Sean Payton talks Week 5 meeting vs. Washington

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The Washington Football Team hosts the New Orleans Saints in Week 5 action at FedEx Field.

The two teams last played in 2018, when the Saints blew out Washington, 43-19. However, this is a far different New Orleans’ team than the one Washington has faced over the last 15 years.

There will be no Drew Brees under center for the Saints. But head coach Sean Payton still roams the sidelines for New Orleans.

Earlier this week, Payton met with the media and discussed Washington:

“If you look at their defense, you would say that it us a very good front,” Payton said, per Sharief Ishaq of WDSU-TV in New Orleans. “A group that can rush the passer. They are extremely athletic. Obviously, a lot has been invested in that group with first-round picks. So you have to be on point with your protection plan. They have real good press, man-to-man type cover players.”

This is where you ask the question: which Washington team has Payton been watching?

Washington’s defense was supposed to be one of the best in the NFL in 2021, but through four games, they are worst in the NFL in third-down defense and one of three teams allowing 30 points or more.

Payton also offered some praise for Washington’s offense.

I’m watching the film and you can see this 41 (running back J.D. McKissic) make a play that ends up really being a game-winner. You look at the receiver strength with Terry McLaurin. I think it’s a veteran group. Obviously, a young quarterback (Taylor Heinicke) that we’re somewhat familiar with here. He was at Carolina.

Payton knows Ron Rivera well from their time in the NFC South when Rivera was the head coach of the Panthers. He looks forward to seeing his old friend:

“I’m looking to seeing him; I’m not looking forward to the challenge his team presents,” Payton said with a laugh. “Yes, it’s good to see him.”

Payton is 12-7 all-time vs. Rivera-coached teams.

Washington and New Orleans will kick off at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday.