Los Angeles Chargers running back Detrez Newsome (38) loses his helmet after being tackled by New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth (95) at Dignity Health Sports Park. The Saints defeated the Chargers 19-17.

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Saints vs. Jets: 5 things to watch for

Kristian Garic
August 24, 2019 - 3:25 pm
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The Saints are back in action in preseason game three tonight at 6:30 p.m. and head coach Sean Payton hinted at the possibility that quarterback Drew Brees will make his preseason debut against the New York Jets.

This is the most important game of the exhibition schedule for the starters on this team.

Here are five questions our resident pros have ahead of Saturday's matchup:

 

Will the Jets and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams come after Drew Brees? 

Williams has been known to send the house at opposing quarterbacks in the preseason.  Saints radio color analyst Deuce McAllister says Williams and the Jets can’t help themselves

“The Jets are going to be the Jets, they are coming,” McAllister said. 

The voice of the Saints Zach Strief has a different perspective than his Saints Radio partner.

 “I don’t think you’re going to see a ton (of blitzes). I think you’re going to see very vanilla (defense),” Strief said.

Will the offensive line get going?

Nobody is more qualified or better suited to call the offensive line out a little bit than Strief, a former stalwart at tackle for New Orleans. 

“I’m somewhat disappointed in the offensive lines play (against the Chargers),”  Strief said. “Your quarterback (Drew Brees is still not in the huddle, I just don’t think the intensity was there last week.”

Strief does think the offensive line responds this week.

“When you put Drew Brees in a huddle, it’s automatically in an instant everybody is more intense and locked in,” he said. 

Will the Saints have a sense of urgency?

It’s understandable to a degree in the first two preseason games for an established starter to kind go through the motions.  Why risk yourself to injury at this juncture of the season.  Strief said this week, that approach can’t happen.

“It’s easy to get lulled to sleep in training camp and preseason,” he said.

Strief instead wants the first team offense and defense play with a sense of urgency this week against the Jets.

Can the Saints set the tone early?

The Saints looked rather lethargic last week against the Chargers, falling to a 17-3 deficit at halftime.

“How about we set the tone early,” “The Cajun Cannon” Bobby Hebert said. “I’d love to have a three-and-out on defense.  Then the offense goes out with an 8-to-10-play drive and punches it in for the end zone.”

Red zone improvements?

So far this preseason, the Saints are 2-of-8 finding the end zone in red zone trips. That’s a stat that doesn’t sit well with the Cannon.

“That has to improve! It has to!” Hebert said. “You say preseason games don’t count. Not for wins and losses but it goes a long way in your confidence to have success in the games. 

“Especially when it comes to situational football, like the red-zone and third down. That stuff matters.” 

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