How can Washington’s offense keep rolling against New Orleans?
Coming into week five, Washington has the 11th ranked offense. They are averaging 25.3 points a game and have put up 1368 total yards. Compared to last season, they were only averaging 19.75 points a game along with 1207 total yards. The offense has taken a big step forward to start the season. They will need to keep it up this week against a New Orleans team that creates a lot of turnovers.
New Orleans ‘ defense has forced the 4th most turnovers. The Saints have forced a turnover in 18.2% of their opponent’s drives. That is a total of eight turnovers. Seven of those eight have been interceptions. We all know Washington likes to throw the ball around. Heinicke will have to throw against a very tough secondary highlighted by Marshon Lattimore.
So far, Washington has been stingy on offense. Other than the two interceptions against Buffalo, Heinicke has only thrown one interception over the other three games. That could easily change this week.
Red zone will be key
New Orleans has been one of the best teams keeping opponents out of the endzone. They only allow 33.3% of drives inside the red zone to end with a touchdown, which is tied for best in the league. The Saints have also forced two turnovers in the red zone.
The Football Team has the 7th best red-zone touchdown percentage, scoring on 8 out of 11 drives inside the 20. That has been a big part of this team’s success early. Red zone favorite, Logan Thomas, is week to week with a hamstring injury, and that could affect this team against a stingy Saints defense inside the 20.
Where Is Washington’s Edge?
New Orleans has allowed the 7th most passing yards this season. In the two losses for the Saints, they allowed opposing running backs to account for 137 and 126 yards from scrimmage. That has been a recipe for success in the two wins for Washington. The two-headed monster of Gibson and McKissic accounted for 166 yards from scrimmage against NY and 134 in Atlanta. Even in a loss against the top-ranked Bills defense, Gibson was able to have 100 yards from scrimmage. That is why I think even if the secondary can shut down McLaurin, which has been nearly impossible, the runningbacks can cause some damage.
Big Gulp Guarantee
This week Adam Humphries will get his first receiving touchdown of the season. Since all the focus will be on McLaurin and the runningbacks, Heinicke will have to look for the slot. Samuel came back last week and made some big catches but he was held out of Wednesday’s practice due to his recurring groin injury. Logan Thomas has been sent to IR. Someone needs to step up and it will be Humphries.