This picture sums up how Sunday’s game went.
It was quite a depressing day for those rooting for the black and gold. The New Orleans Saints were dominated in the first half of today’s game and couldn’t recover, eventually losing to the St. Louis Rams by the score of 27-16. Honestly, it was not as close as that score even looks. Two early interceptions, offensive inefficiency, and poor effort were just a few of the problems leading to the bad loss. The hits kept coming even after the clock hit 00:00, when Sean Payton insinuated towards a locker room searching for leadership. That’s certainly not something you’d like to hear heading in to a Week 16 match-up for the division title and the #2 seed in the NFC.
For the first four minutes of the game, things were going how the Saints wanted them to. After kicking off to start the game, they forced a Rams punt to set up their first possession. On the first offensive play from scrimmage, Drew Brees threw an interception to T.J. McDonald, setting up St. Louis at the New Orleans 31 yard line. It only took one play after that for the Rams to find the end zone, when Kellen Clemons hit third string tight-end Cory Harkey on a short out pass. Harkey then turned up the sideline, breaking three pitiful attempts to take him down or push him out of bounds, racing all the way in to the end-zone. Malcolm Jenkins, Corey White, and Keenan Lewis all had great opportunities to knock him out of bounds, but failed.
Obviously, that was the worst possible way the game could have started for the Saints, but I do not believe it’s where the game was already over. On the ensuing Saints possession, Brees led New Orleans right down the field with relative ease. He marched his offense 70 yards in just seven plays. On a 2nd and goal, Brees rolled to his right and threw a very weak, floating pass in to double coverage for Jimmy Graham. The pass hung in the air so long, that Trumaine Johnson had time to leave his coverage around the 4 yard line and make the interception near the goal-line. The Rams then drove 93 yards with the help of 30 yards on personal fouls, taking a 14-0 lead and essentially sealing the Saints’ fate in the first quarter. Continue reading
Although most of the unit is different, the Saints defense will be determined to scratch this image out of everyone’s heads.
Gameday is finally here and the two best teams in the NFC, possibly the NFL, are set to square off for 1st place. The match-up of these two units provides us with both teams’ “other” side of the ball. The New Orleans Saints offense and the Seattle Seahawks defense both get the most buzz and have created each team’s identity, but it’s the other side of the ball for both organizations that have stepped up big this year. Everyone knows that Drew Brees and company can put up points and carry the Saints, but last year proved that he could use a bit of help at times. That help has arrived this season. As for Seattle, everyone knows that their defense can single handily dominate a football game, but they need support in those rare games that they allow 20 or so points. Enter, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, and the rest of the Seahawk attack. While each team can win many games with their bread and butter, it’s the Saints defense and Seahawks offense that give each squad a great chance to win it all this season.
It’s no longer a secret that the New Orleans Saints defense is playing fantastic this year. It seemed like early in the season, we were all tentative to fully buy in to whether or not what we were seeing was legit. Well, after a 9-2 start and boasting the 5th best defense in the NFL, it’s legit, folks. It is indeed legit. New Orleans sits at 5th in the league in both yards and points allowed per game. They’re giving up an average of 309.9 yards per contest, while holding opponents to an average of only 17.8 points on a weekly basis. If you would’ve told just about anyone before the season that the Saints could average 20 points a game on offense and win multiple ball games, they’d have called you crazy. Of course, the offense is averaging 27.7 points per game, which in combination with the gaudy defensive numbers is the reason they sit at 9-2. Rob Ryan has worked wonders since arriving in New Orleans. So much so, that Mrs. Mae’s may rename their bar “Mr. Ryan’s”. I’m kidding, of course, but the city and most importantly the team have bought in to his ways, giving the Saints a great shot to get to New York in February. That opportunity could gain even more traction with a big win on the road tonight. Continue reading
Coach Sean Payton looks to avenge his team’s loss to Pete Carroll’s Seahawks in the 2010 playoffs.
It’s finally here, folks. The battle that many circled on their calenders when the schedule came out is a day away and is packing just as much punch as anticipated. The 9-2 New Orleans Saints travel to play the 10-1 Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football this week in what very well could determine the #1 seed in the NFC. Both teams are a perfect 7-0 in the conference, but Monday night is just the first tough match-up for each team heading down the stretch.
The last time these two teams squared off, joy and agony were the two emotions that were brought to an extreme level for each team. Unfortunately for the Saints, they were on the wrong side of the spectrum. After winning the NFC West with a 9-7 record in 2010, the Seahawks hosted the 11-5 Saints in the Wildcard round of the playoffs. Seattle gave New Orleans everything they could handle and more, with the dagger coming with about four minutes left in the game. Up by four, Seattle had the ball at the New Orleans 33 yard line, looking to run down the clock. What happened next is something Saints fans wish could be erased from their memory. Marshawn Lynch broke eight tackles on his way to one of the greatest runs in NFL history, sealing New Orleans’ fate in the process. Although that run can never be scratched from history, the Saints have a golden opportunity to get payback on Monday night. Be prepared, though, because I can assure you that the play will be shown multiple times between the pre-game show and the game itself.
