Saints need to avoid ‘eating the cheese’ in Green Bay

  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
Lions at Saints 2017
Saints linebacker Craig Robertson (#52) strips Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford during a 52-38 New Orleans victory in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (Photo: Parker Waters).

Sunday in Green Bay is a so-called trap game for the Saints, if there ever was one.

The Packers have lost their superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the foreseeable future with a broken collarbone.

Brett Hundley will be making his first career start against a Saints defense that has something it hasn’t had since 2013, confidence and skins on the wall.

The Saints defense scored three times in a win over the Detroit Lions. The touchdowns were actually the difference in a New Orleans win. Imagine that.

However, safety Kenny Vaccaro isn’t eating the cheese (pun intended).

“I have been through 50 games of bad defense,” said Vaccaro. “Until we start stacking a year or two, that’s when the culture as actually has changed.”

Rodgers’ absence cannot be underestimated.

Last season, he threw 40 touchdowns against only seven interceptions. His quarterback rating was 104.2.

This season, Rodgers had already thrown 13 touchdown passes.

This week, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees noted that Hundley had played very well against the Saints in a preseason game in 2015. Hundley threw for 236 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-10 Green Bay win.

But, that was the final preseason when backups play against backups.

This week, the Saints will have all week to prepare for Hundley, and vice versa. For the first time, Hundley will be instantly compared to the future Hall of Famer he is replacing.

That isn’t fair, but that’s reality.

Can Hundley handle the pressure? 

The Saints vastly improved secondary allows the club to put more heat on the passer, and take advantage of a suspect offensive line and running game.

Whatever success Green Bay had this season offensively was based on the exploits of one of the most talented quarterbacks to ever play NFL football.

If you don’t think so, ask Kenny Vaccaro.

“Superman” is what Vaccaro called Rodgers as he huddled with New Orleans media Wednesday.

If you don’t think so, check out the Vegas shops.

The line with a healthy Rodgers, was Green Bay minus 6.5. The line is now Saints minus 4.

That is a seismic shift.

So, can the Saints force Hundley into mistakes?

Can Hundley get off to a hot start, make some plays with his arm and his feet and get the Lambeau stadium crowd in it?

Can the Saints score early to put the pressure on a young quarterback?

But, here may be the biggest question. Can the Saints handle success, especially on defense?

Sean Payton, a Bill Parcells coaching clone, should steal a motivational ploy from his mentor.

When the Jets were playing a so-called trap game, Parcells put mousetraps in every players’ locker. That reminder did its job on that Sunday. The Jets won.

A team that believes it is advancing back to the top of the NFC has a chance to show its maturity this Sunday, on the road against a backup quarterback.

  • < PREV Audio: Ken Trahan previews Louisiana high school football Week 8, Saints-Packers on Chris Gordy Show
  • NEXT > Pelicans center Ajinca out 4-to-6 weeks
Ed Daniels

Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

Read more >