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Scouting the Saints

Scouts.com (via ESPN Insider) conducted a search for the best NFC team behind the Bears. You have the Giants, Seahawks, Cowboys, Panthers, Saints, Eagles and Falcons as legitimate contenders. I know, who cares about the NFC, right? I wanted to initiate discussion on the team we're playing this weekend: The Saints. For the second straight week, the Bengals defense will be dealing with a top-ten scoring offense (ranked sixth). The Saints offense is in the top-three in passing, rushing and total yards. If last week was any indication, the Bengals defense may continue their frustration. Let's add to the fact that Dexter Jackson and Deltha O'Neal could miss time Sunday after suffering injuries last week. I swear, we just can't get a break with injury (pun intended). First our entire linebacker corp. goes down. Now our secondary is weakened. It was encouraging in a way that Marvin Lewis admitted the secondary didn't play well and it wasn't an issue of schemes or talent (which I don't believe was the case anyway).

Analyzing the Saints, Scouts.com said that the New Orleans' defense is their weakness. Of the secondary, Scouts.com said, "the secondary will get exploited on the back end in coverage." Coming off a career passing day, this must have Carson Palmer salivating.

Other tid bits from Scouts.com scouting report.

Bengals rushing: Cincinnati would be wise to give him 20-plus carries this week in an attempt to wear down the Saints' defensive front. New Orleans is very well coached and extremely sound. Getting them out of their gaps will not be easy. But Pittsburgh wore the Saints down last week and Willie Parker popped long runs as the game went along. The Saints particularly struggled on outside runs. Saints rushing: Cincinnati's defense is soft against the run and the Saints have two talented running backs in Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush.
Bengals passing: In terms of pure talent, the Bengals receivers have a massive advantage against the New Orleans secondary... The Saints' defensive ends -- RDE Will Smith and LDE Charles Grant -- are very good pass rushers and both players are having fine seasons. Saints passing: The Saints has a lot of weapons in their passing game and they utilize them all very well. Brees is a superb decision maker and is very accurate, which is what the entire passing game is built on. He could have a huge day this week, as the Bengals' were torched last week by Brees' replacement in San Diego, Philip Rivers.

Saints, Bengals feature explosive offenses [ESPN Insider]
Who will be the team to challenge the Bears? [ESPN Insider]
T.J. probable; O'Neal, Jackson questionable [Bengals.com]