Sunday Night Football. Possible NFC championship preview. The Saints host the 3-0 Cowboys who have fired out of the gates. This is another huge test for the Teddy Bridgewater led Saints as the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys come to town. A rematch from week 10 last year where the Cowboys shut down the Saints high powered attack in a low scoring contest. Here are the keys to victory for the Saints:
Stop the Run- Coming into the game the Saints have been unable to repeat last years run defense success as they have allowed 5.1 yards per carry this year. In order to beat the Cowboys the Saints have to make Dak actually make throws. The front 7 are gonna have to be able to shed blocks and fire downhill to neutralize or at least slow Zeke down. Thankfully we all know this Saints defense is capable of that and I expect stopping the run to be a big focus point from the defense and coaching staff heading into the game.
Attack Early- The Cowboys are not a play from behind type of team. They like to punch you in the mouth control the clock and grind out wins. There offense has been more explosive to start the year with Kellen Moore calling plays but at the same time they have yet to be tested either as there combined opponents records sit at 1-8. In order for the Saints to use the home field advantage which we all know can cause earthquakes then the Saints must be the ones to attack early. Look for the creativity of Sean Payton and Drew who will be on the sidelines to shine through. Also be on the lookout for a Deonte Harris special teams play!
Force Turnovers- Dak Prescott has done a great job in the Cowboys new offense of not making mistakes and not turning the ball over. Outside of a heave into triple coverage that was picked he has been extremely efficient and protective of the ball. The Saints defense needs to change that. I expect Dennis Allen to deliver some of his patented exotic blitzes to force Dak to make quick decisions. Also look for the Saints to try forcing the football outside on Zeke carries as he can be known to be sometimes loose with the football. I expect the Saints to force at least two turnovers and get after this new look offense of the Cowboys.
Score Prediction- The Saints are coming off an emotional win in Seattle with Teddy. Either they will be caught flat or continue to be motivated. Listening to all the talk from the Cowboys this week I expect the latter. The Saints will come out and use the home field advantage to there benefit and walk into the matchup next week with the Bucs with lots of momentum. 21-17 Saints!