Seahawks vs. Saints: 7 matchups to watch on Monday Night Football

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The Seattle Seahawks are back under the lights again this week as they host the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. The last time these two teams met on MNF was the famous 34-7 blowout back in the 2013 season. That was a long time ago, though and New Orleans is favored by nearly a touchdown coming into this one, so Seattle will need several key players to step up their game to pull off the upset.

The Saints have a deep and balanced roster, making each individual matchup that much more important. Here are seven that should move the needle.

D.K. Metcalf vs. Marshon Lattimore

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Even with Russell Wilson sidelined by his finger injury, D.K. Metcalf has continued to produce. Metcalf’s passer rating when targeted this season is 140.0, the second highest in the NFL. This week he’ll face off against Marshon Lattimore, one of the league’s top man cover cornerbacks. He has only allowed a 68.1 passer rating and a 41.9% completion percentage in coverage this year.

Brandon Shell vs. Cameron Jordan

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle’s offensive line had a rough time last week trying to deal with T.J. Watt. This time around they’ll have to deal with All-Pro Cameron Jordan. Right tackle Brandon Shell has to keep Jordan away from Geno Smith, but it won’t be easy. Jordan hasn’t collected a sack yet this year and seems overdue for a breakout performance.

Shane Waldron vs. Dennis Allen

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Seahawks offense was pathetic in the first half in Pittsburgh, thanks in no small part to a dull gameplan by offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. He has to be more creative this week, especially since he has to match wits with Dennis Allen. New Orleans ranks third in scoring defense, allowing just 18.2 points per game this season.

Seahawks RBs vs. Demario Davis

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Right now it’s anybody’s guess who will start at running back for the Seahawks. Chris Carson is on IR, Alex Collins is banged up and Rashaad Penny hasn’t been activated as of yet. Whoever winds up getting the carries, they’ll have to find a way to make Demario Davis miss. Davis has only missed one tackle attempt so far this year.

Bobby Wagner vs. Alvin Kamara

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks have to contend with Alvin Kamara, who is both the Saints’ best rusher and their leader in targets with 22. Containing a threat like Kamara usually falls to Bobby Wagner, who ranks second in the NFL in tackles coming into this week.

Seahawks DEs vs. Saints OTs

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

New Orleans has a mean pair of bouncers on the outside in left tackle Terron Armstead and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, easily the best OT combo in football. Seattle has some promising young edge rushers, though. Alton Robinson deserves more snaps, especially if Darrell Taylor is unable to go.

Seahawks corners vs. Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Another guy who’s earned more playing time is rookie cornerback Tre Brown, who had a magnificent debut against the Steelers. He should be starting opposite D.J. Reed. They’ll need to make sure to keep the Saints’ top-two wide receivers in front of them. Deonte Harris is averaging 19.7 yards per catch (No. 4 in the NFL), while Marquez Callaway is at 17.1.

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