Heading into their Week 4 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, the New Orleans Saints have a lot more to preserve than just their 3-0 record and top standing in the NFC South. The Saints, and more specifically their offensive line, must keep their $20 million franchise quarterback Drew Brees upright and give him time to work his magic.
After the dust settled from all of the Week 3 action, the Dolphins were among the league leaders in sacks having tallied a total of 14 through their first three games. This does not mean that the Saints should immediately go into five-alarm panic mode, but it does warrant some mention and some concern.
Without a capable and dependable running game to lean on, New Orleans will be forced to drop back for 40 to 50 passes. That will present Miami pass rushers with more than enough opportunities to get to Brees. Through their first three games New Orleans has only managed to rush for 257 yards on 73 attempts for a not-impressive average of 3.5 yards per carry. Rushing the ball has also only produced one touchdown for the Saints, but this comes with a caveat. That rushing touchdown was a quarterback scramble by Brees last week against the Arizona Cardinals.
Again, this should not cause an all-out panic, but it does cause me to have some reservations about Monday’s game. Hopefully Saints guard Jahri Evans, who has been listed as questionable for Monday with a hamstring injury, will be able to return to the field and return to his productive play. Should that be the case I would feel much more comfortable with Brees dropping back and continuing to hook up with Jimmy Graham, dependable veteran Marques Colston and the reliable Darren Sproles.