The undefeated Packers travel to New Orleans to battle a team in transition after a home loss to the Raiders.
Here are the three big things we think are key:
Crowd Noise: The Packers have lucked out that there are crowd restrictions for road games at Minnesota and New Orleans. The Saints will have a crowd of 750 friends and family of players in attendance, but that won’t result in the same level of volume that is typical at Saints home games. New Orleans has been exceedingly loud in the past… maybe even artificially enhanced. The league has been allowing teams to pipe in fake crowd noise up to 70 decibels through the first two weeks of the season, and it has been increased to 80 decibels starting this week. Still, that’s the difference between office noise and a window air conditioner. Aaron Rodgers and this offense should have no problem getting their signals down over the sound of an air conditioner.
Adams Out: Speaking of that offense, it will likely be without Davante Adams this week. I know there’s a lot of teeth-gnashing among some fans that think the Packers need more help at receiver, but the cold hard fact is that the LaFleur offense is specifically built to not need a bunch of premium talent at wide receiver. If going 4-0 without Adams last year didn’t prove anything, the proliferation of wide open Packers receivers this year should give fans confidence that the Packers will have a winning game plan on offense with Rodgers at the helm.
Kamara is the New Brees: The Saints offense, on the other hand, is transitioning away from their quarterback. Drew Brees used to be the engine that ran the New Orleans offense, stat-padding to the very end of every game. Anyone who watched the Saints lose to the Raiders last week saw how far Brees has fallen. He’s 41 and playing like it. His arm, accuracy, and decision-making have declined rapidly the last couple of years. He’s still smart enough to find the holes in a defense and he can still get a deep ball out there, but he’s not the threat he used to be. Alvin Kamara, on the other hand, is a beast in his prime. He can run inside and outside and is a major threat in the screen game. Without Kenny Clark at 100%, the Packers may have a hard time containing him. Gaps will need to be filled and the scheme will have to be adjusted… or the Packers can just keep doing what they’ve been doing and hope the offense can outscore their opponent.