SOLID SPECIAL TEAMS- While a big play from special teams would be great to see, unless it's going to be a game saving block or guaranteed points, I'll pull for just an ordinary day without any mistakes. The way our offense almost poops their pants when given good field position, is something I can do without seeing. It definitely is a morale killer for me on the couch, I can only imagine what it does to the special teams unit.
DON'T FORCE THE SAINTS INTO A QUARTERBACK CHANGE- Yes, kind of weird I know. It looks like Derek Carr is playing today. My gut it telling me that we will be better off if he is the opposing quarterback from start to finish. Like most quarterbacks he is much more accurate with a clean pocket, while we don't want to give him that, hurrying him into decisions as opposed to flattening him on his back in the first half might work out better in the long run. While he hasn't done much lately, the next man up is Jameis Winston. Overall, I feel better about playing a nicked up Carr than a hungry Winston. If this were the MLB I'd be hoping for a game day trade of Mac for Jameis.
FORCE PASSES TO THE MIDDLE OF THE FIELD- Almost any passes thrown past the line of scrimmage by Carr are going to go to the right side of the field. While I don't suggest leaving anyone open down the left or up the middle, with our depleted cornerback situation, we need to put our best available on their most likely target.
MAKE TACKLES- The first game of the season we were putting on a tackling clinic. Since then we've been all over the place.
FEED THE TIGHT ENDS- The Patriots have targeted their tight ends 38 times for 29 receptions. Of those 29 receptions, 18 went for first downs. Tight ends account for 3 of the team's 6 offensive scores. Personally, I think Bourne is more of a tight end than a wide receiver. If you throw his 2 touchdowns into the mix, that's 5 of the 6 touchdowns. Mac is not accurate and can't make a side-line throw to save his life. He needs a big body to throw to and someone who will fight for the ball if needed. Moreover, the Saints defense doesn't appear to be that great at covering tight ends as they've given up receptions on over 70% of their targets. Since they only give up receptions on 50% of pass to wide receivers, the tight ends need to be targeted early and often.