New Orleans comes in to this week with the 2nd ranked offense in the NFL, averaging 415 yards per game. They find themselves 3rd in the league, putting up 27.7 points per game. Despite the high numbers, not many believe that the Saints can provide that potential in Seattle. They are 3-2 on the road this season and have been said by many to “struggle outside of the dome”. Well, of course they don’t perform quite as well outside of the Superdome as they do during home games, but isn’t that the case for most? The secret that many fail to realize is that New Orleans has the 2nd best road record since Sean Payton and Drew Brees arrived in 2006. Since 2009, they have the best record away from home. If anything, this team is more prepared to win on the road this season. Why, you ask? Well, as the numbers suggest, the offense is just as good as years past. The difference is the defense. We’ll talk more about that in tomorrow’s preview, though. Continue reading
Cam Jordan and the pass rush gave Matt Ryan nightmares, recording 5 sacks on the night.
With the biggest regular season game for the Saints coming up this Monday, we’re going to take one last look back at the win at Atlanta. As many of you are, I’m also very excited for Monday night’s game against Seattle, so we’ll keep this one short and sweet so we can prepare for our previews for the Seahawks.
Drew Brees and company got the job done, but they didn’t look as crisp as they have in their last few games. The Falcons did a good job keeping Marques Colston at bay after his recent string of success. They did not turn the ball over, which is always a huge plus. Jimmy Graham got back to his old ways, proving yet again that Atlanta can not stop him. The most impressive facet of the passing offense, though? The pass protection. Yet again they did a great job keeping Brees upright, only allowing one sack. They’ll need to continue that trend with a schedule full of stout front-sevens in the future. Continue reading
Jimmy Graham dunked the football over the goal post following his big touchdown with such enthusiasm that be bent them.
Well, it wasn’t quite as dramatic as Week 1, but the end result was just as satisfying. The New Orleans Saints improved to 9-2 on the season with a 17-13 victory over the now 2-9 Atlanta Falcons. It was a victory that didn’t look the same as they usually do, but was a good win.
The game started slow for the Saints, getting the ball to start the game. After two straight runs that went for -1 yards, the Falcons held Drew Brees and the offense to a quick three and out. Atlanta then took over and took the ball down field on a 10 play 76 yard drive that ended with a one yard touchdown run from Steven Jackson.
On the ensuing drive, New Orleans would answer with a 15 play 78 yard drive, capped off with a great catch in the back of the end zone by Ben Watson on 3rd and goal. The Falcons answered with a 39 yard field goal on their next drive to retake the lead. Continue reading
Look for Jimmy Graham to return to form against his favorite opponent.
Happy Thursday, folks! We are on a short week, because the Saints play tonight! We are going to go ahead and consolidate this week’s previews in to one article for the convenience of everyone. Let’s jump right in.
The 8-2 New Orleans Saints travel to Atlanta to face the 2-8 rival Falcons in the second match-up between the two teams this season. The Saints beat the Falcons in the season opener in the Mercedes Benz Superdome 23-17. As I’m sure many remember, the game came down to the final seconds with a goal line stand from Rob Ryan’s new defense. Looking back, it doesn’t seem surprising that New Orleans won the game on the heels of a great game from the defensive unit, but at the time, it was exactly what everyone associated with the black and gold needed to see coming off of a tough 2012 campaign. The Falcons lead the overall series 47-42, but it’s no secret as to how dominant the Saints have been against their bitter rivals in the past seven years. Coach Sean Payton has owned the Falcons, boasting an 11-2 record against the dirty birds. Still, this match-up has the potential to be a great game no matter what the records are.
The New Orleans Saints come in to Week 12 off of a huge comeback victory against the San Francisco 49ers. While gaining nearly 400 yards of offense against them, the Saints defense held Colin Kaepernick and their potent rushing attack to just 196 yards. The two units continued to play great complimentary football, with the defense holding strong for most of the day. The Saints offense comes in to this week ranked 2nd in the league with an average of 419.1 yards per game. Not surprising, right? Well, here’s one better. The Saints defense comes in to Week 12 with the 4th ranked defense in the NFL. They are allowing 305.4 yards per game, while keeping opponents to just 18.3 per game (5th best). Through their ten games, they’ve allowed 20 or more points only three times, with last week being the first time any opponent has scored more than 17 in the Superdome. Continue reading
4th quarter pressure on Colin Kaepernick from the Saints was crucial in their comeback victory.
I sure hope you’ve caught your breath by now, because I sure haven’t. The New Orleans Saints had one of their guttiest performances not only from this season, but within the last few years. After controlling the first half, it took a 4th quarter comeback from a six point deficit to squeak out a victory against the San Francisco 49ers. The win improves the Saints to 8-2 on the season, still one game behind Seattle for the best record in the NFC. The 49ers now fall to 6-4, three and a half games back in the NFC West.
The game started slow, with five straight punts to open the contest. On the Saints’ third possession, they not only opened the scoring, but they did so on an 11 play, 97 yard drive that was capped off with a 3 yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Josh Hill. The score didn’t come until under a minute left to go in the first quarter.
