It is once again time for us to exchange some intel with the folks on the sideline across from the Minnesota Vikings for this week’s game. The opponent this week is the New Orleans Saints, who the Vikings will be facing off with at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. I exchanged some questions with Tina Howell, the managing editor over at Canal Street Chronicles, to gain some more insight into the Saints heading into this one.
My answers to Tina’s questions can be found right here, and her answers to the questions I posed can be found below.
1) The big issue for the Saints at this point in the season appears to be their struggles on offense. How much has the loss of Sean Payton affected this team in that regard?
At first, I really thought it wouldn’t. Dennis and Pete have both been here a while and already have relationships built with many of these players, but it seems right now that there is an obvious disconnect between the coaches and players. You can see the frustration on the sidelines at times and that is just what we can see. With all the weapons that we now have on offense, the play calling has just been dismal. Of course, Jameis’ injuries complicate things but this team as a whole is not playing at the level they should be, and it is concerning.
2) Along those same lines, the Saints have committed more turnovers than any team in the league, led by five interceptions from Jameis Winston. Do you think there’s a quarterback change in the offing for this team?
I honestly don’t know what they are thinking. I do know that Jameis’ issues are all injury-related. He has an ankle injury as well as fractures in the L1 to L4 vertebrae. (The lumbar part of his spine) He has said that it is a transverse fracture, which means when it presses down on his psoas muscle that causes issues whenever he applies any weight on his back foot. He is playing through tremendous pain, and it is totally affecting his passing ability. Look at his numbers prior to the injuries and now. He missed practice on Wednesday and in my opinion, he should not be playing right now but for whatever reason, they feel he is our best option at QB.
3) Give us a player that might be a bit “under the radar” that you think will play a big role in this game for the Saints.
LB Pete Werner, who has been solid for us on the defense in both the passing and run game. In order to win Sunday, we must pressure Cousins and stop Jefferson and Cook from having a big game. Werner is a guy that can help make that happen.
4) The 8:30 AM kickoff for this one is going to be a little. . .shall we say, difficult. . .for those of us that aren’t exactly morning people. Do you like the idea of overseas games and how the NFL handles them?
Honestly, I don’t care for the overseas games. I know it brings in big revenue and ratings which the NFL likes but the traveling is exhausting on players. So, if the league wants to keep preaching about concerns of player safety and well-being yet insists on increasing the number of international games per season as well as the number of regular season games, a 2nd bye week needs to be added to the season. Most fans don’t like the early kickoff time and they certainly don’t like losing a home game, those are the biggest complaints I keep hearing but as long as these games continue to be a success, it is something we will have to get used to.
5) With both of these teams having issues on offense, our friends at the DraftKings Sportsbook have set the over/under for this one at 44 points. Do you think they can reach that lofty total in this one?
I don’t think so. But it all depends on who is under center for the Saints and with 4 of our WR’s injured, I am very concerned about how productive we can be on offense this week.
Thanks again to Tina for taking the time to answer our questions about this week’s game!