1. The Saints are on an 16-0 run against the NFCS and surely want to make it 17-0. The Panthers have to come out on fire. If we force a 3 and out on their first series, it's game on for us. If they walk down the field and score a TD we might be in trouble. We have to come out with an attitude that we aren't the Panthers of old.
2. Stop the run. We have to make this a one dimensional game. Plain and simple. Stop the run and we'll force Winston into mistakes. If we don't stop the run it's inevitable that we give up a couple of big plays downfield.
3. This will be a true test for our young DBs. If they can make some plays, which I believe they will, we'll win. Jackson and Horn are legit cover corners and will make it tough for Winston. Our nickel will have to be on point or they kill us underneath.
4. Our defensive line is going against a pretty solid O-line but IMO we have an underrated defensive line. We are solid interior and out the edge. We have to get pressure on Winston. I think we'll get 2 or 3 sacks and plenty of pressures. We have to stop the run. It's the key to winning this game.
5. Offensively we can't start out slow. We can't go two quarter (nearly 3) without points like we did last week. Darnold showed some grit last week when the Jets got it to a one score game and drove us down for a FG to put us back up by 2 scores. Turned out to be the game winning drive.
6. Snow and Brady need to be ready to adjust to what the Saints do after half time. Last week both offensively and defensively we played like a different team in the 2nd half. Neither Snow or Brady had an answer for the adjustments the Jets made. The sign of a good OC and DC is the ability to adjust on the fly after half time.
It's seems like a lot of things that have to go in our favor to win. I believe as long as we don't shoot ourselves in the foot with dropped passes and stupid penalties we will win this game.