Williams’ workload will be full blast in the Superdome Sunday.
- Falcons hangover: This is the perfect time to go into New Orleans and upset the Saints. Brees’ boys are coming off a game they should have won in OT. Don’t you think they will be emotionally haywire? I believe there’s a lingering effect after such a tough loss. Look at Washington last week against St. Louis. Losing in overtime takes a toll on you. Not only physically, but also mentally. The Saints are kicking themselves in the foot. As we speak, they are trying out field goal kickers. The offense looks out of sync. Something is wrong, get ’em while they’re shaken and out of sorts.
- Panthers perfect game plan: DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart can control the clock, tempo, and keep it at a Panthers pace. Get back to basics, your calling card. Just follow what the 49ers and Falcons did by running Gore and Turner at will. The Saints defense cannot get off the field on 3rd downs. They are built to force turnovers, not to limit yards. Big plays will be hard to come by, that doesn’t matter. To beat the Saints you have to hold on to the ball and keep Brees off the field. Simple. This team fits the mold to beat the Saints. They are familiar with Sean Payton’s tricks. They have a solid secondary that can prevent yards after the catch, an area where the Saints thrive and get you. Let the RB combo go to work, and watch the rook Clausen excel on play-action.
- Steve Smith/Jon Beason: Carolina has the intensity. Watch the two leaders bring it up a notch. Everyone will follow their lead in a game of this magnitude. Panthers need a win, urgency will be in full force. Beason’s troops do a good job of patrolling the middle, an area Brees loves to attack on short-intermediate crossing routes. Dink and dunk will be denied by Beason’s bunch. On the other side of the ball, Steve Smith has to get going. This is a divisional game, he’s getting up big-time for this one. Smith can do his work after the catch. Watch him get involved early and often with the Cats finding creative ways to get him the rock. Two big players, two big games, more reason to think the Panthers are due, ripe to upset a sputtering Saints squad.