Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/19/13
  The New Orleans Saints will welcome the Arizona Cardinals into the Dome as they look to improve to 3-0 on the season. Despite a less than stellar season last year, the Cardinals will bring a physical brand of football that features playmakers on offense and defense alike. Here are some things to watch for this Sunday. Cardinal Secondary vs Saints Wide Receivers Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New Orleans Saints’ offense struggled. The struggles were readily apparent in the lack of production from the Saints’ receivers. The majority of the yards were accumulated by Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles. Though Darrelle Revis is a great player, he wasn’t guarding every receiver, meaning that no other receiver stepped up and made plays. The Cardinals present a similar challenge with a secondary featuring Patrick Peterson, one of the top defensive backs in the league. Chances are he will draw the assignment of locking up Marques Colston. With Colston being taken out by Peterson and Graham being doubled, it is up to Lance Moore, Kenny Stills, and the other receivers to beat the 2nd and 3rd corners of the Cardinals. Containing Larry Fitzgerald, the catalyst of the Cardinal’s offense, will surely be the focus of Rob Ryan’s defense this week. Larry Fitzgerald The Saints up to this point have done an exceptional job against the top receivers of other teams considering where they were last year. In the first two games Julio Jones and Vincent Jackson, two of the league’s best wideouts, were held to under 100 yards receiving. The Cardinals present a similar challenge with Fitzgerald. Despite his disappointing season last year, this year he has developed a nice rapport with quarterback Carson Palmer. Keenan Lewis, one the Saints’ key acquisitions, seems to be paying dividends so far as he and Jabari Greer are doing an effective job limiting opposing wideouts. The task won’t get any easier as they try to limit the Cardinal’s offensive catalyst. Can the running game get it together? The first two games have seen abysmal rushing totals from the Saints offense, and it hasn’t been because a lack of effort. The holes don’t seem to be opening up on the attempts that are there. What is puzzling to many Saints fans is the distribution of carries. I have been a defender of Mark Ingram, but it is getting downright ridiculous. He has average an absolute dreadful 1.8 yards a carry. Meanwhile, old reliable Pierre Thomas has average a more than acceptable 5.8 yards a carry. Personally, I, along with I’m sure many Saints fans are fed up with the lack of production, and would like to see Thomas get the lion share of the carries. Though I believe in the Saints’ coaching staff, I am starting to wonder if they have access to the statistics, or eyes for that matter, because it pretty obvious who should be touting the rock. Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson can make a huge impact not only on defense, but on special teams as well.   X Factor: Special Teams Often an overlooked part of the game, this game in particular can definitely see an impact coming from special teams. The Saints seem to be a better team overall, but special teams can really even out the score. The Cardinals have one of the best return men Peterson and if they so choose, Tyrann Mathieu is good in his own right at returning kicks. The Saints will need to do a good job limiting the touches and effectiveness of the Cardinals special teams if they want to win. Don’t be surprised if this game shifts somehow because of special teams. Between Mathieu, Peterson, and Sproles, something amazing is bound to happen. Jahri Evans will be looking to protect Drew Brees from the Arizona Cardinal pass rush spearheaded by All Pro Darnell Dockett. Under the Radar Matchup: Darnell Dockett vs Jahri Evans Darnell Dockett has been one of the best interior lineman in the past few years and is often underrated. Nonetheless, the three-time pro bowler has proven that he can be very disruptive and his presence allows the outside rushers to thrive in favorable situations. Luckily for the Saints, the interior is where the Jahri Evans resides. A mammoth of a man, Evans has been one of the best guards in the league going to 4 Pro Bowls and being selected to 4 All Pro Teams. Because of Drew Brees’ diminutive stature, gut pressure is especially troublesome. If Evans can keep Dockett at bay, that will put the Saints in a great position to score some points.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox CEO

Las Vegas Mob Museum to open FIFA corruption exhibit

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule


Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Diamondbacks GM: Padres wanted Goldschmidt for Kimbrel

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Sheldon Richardson escapes felony charges for recent arrest

Eagles trade CB Brandon Boykin to Steelers

Jack Del Rio: Crabtree ‘stood out’ at first Raiders camp practice

Browns owner: ‘We haven’t given up on Johnny Manziel’

Junior Seau’s daughter will speak at Hall of Fame induction

Golden State Warriors: the rich get richer

NFL, Brady could settle to avoid appeal documents going public

Miguel Herrera apologizes for costly Philly airport fight

Russell Wilson contract $60 million guaranteed? Not so fast

Bernard Pollard backs Tom Brady, disagrees with suspension

Cardale Jones continues to show love toward Ronda Rousey

Joseph Randle on Steven Jackson: ‘He’s at home watching’

Evan Turner reps Ohio State after NBA Africa game

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker