The New Orleans Saints will pack their bags and get on a flight to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 6. Both teams are in similar situations where they are playing without the quarterbacks that they began the season with.
The Saints have been without Drew Brees since Week 2 after he sustained a thumb injury against the Los Angeles Rams. Many believed that New Orleans would miss a beat offensively while Brees recovered from his injury.
Instead, Teddy Bridgewater has been able to step in and the offense has gotten into a groove with him as the starter. With Sean Payton putting him in positions to succeed, the Saints have won three straight games to improve their record to 4-1 on the season.
Even without Brees, the Saints sit atop the NFC South and are being labeled as the best team in the NFC. There aren’t many teams in the NFC who have an argument of being better than the Saints.
As for the Jaguars, Gardner Minshew has kept Jacksonville afloat with Nick Foles missing the past four games. The Jaguars hold a 2-3 record but they’re just eight points away from having a chance of being 4-1 on the season.
With that being said, here are four reasons why the Saints will defeat the Jaguars in Week 6.
4. Saints offensive line will keep Bridgewater upright
One of the most important matchups in this game will be between the Saints offensive line and the Jaguars front seven. Jacksonville has Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and Josh Allen could make it tough on Payton’s offense to get into a rhythm.
Luckily for Bridgewater, his offensive line has been one of the best groups in the NFL this season. In the first five weeks, New Orleans has only surrendered eight sacks on their quarterback (tied for fifth-best in the NFL).
If the Saints can give Bridgewater time to throw, New Orleans should be able to extend their win streak to four games on Sunday.
3. Saints should have success running the ball
As of Friday, Alvin Kamara is questionable to suit up on Sunday with an ankle injury that has hindered him throughout the week. Even if he’s unable to go, Latavius Murray is capable of handling a large workload in the backfield.
Last week, the Carolina Panthers and Christian McCaffrey showed that this Jaguars defense can give up big plays on the ground. Thus, giving Payton a chance to prep a gameplan that involves a ton of the rushing attack.
Over the course of this season, Jacksonville has given up 136.6 rushing yards per game (25th in the NFL). Once New Orleans have their running game established, their passing attack becomes even more dangerous.
2. No one is slowing down Michael Thomas right now
When Brees went down with an injury, most expected Michael Thomas’ stats to decline. On the contrary, Thomas has been nearly unstoppable in the past three games.
The Saints All-Pro wide receiver leads the NFL in receptions (45) and receiving yards (543) this season. In the past three weeks alone, Thomas has caught 25 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns.
Jalen Ramsey has a chance to play on Sunday but it won’t matter with how Thomas has been playing this season. Payton loves to move Thomas around in the offense, making him even harder to cover.
1. The Saints will make Minshew uncomfortable in the pocket
One of the most overlooked aspects of this Saints team has been their ability to get after the quarterback. After five weeks being played, New Orleans has accumulated 16 sacks as a team (tied for fifth-most in the NFL).
Jacksonville’s offensive line has been formidable this season, allowing just 11 sacks this season. They’ll definitely be tested in Week 6 against an underrated group that is playing phenomenal for Dennis Allen.
With Cameron Jordan, Marcus Davenport, and Sheldon Rankins back, the Saints are going to make Minshew uncomfortable in the pocket all game. The rookie signal-caller has created magic all season but he won’t get a chance to on Sunday.