Sep 13, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Alex Okafor (57) during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Saints offensive line vs. the Cardinals defensive Front 7
Coming into the 2016 season, one of the most scrutinized areas of the New Orleans Saints was the effectiveness of their offensive line.
Lack of talent and depth, declining abilities, age, and overall poor play the previous year caused most to believe that this unit might even hasten the end of Drew Brees’ career.
Surprisingly though, the line had played quite well over the first few months of the season. This despite facing a number of formidable pass rushing defenses, along their best player, left tackle Terron Armstead, severely limited with injury.
The last two weeks, however, the woeful performance of the line have caused the worst concerns of Saints fans about this offense to come to fruition.
Brees has been under constant and immediate pressure from the moment he drops to pass, and the running game has been rendered almost completely ineffective.
Arizona’s defensive front presents a huge challenge to this struggling unit. Chandler Jones leads the Cardinals with 8 sacks, but is hardly a one-man show.
Markus Golden, Calais Campbell and Kevin Minter have combined for 14.5 sacks on a defense that prides itself on abusing the opposing quarterback.
New Orleans will most likely run the ball on their right side, behind veterans Jahri Evans and Zach Strief, but the stability of the other side in pass protection– Andrus Peat in particular — is worth special attention here.
This could get “ugly” — REAL quick.