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MNF crew talks Pats-Saints

ESPN’s "Monday Night Football" commentators Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski discussed the upcoming matchup between the Patriots and Saints. Here are a few quick hits:

Jaworski on the style of game he expects. "They are clearly elite teams. Both have explosive players on offense, solid running games and I think it’s going to be a very high-scoring game. It’s not very often that you look at a game and say it’s going to be in the 40s, but with these two offenses right now this one could be that kind of game. I also say that based on how both defenses are playing. New Orleans is banged up. They have a depleted secondary right now. You have got to believe that Tom Brady is going to come out and spread the field and just try to bring the Saints’ fourth and fifth best corners on the field. That is not a good sign when you have Tom Brady coming in with a plethora of receivers and tight ends.”

Jaworwski on the Patriots’ defense: “The Pats defense has been a little bit inconsistent this year. They are in a transition mode trying to find out who they are and playing younger players in the secondary, trying to break in a new defensive line and linebackers. They are not working in harmony like you are used to seeing the Patriots defense work. With Drew Brees’ ability to read coverage and get rid of the football, I expect him to have a big day as well. If you like quarterbacking and you like offense, you want to record this one. It could be one for the ages.”

Gruden on the Saints: “They’ve always been outstanding on offense but this year they are just more committed to the run and more balanced. They have two Pro Bowl guards -- I don’t care what anybody says -- and they can really get after you physically. Mike Bell is a punishing back, Pierre Thomas is a versatile back, and Reggie Bush is a magician, so they have three different kinds of backs. Jeremy Shockey is back to total health, which he hasn’t been since he was in New York, and Drew Brees is Drew Brees. They protect him, and they can run it and throw it, and that’s a problem for defenses. The big deal with the Saints has been their defense and their ability to run the ball in key situations -- short yardage, goal line, protect the lead, run out the clock. They’re generating turnovers on defense. They’re gambling and they’re aggressive. They have really picked it up on that side of the ball. The Saints have everything you need to make a long run and have an unbelievable year.”

Jaworski on Bill Belichick’s lineup tweaks on defense: “We all know the Belichick profile. It’s about team. He’s always able to fill in a gap when he does have a gap. Knowing Bill’s style and how he likes to manage his team, he sees where this team is going to be at the end of the season. A lot of teams are going week to week, saying win this game or that game, but Bill has a vision. He knows what this team should look like in December and going into the playoffs, and that’s why he’s always tinkering, moving guys in or out, putting guys inactive if they are not performing up to what his standard is. When you see that on the defensive side happening, you know he’s not happy yet.”