First Look: Packers vs. Saints

John Hendrix

The Saints (1-1) look to bounce back and avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in a while, but it won't be easy hosting the Packers (2-0) on Sunday Night Football. New Orleans goes back under the microscope for a their second straight prime time game. The loss to the Raiders brought up several areas of concern, which hopes to get cleaned up before hosting Aaron Rodgers and company.

What to Watch For

Will the real Saints please stand up? We're two weeks into the season, and not sure whether or not New Orleans is a team with just early season struggles or if there's a legitimate problem. Either way, it's concerning to see how bad the defense regressed from their first week, and even more concerning how the offense has looked to start. This is too talented of a team for them to have some of the issues they've had.

Michael Thomas on the injury report. There's some optimism for Thomas to return this weekend, but that relies heavily on what Packers team doctor Robert Anderson says. Thomas is dealing with a mild high ankle sprain, an injury that was originally believed to be something that would keep him out for as long as a month. Not having Thomas was a bigger loss for the offense than some may have originally given it credit for, as Drew Brees struggled against the Raiders. 

Playing disciplined football. In their first two weeks, the Saints have 16 penalties for 248 yards. That's never going to win football games. These mental mistakes drive coaches mad, particularly Sean Payton. You can chalk up some of the calls to bad decisions made, and that's on the players. You can't hit a quarterback in the head or make a tackle from behind. There's just certain things you have to know better when playing. Needless to say, that's a lot of yardage to give up and it can't happen.

Big players need to rebound. Cam Jordan is off to a slow start, while Malcolm Jenkins is one of the many defensive players who are coming off rough outings against the Raiders. Others like Emmanuel Sanders haven't made a big impact through the first couple of games, and some of that has to do with the offensive struggles. We're also eager to see what type of progress, if any, Marcus Davenport has this week.

Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.

Editorial / Opinion