Saints preparing for stout Redskins defense
Metairie, La. — The Saints and Redskins will meet for the 27th time Monday night, when the two teams match-up on the national stage on Monday Night Football. The Redskins hold the 17-9 lead in the series and have won 4 of the last 6 meetings. Last season, the Saints came- back to beat the Redskins 34-31 in overtime.
The Saints are riding a 3-game win-streak coming into this week 5 match-up with Washington, who is coming-off a bye this past week and win over Green Bay the week before.
New Orleans boasts one of the most potent offenses in the league, ranking third in scoring, averaging more than 34 points per game. They are also 4th in the league in total offense racking-up nearly 420 yards per game. Those numbers are mainly attributed to the trio of Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. Brees has the highest completion percentage in the league and Kamara leads the league with 611 scrimmage yards. Thomas is 4th in the league with 445 receiving yards and has caught an impressive 42 of the 44 passes thrown to him this season. All that being said– plus the return of Mark Ingram– the team is still prepared to be tested by a tough Redskins defense. Washington is third in the NFL in total defense, and passing defense, and is second in opponent scoring average.
"I'd say [D.J.] Swearinger's playing, I believe, his best football," said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. "He's had a real good career but man, he's smart. He's got great anticipation. He gets guys lined-up. He's passionate. You feel it on film. Very seldom do you get that but he's one of those players where you're in your office and it's quiet and you're watching coaches tape, you feel his passion on film and that's unique. Josh Norman's a competitor with good ball skills. This group, it goes hand in hand-- how they play their coverage. They do a good job with some man to man principles, some bracket principles and just enough pressure to keep you off balance."
Something the fans will be keeping an eye on is Brees possibly becoming the all-time leader in career passing yards. Brees (71,740) only needs 99 yards to pass Brett Favre (71,838) in second, and 201 yards to pass Payton Manning (71,940). That record on the horizon though, is not something that's been at the forefront for the team or Sean Payton.
"We haven't really talked about it," Payton said. "I think [Brees] has a great way of compartmentalizing things and focusing on playing well and winning. Like most accomplishments and certainly this one, I'm sure he'll appreciate it as time goes by and yet you'd have to ask him because we really haven't talked about it."