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Key Matchups

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    <span>              <span style="TEXT-DECORATION: underline;">WHEN THE SAINTS HAVE THE BALL  

Saints Wide Receivers Against CB Nnamdi Asomugha and CB DeAngelo Hall:
The Saints are known to mix-and-match which side of the formations their wide receivers line up on and use plenty of different motions and sets. 14 different Saints players have caught at least one pass this season and the team potentially could get the services of standout Marques Colston back on Sunday. Colston, who has missed the past four games with a thumb injury, not only presents unique match-up problems due to his height, but also is a crafty and wily route runner who uses his outstanding size to his create mismatches. Asomugha, at 6-2, 210 pounds, possesses excellent size and speed and has quickly earned the reputation as one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. Saints Head Coach Sean Payton said of the sixth-year Cal product.

"He's one of the best (cornerbacks in the league), I think. He's the best we have seen on film. He's long-armed, he's really good at bump and run coverage, he has good recoverability, he's tall, he has great ball skills and he's very intelligent."

Hall, of course, is no stranger to the Saints, having previously played for the Atlanta Falcons the past four seasons. Hall was acquired by the Raiders in an off-season trade with the Falcons and is an aggressive corner who has earned two Pro Bowl nominations over his first four seasons. He has recorded two interceptions thus far this season and now has 19 career interceptions through 61 career games.

WHEN THE RAIDERS HAVE THE BALL
Saints Linebackers Against RB Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush
The Saints' linebacking crew of Scott Fujita, Jonathan Vilma and Scott Shanle are together for the third time this season in the starting lineup together. Fujita missed the games at Washington and Denver with bruised knee, but has returned and helped the Saints' defense play very well against the run in games featuring top rushers such as San Francisco's Frank Gore and Minnesota's Adrian Peterson.

McFadden, a rookie, is a well-built 6-2, 210 pounds and brings a hard running style, the ability to break tackles and is a home-run threat out of the backfield. He is averaging 5.3 yards a carry and has a long run of 50 yards already this season. Fargas, 6-1, 220, is in his sixth year and a favorite of the coaching staff's with his extremely physical style of running (5.2 yards per carry). Last season, as the featured back, Fargas rushed for over 1,000 yards and also has big play ability, as evidenced by his 42-yard jaunt earlier this season. With the potent running attack that is averaging 155 yards a game, the Raiders will most likely try to hammer away at the Saints' defense with their running game and mix in play-action passes to their receivers and tight ends. Bush is the relative unknown of the group, having spent last season on the reserve list. But Bush (52 carries), at 245 pounds, has almost as many carries as McFadden (44) and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry with a long run of 32 yards and a touchdown.

New Orleans Saints Friday Injury Report

Out

DT Sedrick Ellis (knee), CB Aaron Glenn (ankle), DT Antwan Lake (groin)

Doubtful

S Kevin Kaesviharn (back), WR David Patten (groin), TE Jeremy Shockey (hernia)

Questionable

WR Marques Colston (thumb)

Probable

C Jonathan Goodwin (hamstring), CB Mike McKenzie (knee), S Chris Reis (hamstring), T Jon Stinchcomb (back)

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