Coming off of two cruel losses in a span of four days, the Saints are looking to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win at home against the Los Angeles Rams. On November 13th against the Denver Broncos, a blocked kicked returned for two points was the difference in the game. Against Carolina on November 17th, a blocked kick in the fourth quarter sealed a 23-20 loss. What are the keys for victory this week for New Orleans?
They Have to Keep Special Teams Mistakes to a Minimum
Every team has made bad plays on special teams this year. In fact, there were a record number of missed or blocked kicks yesterday throughout the NFL. However, when those mistakes cost you multiple games, they have to be rectified. Expect guys to be demoted or cut if there are any critical mistakes against the Rams.
Jared Goff Shouldn’t Be Hard to Rattle
It took 10 weeks, but Fisher finally named Goff the starter for last week’s game against the Dolphins. Whether it’s because Jeff Fisher isn’t a good coach or because Goff hasn’t shown that he can handle being a starter, the offense was quite vanilla for Los Angeles against Miami. If a coach doesn’t trust his quarterback to make plays, how is he supposed to believe in himself? An early sack or interception should be enough to get the Rams off track and set the tone for the game.
New Orleans Still Has a Chance to Win the Division
At 4-6, the Saints are two games behind the Falcons for the NFC South division lead. They also trail Tampa Bay by a game in the division as well. However, they have two games against the Bucs coming up as well as their season finale against the Falcons. Therefore, a win against Los Angeles would go a long way toward salvaging their season after almost throwing it away.
On paper, it looks like the Saints should have no trouble keeping the Rams at bay on Sunday. The crowd will likely be loud and supportive as usual, and it is always hard for a rookie quarterback to win on the road in the NFL. Although it may be ugly at times, expect the Saints the keep their playoff hopes alive.