Steelers Expect To See Familiar Defensive Scheme Sunday Against Vikings

Jonathan Hernandez
September 15, 2017

The Saints are certainly not the 1985 Chicago Bears on defense.

The long, awful march to Injured Reserve continues for the Bears as they lost linebacker Jerrell Freeman to a pectoral injury this weekend. But the running back who was most under utilized was Mark Ingram. The entire Saints running game totaled 60 yards.

But Ingram has only played a full 16-game season in two of his six National Football League seasons, so the Saints have to wonder if last year was just luck or if Ingram has turned the corner and can be a reliable back for a few more years. The Atlanta Falcons are loaded with offensive weapons and so are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The only thing that really makes the situation in doubt is how the Bucs are feeling post-Irma.

On defense, most of the snaps were played by rookies or sophomore players. Bradford was only sacked once, but even more impressive was that he was only hit one other time.

Now that Vikings fans have seen their team play well in a meaningful game, can it continue?

The frequently heavy pressure allowed by Minnesota's offensive line last season prompted, naturally, just as much heat on the group from outside of the team. Ereck Flowers is a special kind of disaster at left tackle, and Bobby Hart isn't any great shakes on the right side.

"It was a little different, but once I got out there, it was more fun", Peterson said.

Payton was just as adamant that nothing deep happened. With sharp play calling by offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and some fruitful checks at the line of scrimmage by Bradford, an offense that often lacked a punch a year ago behind a leaky offensive line was in prime form against a renovated Saints defense. While the interior was largely to thank for Dalvin Cook's performance, it was the guys on the edge who stood up and kept Sam Bradford on his feet to make those throws. Ezekiel Elliott ran all over them and while Dak Prescott wasn't as sharp as he was in 2016, he still managed 268 yards and a touchdown. They are also desperate which makes them unsafe.

The Vikings had a good game plan, one that took advantage of the Saints' inexperience at corner. Sam Bradford, dare we say it, looked better than he has in a very long time and Stefon Diggs was dominant.

The Vikings managed both, winning over the New Orleans Saints 29-19. "We're going to learn from this". Not much, as the Saints defense is just as bad this year as it has been every year. "There's a communication that goes on between base and nickel and without singling anyone out, we didn't get it communicated clear enough and fortunately it didn't end up hurting us on that specific play".

The Saints still have time to get into a good rhythm as an offense this season. Look for the Steelers to bottle him up. It's one thing taking down Michael Thomas.

The Steelers defense looks pretty good, if they struggled more than expected against the Cleveland Browns next week. New Orleans had an incredible draft which gave them increased hopes of improvement. While that type of production won't win you a fantasy league, it will help win games.

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