Wednesday’s time to turn the page to the Saints, who lost to the Vikings 29-19 on Sunday.
The headlines; Brandin Cooks returns to New Orleans, Belichick and Brady return to the site of the memorable 2009 blow out that was featured prominently in Belichick’s A Football Life and, oh yeah, the 0-1 Pats really need a win, never an easy task when facing Drew Brees.
Their last meeting in 2013 in Foxboro Brady threw a last-second game-winning touchdown toss to Kenbrell Thompkins.
On paper this one looks like it could be a shootout, so hold on folks, let’s take a quick look at the Saints!
- Kamara is the new Sproles: Nimble receiving backs are a problem for a defense with depth problems at linebacker. The Pats must split Alvin Kamara and Coby Fleener between Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richard (gulp) and Kyle Van Noy.
- Lewis is the new Cooks – The defense struggled mightily with quick receivers downfield against the Chiefs. There’s no question the Saints have all the necessary weapons to attack every weakness we saw in the opener. The difference must come up front with pass rush pressure directed at the Saints’ rookie and replacement tackles.
- Secondary a Target: The Patriots also have all the necessary weapons to attack the Saints defense, which features three rookies. Going fast, playing with good pace should put the pressure on their communication. Unless the pass protection has a terrible day Brady should do work up and down the field.
- Thomas/Jordan worrisome: Cam Jordan is a disruptive player who will drop into coverage frequently, before wreaking some havoc with twists and stunts. Michael Thomas was their most targeted receiver. They’re the two places the Pats must have a plan for.
- Good QB = Hold on to your hats: When you’re playing an all-time great like Drew Brees all bets are off. This is a survive and advance, just a get-a-win-however-you-have-to type game. If the Patriots can win on first down it will give young pass rushers Dietrich Wise and Adam Butler, along with now-vet Trey Flowers, a chance to make plays on third down. For them it could be one of those “coming out parties.”