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The Jeff Falconio Blog

Packers-Saints: Three keys

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Stopping Sproles As noted yesterday, Darren Sproles is a very explosive player and can beat you by running, receiving and returning.  The Saints, like the Packers, haven't been able to duplicate their offensive excellence of last season.  However, a big day from Sproles could put the Saints on track.  Sproles must be accounted for and can't be given chances to make explosive plays.

Takeaways The Saints rank 30th in scoring defense and last in total defense.  New Orleans has a recent history of giving up yards but forcing drive-changing plays like sacks and turnovers.  That has not been the case this season.  The Saints are middle of the pack in sacks but more importantly, they've registered only four takeaways (including one interception).  The bend-but-don't-break defense has indeed broken the first three weeks.

Pass Protection It's hard to overlook the eight sacks given up in the first half on Monday night.  However that number didn't tell the whole story as Aaron Rodgers stayed vertical in the second half.  Look for the Packers to mix in Cedric Benson a bit earlier to slow the New Orleans pass rush and open things up for Rodgers.

Prediction Packers 31, Saints 21

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