The New Orleans Saints face off against the Indianapolis Colts this weekend. Anthony Richardson is out for the season due to injury, and the dynamic rookie quarterback was supposed to be one of the bigger challenges in this game. Despite his absence, there are still many matchups that make this game exciting.
Indianapolis just scored 38 points on the Cleveland Browns a week ago. This speaks to the talent of some of their weapons. However, they lost that game because the Browns scored 39. This means the Saints are going to have to find ways to score points just in case they aren’t able to limit the Colts offense.
Here are the 4 matchups to watch in this week’s game:
Michael Pittman Jr. vs. Marshon Lattimore
Don’t let Pittman’s recent comments about his targets fool you. He is the leading receiver for the Indianapolis Colts. One of the reasons he was frustrated is because Pittman feels he could create a big play in any moment. That big play ability is exactly what New Orleans should look out for.
Pittman has had a catch of 25 yards or more in every game this year except for two, including a 75-yard touchdown reception versus the Browns. Marshon Lattimore is the Saints’ best cornerback and also the cornerback best suited to defend against big plays. He handles routes downfield better than Paulson Adebo.
Jonathan Taylor vs. Demario Davis and Pete Werner
Jonathan Taylor began to show signs of his old self in his third game back from injury. He had 18 carries which was more carries than his first two games combined. Taylor has been a dangerous runner since he’s come into the league in 2020, averaging 5 yards per carry for his career.
Demario Davis is also one of the best players at his position. The linebacker is still dealing with an injury that limited Davis last week. He played a season low 73% of the snaps. That’s why Pete Werner will need to be a big part of this matchup. Werner needs to have an 8-tackle type of performance similar to when the Saints played the Titans
DeForest Buckner vs. Saints left guard
Buckner is a force on the interior defensive line of the Colts. He also may be gifted with one of the bigger mismatches of this game. James Hurst is already ruled out for this game. Max Garcia (illness) and Andrus Peat (ankle) were both limited participants in practice. Peat was just added to the injury report on Friday.
It’s unclear how many injuries at left guard it would take for Trevor Penning to start at left tackle. You’d assume Peat would slide back to guard if enough players get injured. He has been the left tackle with Hurst out. Whether it’s Peat, Garcia, or maybe rookie Nick Saldiveri, Buckner could be an issue for New Orleans
Shaquille Leonard vs. Alvin Kamara will be a very entertaining matchup from a stylistic standpoint. Leonard is the type of athletic, rangy linebacker you’d want to go against Kamara. Kamara’s game is at it’s best in space. If the offense continues in its current direction, he may the most important weapon on the unit. In turn, we’d see this matchup quite frequently.
Kamara has double digit catches in two of his four games this year. Those games have gone in two completely different directions. He recorded 13 carries for a measly 33 yards against the Buccaneers and 12 catches for 91 yards. These are two vastly different results. The Saints are looking for the latter more frequently.