5 Saints’ players the Denver Broncos need to worry about on Sunday
By Noah Smith
5 Saints’ players the Denver Broncos need to worry about on Sunday.
The Denver Broncos are riding high off of their most complete win of the season, defeating the Miami Dolphins 20-13. Entering week 12, they face one of their tougher challenges this season: the New Orleans Saints.
After investing heavily in the defense in recent years, the Saints have become a juggernaut in the NFC. Led by Sean Payton and Drew Brees, the Saints have made the playoffs the past three years, and were one inexplicably missed pass-interference call away from a Super Bowl appearance in 2018.
However, one of the keys to their success will not be making the trip to Denver on Sunday. Starting quarterback Drew Brees was placed on injured reserve with multiple rib fractures, and will miss Sunday’s game because of it.
Even without their star quarterback, the Saints have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. The Saints are well-coached, and an experienced group. The Denver Broncos will need to be ready in order to take down the Saints.
Here are five Saints players, in particular, the Denver Broncos need to prepare for:
1. Alvin Kamara
Regardless of whether Brees is in or out, Alvin Kamara remains the focal point for the Saints’ offense. Kamara has an elite skill set to be a do-it-all running back in today’s NFL.
Alvin Kamara leads the Saints in both rushing yards and receiving yards, with over 1,000 scrimmage yards already and 12 total touchdowns on the season, per ESPN. Kamara’s impact can be felt all over the field, and coach Vic Fangio must have a plan to slow him down.
If the Denver Broncos want to find success against Kamara on Sunday, they must treat him like a wide receiver. The Broncos have struggled to get good matchups against the opposing offense’s running backs all season.
The Broncos trust their linebackers Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson to make plays in the passing game and often use them to cover running backs. While facing the Saints, the Broncos may switch to having a safety playing a linebacker role to be able to match up with Alvin Kamara when he splits out wide.
Along with slowing him down in the passing game, Vic Fangio needs to be committed to stopping the run. With Taysom Hill in at starting quarterback, the Saints are a much more run-heavy team than before.
I would be shocked if the Saints don’t use Hill and Kamara in a few zone-read plays, giving either the opportunity to break a big play. The Broncos defense must be up to the task of slowing down the Saints’ run game and making the offense a pass-first offense.