Found October 11, 2013 on isportsweb.com:
The New Orleans Saints (5-0) travel to Foxboro to play the New England Patriots (4-1) at 4:25 ET. The most obvious headline is the battle between two of the best quarterback-coach combinations for the decade or so in Sean Payton and Drew Brees and Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The Brady vs Brees matchup has been pretty one sided as Brees has won every matchup he has had with Brady dating back to his days in San Diego with Chargers. For Brees and the Saints to keep this record intact, they will have to play a great game and here are some keys to achieving this goal. Rob Gronkowski Besides the Brady-Brees headline, Gronk has dominated Sportscenter and other sports media outlets with his whole will he won’t he narrative. Assuming Gronkowski comes back he presents a very stiff test for the improved Saints defense. The Saints have been somewhat exploited by opposing tight ends like Tony Gonzalez and Charles Clay. Neither had great yardage totals, but both were able to find the end zone. Gronkowski’s size and skill is going to be a different task, however. Luckily for the Saints, they have their own Gronk that they go against in practice named Jimmy Graham, so it isn’t totally new for the Saints. Expect Ryan to double Gronk and be very physical at the outset with Kenny Vaccaro, Malcolm Jenkins, and the linebackers to make sure he isn’t comfortable to begin the game. Properly containing Gronk will force the Brady to rely on more inexperienced options like Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson. The Saints Run Game Another game, another chance for the Saints try to get their ground game back. The Patriots’ defense is very disciplined, but they lost their biggest (size and importance) piece of their defense 2 weeks ago for the season in Vince Wilfork. The lack of Wilfork will make the Saints’ endeavor of having a stable ground attack a little bit easier. Big Vince, when playing, is one of the most disruptive forces in the NFL. Without him the Patriots will rely on Joe Vellano and Tommy Kelly to fill the void. If the Saints are able to get their ground attack going, that keep Tom Brady off the field and allows them to control the pace of the game which is absolutely key to winning road games. Marques Colston will have a test as he will be matched up against Aqib Talib. Marques Colston vs Aqib Talib In all the talk about Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles and their impact on the offense Colston has become a little bit of a forgotten piece. This is due, in part, to his quiet demeanor and his consistency which isn’t too flashy. This week he has another tough test. Aqib Talib, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Saints nemesis, has quietly put together a shutdown corner like season with impressive outings against Julio Jones, Roddy White, and AJ Green the past three games. Colston will have his chances against Talib one on one as most of the safety and linebacker help will be given to Graham and Sproles. It will be imperative for Colston to step up and win against Talib as the Saints will be expected to be in a track meet with the Patriots offense. X Factor: Saints’ rush defense The Saints rush defense put up a nice performance last week against the Bears, but other than that they have been very susceptible to big gains on the ground. For all the shine that Brady gets, the Patriots run game can be decent and provide problems for opposing defenses. The trio of Stevan Ridley, Legarrette Blount, and Brandon Bolden can provide New England some balance as they will look to keep the ball out of Brees’ hands. If the Saints can stop the New England running game that will put a lot of pressure on Brady; and this past year has proven that Brady isn’t as in sync with his receivers as he wants to be, so there may be some turnovers available.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Drew Brees won't let sons play football until they're older

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has made a fantastic living playing football. But that doesn't mean he is willing to let his three sons follow in his footsteps. In fact, Brees and his wife have already decided that they won't allow any of their sons to play football before they are teenagers. If they want to pick up pigskin by the time they are teenagers, they...

Proud Patriots defense bracing for Brees

New England's defense is in for its toughest test of the season Sunday, when quarterback Drew Brees leads the high-powered New Orleans Saints (5-0) into a highly anticipated clash with the Patriots (4-1). Brees has thrown for 1,722 yards, second only to Denver's Peyton Manning. ''He'll never stare down a receiver and throw it straight to him,'' New England...

Round Table: Is Brady Declining?

Are the offensive struggles solely due to the overhaul in personnel or is Tom Brady starting to show signs of decline? Jason: I think it's an 85-15 split between personnel and decline. He's not making bad decisions with the football, but he's undoubtably playing carefully with the football since he doesn't have the same trust with this receiving corps and he...

