teams run a varied up-tempo attack. Tim Hightower and Mark Ingram (who has been cleared to play after a concussion against Carolina) will not have a pretty average per carry, but New Orleans must have at least the threat of a running game. One dimensional offenses have zero chance of success against this punishing Ram defense.