Brett Hundley will be making his first career start at quarterback this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Even though he looked very green last week coming in for Aaron Rodgers, that can be excused since he was coming in for an injured man and it was against the Vikings; one of the best defensive teams in the NFL. With a full week of practice and against a defense that isn’t that good, we can see how good Hundley can be and if fans can dial down the panic button with the absence of Rodgers.
The good news for Hundley is the Saints have one of the worst defenses in the league. On average, they give up 369 yards a game which is 26th in the entire league. Even better they give up 268 passing yards a game which is 27th in the league. Also, Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari will be probable to play as they both returned to practice this week. In addition to Hundley was a highly touted prospect while he played at UCLA as he was once considered a likely first round pick. In last week’s game against the Vikings he seemed to have great chemistry with Davante Adams as he targeted him all game and during the preseason he had great chemistry with Jeff Janis.
The bad news for Hundley and offensive line is the Saints are one of the best pass rushing teams in the NFL with 16 total sacks which ranks seventh. They are also one of the league’s best in getting interceptions as they rank fifth with 7 picks. Along with those numbers, the Saints have a plethora of talented defensive starters such as Manti Te’o, AJ Klein, Cameron Jordan, Kenny Vaccaro and Marshon Lattimore. Klein leads the team in tackles with 27, Jordan leads the team in sacks with 5 and Vaccaro leads the team in interceptions with 2.
Going back to the good news, Mike McCarthy given a full week, knows how to prepare for a football game under any circumstances. He knows Hundley isn’t Aaron Rodgers so he won’t have him throw the ball 50 times and plays will probably be more catered for a college quarterback as that’s what Hundley basically is. With a healthy offensive line, along with a healthy Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones expect a huge commitment to the run and with greater success as the Saints are not the Vikings on defense. McCarthy will probably run more of the spread, along with option plays that utilize Hundley’s athleticism. Hundley has quite a strong arm so a lot of deep passes might also be sprinkled in. McCarthy is great at bringing out young players’ strengths while limiting their weaknesses and Hundley has the talent to start in the NFL. Rodgers may be the most talented quarterback to ever lace up a pair of cleats and his absence will be shown in the Packers offensive numbers but Hundley can be the guy who is capable of being enough to keep the offense productive.