The NFC will be well represented when the New Orleans Saints travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in what should be a tightly contested matchup to close the book on Week 7.
Pete Carroll and the Seahawks enter the crucial contest on a two-game losing streak and are quickly losing ground in the ultra-competitive NFC West. The Saints are well rested and coming off a much-needed bye week and will look to build upon the momentum gained during their convincing Week 5 victory over the Washington Football Team.
Both teams will be desperate for a victory as they attempt to maintain competitiveness in two difficult divisions. Here are three player-versus-player matchups we’re particularly excited to monitor.
MARSHON LATTIMORE VS. D.K. METCALF
We couldn’t possibly start with anything else, seeing that Lattimore vs. Metcalf promises to be the marquee matchup of the night. Lattimore is a true shutdown corner and should see plenty of Metcalf, even if Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen doesn’t specifically task Lattimore with following Metcalf all over the formation.
Both Lattimore and Metcalf have been in top form this season and should give one another all they could handle on what could nearly be a snap-by-snap basis. Lattimore has recorded a league-leading 10 pass breakups thus far (via Pro Football Focus) and Metcalf has secured an impressive five touchdown catches through just six games. It’ll be Goliath vs. Goliath on Monday.
ALVIN KAMARA VS. SEATTLE’S LINEBACKERS
The Seahawks defense have been horrid thus far and enter Monday’s game as the league’s worst statistical unit, giving up an astounding 433.2 yards per contest. Linebackers Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks have actually played some quality football this season, but the latter has been known to struggle in coverage. This is an area of the game where Kamara could particularly hurt Seattle’s defense.
Kamara enters the contest with three receiving touchdowns and, as per usual, will be a big part of New Orleans’ offense, both as a runner and as a pass-catcher. If the likes of Wagner and Brooks fail to contain Kamara early, things could get ugly.
SEAHAWKS PASS RUSH VS. SAINTS PASS PROTECTION
The Seahawks need to apply pressure on Jameis Winston in hopes of forcing the gunslinging quarterback into a mistake or two on Monday night. The problem with that? The Seahawks struggle to get after the quarterback on a consistent basis. Darrell Taylor is the team’s sack leader and is questionable to play on Monday after suffering a scary injury in primetime a week ago.
Taylor's potential absence would leave Seattle incredibly thin in a key area of the game. The former Tennessee standout is the lone Seahawks defender to have recorded more than a single sack this season. This could be an issue given that the Saints are incredibly stout up front and feature some of the best bookends in all of football in Ryan Ramczyk and Terron Armstead. The Saints have given up a measly nine sacks as a unit thus far. The Saints certainly hold the advantage on paper.