Brady needs frustration to pass

The midweek NFL injury report came out Wednesday, and as usual New England did not list the most obvious item. Name: Tom Brady. Position: Quarterback. Injury: Tongue. Game Status: Probable. The Patriots' offense is a mess. As he has done throughout his career, Brady bit his tongue when asked why. By now it must be hanging together by a couple of taste buds. "I just want...

Report: ‘Serious concern’ over Rob Gronkowski’s forearm

The New England Patriots had hoped tight end Rob Gronkowski would make his season debut this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. However, Gronkowski has yet to be cleared by orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Jesse Jupiter, who performed the latest forearm surgery on Gronkowski. According to a source of WEEI.com, “there is 

Saints' top RBs producing more in passing game

When Drew Brees has handed off to Pierre Thomas or Darren Sproles, it hasn't amounted to much lately. Yet when Brees has targeted either running back with short passes, it has produced first downs, touchdowns, sustained drives and victories for the unbeaten New Orleans Saints. Through five games, Thomas and Sproles have combined for nearly double the yards and three times more...

Saints Nation: Five Things to Look for in Saints at Patriots

I do believe the Saints will face their toughest opponent to date this season, on the road no less, as they take on the Patriots in Foxboro. If the Saints want to go 6-0 they are definitely going to have to earn it today. There is no question they have the talent and ability to take this one, though. But it will likely take close to a perfect game from the Saints to pull off. Here...

The Fab Five: NFL Power Rankings Week 6

Welcome to the latest edition of the “NFL Fab Five,” our look at the top five teams in pro football prior to the start of Week Six. As usual, the regular season is flying by and the playoffs will be here before we know it, leaving us wondering where the past few months have gone by mid-February. After last week’s action, only the Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, and Kansas...

Patriots-Saints Live: Tom Brady Must Perform Better Despite Likely Being Without Rob Gronkowski For Another Week

8 a.m. ET: The Patriots got Danny Amendola back last Sunday. They’re expected to have their starting running back, Stevan Ridley, on the field against the Saints. But one key offensive playmaker is still missing. Rob Gronkowski is expected to take another week off after not being cleared by Dr. James Andrews. The All-Pro tight end has yet to play this season after he underwent...

Fantasy Football: Game of the Week Preview

These two teams are a combined 9-1 this season with six Super Bowl appearances in the last 12 years. It's actually surprising and depressing that we haven't had the privilege to watch these two powerhouses perform on the biggest stage in the final game. Last year, the Saints started the season 0-4 and had a defense that allowed 28.4 points per game in 2012 (31st in the league...

Saints Nation: Blogging with the Enemy - Foxboro Blog

I caught up with my buddy Derek Hanson who runs "Foxboro Blog", one of the very first blogs to join the Bloguin network. before Sunday's game for your usual Q&A. Many thanks to Derek for dropping some knowledge, I bet you'll learn some stuff. Personally he's given me a little more confidence going into this game, and I already felt good about it. Note we...

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: SMOKE (fires out) | AND MIRRORS (cracked)

I'm calling this one a rant, it comes to you unedited and written by Shawn Moran. If you are interested in posting an article, a statement, a rant, which isn't "Trolling" in nature, and is sports related, do so by going HERE. You can also send us your stuff by emailing us at SportsBrosReport@gmail.com.Follow the Shawn on Twitter:Sundays Are For Football | Its...

Q&A Session with The Saints Nation

  Fellow Bloguineer, Andrew Juge, who is the lead editor over at The Saints Nation, emailed me a handful of questions about the Patriots and their upcoming game against New Orleans.  The article is posted on his site, but I thought I'd share some of the questions and answers with you.  You can read them below and be sure to check out The Saints Nation for some insights...

Four Point Stance: Saints at Patriots

BY SEAN DONOVANThe division-leading New England Patriots return home after splitting a two-game road trip, first winning in Atlanta before dropping a sloppy contest in Cincinnati last week.They'll need to tighten up their game before they face the undefeated New Orleans Saints, who are coming off a thorough road win over the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears. Saints quarterback...

Positional Points Against – Kickers Week 6

We all have difficult decisions to make when setting our line up for the week. Getting into situations where you aren’t sure who to play can eat at you all week all the way up to kick off – going back and forth – for this reason or that reason. “Did I pick the right person!?” “Ahhhhhhh!! What do I do?!” Sometimes playing your match ups can serve you well when trying...
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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.