The Saints (5-5) enter Week 12 desperately needing a win after losing three straight games, but that will prove to be a tall task hosting the Bills (6-4) on Thanksgiving night. Emotions will run high on Thursday, as Drew Brees is set to be honored at halftime in front of the Superdome crowd. New Orleans has battled hard through this season despite dealing with a ton of injuries, and they'll simply have to find a way with Buffalo visiting.
What to Watch For
Who's Available. The Saints are dealing with a lot of injuries, and there's not a lot of optimism on who will be available for the Bills game. It's hardly a surprise given the short week, but the biggest names we're watching are Alvin Kamara (knee), Ryan Ramczyk (knee), Mark Ingram (knee), and Marcus Davenport (shoulder).
New Orleans would likely turn to Ty Montgomery (hand) and Tony Jones Jr. in the running game if Ingram were to miss, and that'd be a considerable loss. Terron Armstead (knee/shoulder) returning would be a big boost considering Landon Young was put on injured reserve Tuesday with a foot injury. Davenport is the big concern, as the team is already down Payton Turner and Tanoh Kpassagnon currently. He's been a huge impact since returning, and that would be a huge loss if he can't go.
Execution. These past few losses have had common themes to them, and that's failing to get off to a decent start. Playing from behind is one thing, but the Saints have been in a considerable hole. In past seasons, the team would have a ton of talent and be able to rally and position themselves in a better spot to win games. However, that's simply not the case with this year's Saints team.
There's no quit in Sean Payton's squad, which is admirable, but the reality is that New Orleans has to be within at least one score going into halftime and the final quarter. No one is asking them to jump out to a considerable lead, just be in the game and execute accordingly to do what is needed to get a much-needed win.
A Defensive Rebound. New Orleans' defense has essentially been hit in the mouth the past few weeks, and the Eagles game was really hard to watch. The Saints struggled heavily with the zone-read attack, and could see something similar with Josh Allen coming to town. Add on those pesky crossing routes to the table, and this will be a night that Dennis Allen's unit will have to be on their toes all game. If there ever was a time for the Saints defense to return, it's over the next two weeks.
Homecoming. As we mentioned before, Drew Brees is going to be honored at halftime. He never got the proper sendoff last season due to a lack of fans being in the stands from COVID. While this doesn't necessarily make up for it, it's a great gesture by New Orleans and the Superdome is sure to go through a lot of emotions. The amount of 'Thank You Drew' video messages shown will also be a great sight.
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