Congratulations are in order for Paulson Adebo — the New Orleans Saints cornerback was highlighted as the NFC Defensive Player of the Week fresh off of a breakout game in Week 9. But that’s also true of his opponent this week: Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who orchestrated an impressive comeback win against the Atlanta Falcons minutes after the final whistle in New Orleans.
Dobbs was recognized as the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after an efficient game against Atlanta where he completed 20 of 30 pass attempts for 158 yards, including two touchdown passes. And that’s after he arrived in town just days before in a last-minute trade with the Arizona Cardinals, barely having had time to pick up the playbook. He’s going to be a tough out for a Saints defense that’s become notoriously slow to start in games, relying on strong finishes in the second half to get by with a win.
Adebo and his Saints teammates were challenged early on by a similarly athletic quarterback last week, when Chicago Bears backup Tyson Bagent gained 70 rushing yards on just 8 carries, often scrambling under pressure to escape into the open field. Bagent converted a first down on 5 of those rushing attempts. The Saints must do a better job containing Dobbs, who ran for 66 yards on 7 carries (picking up 4 first downs and scoring a touchdown).
Dobbs isn’t some inexperienced rookie. He’s appeared in 17 games with four different teams since entering the league in 2018, starting 10 of them. He’s been around the block a time or two and won’t be easily fooled by the Saints coverages the way other passers have as of late. He’s a bad matchup for a New Orleans defense that pressures quarterbacks well, but struggles to keep them contained to the pocket and finish plays with sacks. Let’s hope Dennis Allen’s squad will be on top of their game come Sunday afternoon.