Saints vs. Browns matchups: The New Orleans Saints are midway through preparations for their second game of the season this Sunday Cheap Marcus Williams Jersey , a home tilt with the Cleveland Browns. The Saints season opener was a colossal disappointment, falling 48-40 at home to the underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Particularly disappointing was an abysmal defensive performance for a unit expected to be a catalyst for a potential championship push. While one loss is certainly no reason for the team to shift into panic mode, the Saints must go back to the drawing board quickly to avoid an 0-2 start to a difficult schedule. They will be taking on a Browns team that finished 0-16 in 2017, but opened their year with a 21-21 tie last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Let's have a look at how well the reeling Saints defense may match up against an improved Cleveland offense. SAINTS PASS DEFENSE vs. BROWNS PASS OFFENSE Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty ImagesLet this sink in for a moment: New Orleans gave up 417 yards passing and 4 touchdowns on just 21 completions to Tampa's backup quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick. A truly terrifying thought, since the Saints still have the likes of Matt Ryan (twice), Jared Goff, Eli Manning, Carson Wentz, and Ben Roethlisberger remaining on the schedule. A New Orleans defensive line that was expected to be among the more disruptive in the league got no sacks, and applied zero pressure on the Buccaneers quarterback. Cam Jordan, Alex Okafor, and Marcus Davenport were stymied from the edge, and neither Sheldon Rankins nor David Onyemata were able to hurry the Bucs quick rhythm game plan with an inside rush. The team's linebackers continued to get caught out of position or beaten quickly by backs and tight ends, despite offseason upgrades that were supposed to have upgraded the unit. Almost as surprising as the lack of production from the front line was the poor play of the New Orleans secondary, expected to be a formidable strength. Cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore, Ken Crawley, and Patrick Robinson, along with safety Marcus Williams, were repeatedly torched downfield by Bucs receivers Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin http://www.saintscheapshops.com/chea...-okafor-jersey , and tight end O.J. Howard for nearly 23 yards per catch. Lattimore and Crawley, who shut down Evans and Jackson last season, were victimized deep repeatedly by the pair this time around, running roughshod through the Saints defense for 293 yards and 3 deep scores. Safety Vonn Bell looked lost in coverage, and was replaced by veteran Kurt Coleman in the second half, but with little success. Defensive end Cameron Jordan called his unit's performance "UNACCEPTABLE" following the game, and vowed rapid improvement for this week. Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen has alot of talented pieces to work with on his side of the ball, and we should expect a far more aggressive defensive approach this game than we saw the team open with the Buccaneers. Cleveland drafted Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick this past spring, so it's only a matter of time before he takes the reigns as the Browns starter. For now though, Cheap Alex Anzalone Jersey , and Okafor's ability to bring pressure against the pass as the Steelers did against the Browns last week is certainly vital to the success of the pass defense, but they must also contain Tyrod Taylor as a runner out of the pocket. The Saints allowed a far less athletic Fitzpatrick to scramble for 36 yards and a score last Sunday, and Taylor has always been a much more dangerous threat as a runner than a passer. Rankins, Onyemata, and Tyeler Davison must get fast penetration inside to blow up Cleveland backs Hyde and Chubb, who are more effective inside. If the New Orleans line can win these battles up front, then a still gelling linebacking corps can fire through gaps unencumbered to make plays in the Browns backfield. WHAT TO LOOK FOR:Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty ImagesThe New Orleans Saints came out surprisingly flat against a divisional foe on opening weekend. They were beaten in every phase defensively, and showed great frustration as the game wore on. Dennis Allen's crew has always played their best with an aggressive scheme, rather than the read-and-react approach they seemed to employ against Tampa Bay. Cleveland has some dangerous playmakers that will test the Saints coverage down the field, but expect the pro bowl caliber defenders like Marshon Lattimore, Marcus Williams, and Cam Jordan up front to have a far better showing. New Orleans held Taylor to just 9-18 passing for just 56 yards, while sacking him twice and forcing an interception when he was with Buffalo last season. Expect New Orleans to heavily pressure the Browns backfield with their front seven. They should be able to contain Cleveland's running game well enough on early downs to keep an extra safety back to help Marcus Williams in coverage support of Lattimore and Crawley. Third down stops will be key, as New Orleans allowed the Buccaneers to convert almost 62% of their chances (8/13), while Cleveland was only 5/18 (27.8%) on their 3rd down opportunities against Pittsburgh. The Saints are an angry group on defense, and they realize that they must play up to their playmaking potential if the team as a whole is going to have a successful 2018 season. Chris Thompson feels the pain, not the nerves.Eleven months ago, the running back was in the middle of a career season with the Washington Redskins before he broke his right fibula on a freak play at the Superdome against the New Orleans Saints. He returns to the site of that injury Monday night looking like his old self but not quite feeling back to normal."As far as my speed and my route-running, all of that, yes," Thompson said Thursday. "As far as feeling pain-free, no. That's the only negative that I have right now."It's a negative Thompson is certainly overcoming as the almost-perfect complementary backfield piece to Adrian Peterson. His 20 catches are the most on the team http://www.thesaintsfootballauthenti...rsey-authentic , and coupled with his 5.5 yards a carry average and pass protection skills, he is one of the most valuable pieces of the offense.Just three games with Thompson have made a believer out of quarterback Alex Smith."It's easy to label those guys as kind of scat backs, specialist-type backs, but I don't think Chris is limited in that way," Smith said. "He's a guy that can do everything and has a ton of tools."Thompson was the Redskins' do-everything player last season before the injury. He had 804 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns in nine-plus games before a Saints defender rolled up on him and caused the fracture.Coach Jay Gruden is proud of the 27-year-old's diligence in rehab and ability to hold himself back in training camp and preseason to get prepared for Week 1. Thompson is on the field and productive but has to fight through pain during the week at practice as he bounces back from games."It's recovery stuff," Thompson said. "It's just all part of the process. I'm able to play now and game days for some reason I really don't have much pain at all. It's kind of different during the week."Thompson has come back from severe knee, shoulder and back injuries in the past, so pain tolerance doesn't seem to be an issue. His team certainly can't tell he's bothered by anything right now because Thompson seems to be on top of his game."He's explosive and fast and physical and everything he was before the injury, if not better," Gruden said. "He hasn't lost a step, in my opinion."Saints coach Sean Payton said Thompson is "certainly someone you have to pay attention to," and he's not alone in thinking that way. Green Bay doubled Thompson in coverage to limit his impact in Week 3, but Smith, Peterson and tight end Jordan Reed were able to do enough to put up 31 points on the Packers.Washington will likely have to keep up that pace against New Orleans, which has averaged over 34 points a game so far this season. The Redskins can count on Thompson to help that cause as he tries not to dwell on his injury when he's back at the Superdome."I'm just excited to get back," Thompson said. "I haven't had any nerves or even really thought much about me going back and the injury and the whole payback thing. I'm really not thinking about that. I know probably when the game comes around it'll be some nerves going maybe. But as of right now, it's just focus on just trying to win the game."NOTES: WR Josh Doctson did not practice Wednesday or Thursday because of a heel injury. Gruden said Doctson got kicked in the heel Monday and isn't sure if the 2016 first-round pick will be ready to face the Saints. ... CB Josh Norman (hamstring) expects to be ready to play Monday night.AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed.