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Where’s Willie?

After putting up two back-to-back productive seasons in a Saints uniform, wide receiver Willie Snead has seen his role significantly reduced in 2017. It all started when he was suspended for the first three games of the regular season after violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

From that moment forward Snead has been in head coach Sean Payton’s doghouse. The Saints offense has drastically changed in 2017. They no longer rely solely on the arm of Drew Brees to bail them out of close ball games. The Saints running game has been the driving force behind their success this season.

However, going into the divisional round matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, Drew Brees and the Saints receiving corps will need to be at their best. In last week’s wild-card game against the Carolina Panthers, their defense completely sold out against the run, which turned out to be successful. However, that’s when Drew Brees would go to work on the Panthers secondary.

Carolina’s defense is just as good as Minnesota’s, but the significant difference between the two is that the Vikings have the better secondary. If Willie Snead can step up and make significant contributions in Sunday’s contest against the Vikings, it will pay huge dividends going forward.

Snead is capable of being the type of wide receiver that can make crucial plays from the slot position. If Vikings corner Xavier Rhodes shuts down Saints wideout Michael Thomas in tomorrow’s contest, Drew Brees will have to find another go-to-guy in the passing game.

As much as Ted Ginn Jr. has contributed to the Saints success this season, I do not believe he can be that guy that Brees can rely on consistently in the passing game because we all know that the butterfingers version of Ted Ginn Jr. can show up at any moment.

The Saints are a different team from what they were in the Week 1 matchup against the Vikings, but if they fail to have success in both the passing and running game, then it will be more of the same old story. An immense contribution from Willie Snead can change things significantly for the Saints in Sunday’s football game.


Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

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Derrick Branch is the founder and lead writer of Tops Sports.Com. He is a die-hard sports fan and keeps it 100 on all things that involve the NFL, NBA, NCAA Football.
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