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Three Bold Predictions For When the Saints Host The Bengals

Another huge game for the Saints this weekend with the Cincinnati Bengals coming to town. The Saints need to get back to .500. So, let’s throw out some 100% accurate Saints-based bold predictions.

Saints Return A Kick For A Touchdown

Rashid Shaheed announces his NFL debut with a bang and returns a kick (kick-off or punt) to the house for a touchdown.

The special team’s unit needs to step up with injuries mounting on the Saints’ offense. Starting with the return game, reporting is that Rashid Shaheed will handle return duties this game with Deonte Harty likely out for the year.

Shaheed was a priority rookie free agent for the Saints after the draft in May. They guaranteed $222,000 of his salary, which was one of the highest amounts in the league for a UDFA. He ended his career as the FCS all-time leader in kick-off return touchdowns with seven.

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He is a playmaker at the position and someone the Saints have a vision for. He was healthy towards the back end of training camp and they still did not feature him in the preseason, maybe trying to hide him from other teams?

I’ve believed since he was signed that the Saints’ long-term hope was for Shaheed to take Harty’s returner role. With Harty’s contract talks in the summer not ending in a deal, I think with a strong showing on Sunday and throughout the rest of the season that theory becomes reality and Shaheed is the team’s answer at returner going forward.

Marcus Davenport 2+ Sacks

Finally, Marcus Davenport puts together a dominant game that results in sacks. At times Davenport has looked like a force this season laying waste to people left right and center with a dominant bull rush However, those brilliant rushes are not converting into sacks.

This has to be the game for Davenport to prove those that love him right.

The Bengals o-line is not good, especially in pass protection, per PFF their starting five on the o-line have given up:

  1. Jonah Williams (LT) (Four sacks, three QB hits and eight QB hurries)

  2. Cordell Volson (LG) (Three sacks, four QB hits and six QB hurries)

  3. Ted Karras (C) (One sack, one QB hit and eight QB hurries)

  4. Alex Cappa (RG) (Two sacks, three QB hits and two QB hurries)

  5. La’el Collins (RT) (Two sacks, two QB hits and six QB hurries) 

For reference Saints LG Andrus Peat (One sack, one QB hit, and six QB hurries) and RG Cesar Ruiz (One sack and one QB hurry) these two players are much maligned in the world of Saints fans for being bad o-lineman.

This should show that Davenport and the rest of the d-line have an advantageous matchup and should find success this weekend. Especially as Davenport generally lines up somewhere on the left side which looks to be the weakest part of an already pretty poor o-line.

Taysom Hill Carries The Saints’ Offense Yet Again With 120 Scrimmage Yards

Taysom Hill was electric last week against Seattle. Everything he did was widely successful and based solely on last week, he looked like the most dominant offensive weapon in the league.

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However, if history is to be believed that type of performance is hard to replicate. Well, we don’t live in that world and I think he will be dominant again, but this time in a slightly different way.

Yes, he will be great on the ground, realistically even before last week that was always the case (he was averaging 5.6 YPC) before last week’s game.

This week I think more of his 100+ yards from scrimmage as a receiver with 3+ catches added to his offensive repertoire for this week, to add to his dominance on the ground.

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