Following the first quarter, the mistakes started to pile up for the Saints. They forced a quick three and out following the touchdown, but Lance Moore muffed the 49ers punt and San Francisco recovered at the New Orleans 11 yard line. It only took two plays for them to find the end zone, as Anquan Boldin reeled in an 11 yard touchdown as part of a very productive day. Continue reading
The last thing the Saints want to do is allow Colin Kaepernick to remember how dangerous he can be with his legs.
The New Orleans Saints defense continues to impress after yet another week of shutting down a good offense. After being fired by Dallas at the end of last season, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan got the last laugh, coaching his unit to another solid performance. The Saints defense ranks in the top-5 of points allowed, giving up a 5th best 18.1 points per game. They’ve yet to allow over the opposing team score more than 17 points in the Superdome, having held Atlanta, Miami, Buffalo, and Dallas all to that total. New Orleans also finds themselves in the top-10 in total yardage, giving up 317.6 yards per game. What’s even more impressive, is the fact that they’ve accomplished these numbers at less than 100% health. Roman Harper looks to be set to finally return to the field today after missing the last seven games following a knee injury in Week 2 at Tampa Bay. Malcolm Jenkins has missed the last two games, but also looks poised to return against San Francisco. Throw in injuries that have kept players like Cameron Jordan, Keenan Lewis, and David Hawthorne on the injury report for the better part of the season and you’re looking at a very tough, resilient defense that has fought very hard this season and it’s surely paid off. Turnover differential has also been a huge part of the team’s success for far this season, sitting at +5, tied for 7th best in the league. Ryan’s defense has forced 15 turnovers, which is 15 extra possessions for Drew Brees. Extra possessions for an offense as potent as the Saints’, usually means extra points.
The San Francisco 49ers come to New Orleans following one of their worst offensive showings of the season. The Carolina Panthers held the 49ers to an abysmal 151 yards of total offense last week. That’s less than half of their average weekly output, averaging 321..6 yards per game. San Francisco ranks 22nd in the NFL in total offense and has heavily relied on their defense to win games for them this year. They’ll likely have to do just that again this week, because the likelihood of the 49ers keeping up with Drew Brees and company is slim to none. Continue reading
Jimmy Graham should see an increased amount of snaps when facing the 49ers tomorrow.
The New Orleans Saints (7-2) welcome an old rival back to the Mercedes Benz Superdome this Sunday, when the San Francisco 49ers (6-3) visit New Orleans. The current players of each team may not know each other that well, but the owners, front office, writers, and fans are very familiar with the opposing side. The Saints and 49ers were division rivals in the NFC West from the Saints’ innagural season in 1967 through 2001, until the NFL realigned the divisions with the expansion of the Houston Texans. San Francisco has dominated the series, thanks to their large success in the 1990s. They lead the series over the Saints with a record of 46-24-2. The Saints have been more in control of their recent contest, though, winning six of the last seven match-ups between the two. They had won six straight games with the 49ers, until San Francisco came in to New Orleans almost exactly a year ago and defeated the Saints 31-21 in Week 12 of the 2012 season. The two squads are both in a dog fight for their respective divisions at the moment, with tomorrow’s match-up being crucial to each team for many reasons.
New Orleans comes in to this week hot off of a dominating victory over the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday night. The Saints trounced the Cowboys by the score of 49-17. Their 625 total yards was not only a franchise record, but it bumped them from the 7th ranked offense in the NFL to the 2nd best, averaging 422.7 yards per game. New Orleans also ranks 2nd in the NFL with an average of 29.4 points per game. Taking in to account the amount of injuries that Dallas had on defense, you have to take what the Saints did with a grain of salt, but still, a game like that is not very common, even against a beat up defense. It was a fantastic all around effort and as the entire unit looks to be hitting full stride on the backside of the schedule, it’ll be interesting to see how high they can keep their level of play against a good defense.
Though they have taken a step down in their level of play from a dominant 2012 season, the San Francisco 49ers still field a very good defense. They rank 6th in the NFL in total yardage, allowing 316.8 per contest. The 49ers find themselves 5th in the NFL in defensive scoring, giving up 17.2 yards per game. For comparison, both of those ranks for their defense are one spot higher than the Saints defense. Of course, we’ll look more in to that in the next preview, but it goes to show how well New Orleans is playing on the defensive side of the ball. Not to take anything away from San Francisco, but it appears that they have taken advantage of their weaker opponents so far. They’ve played a fairly easy schedule and when playing the better teams, they’ve allowed a lot more points. In the four games they’ve played against teams currently with a winning record, they are 1-3 and allowed 23.5 yards per game. In their other five contests against teams currently with losing records, they are 5-0 and allowed 12.2 yards per game. Continue reading
Mark Ingram rejoices his touchdown run that was part of the best game of his career.
The New Orleans Saints delivered exactly what everyone needed coming off of a loss to the New York Jets last week. The Dallas Cowboys came in to New Orleans looking for a repeat upset like they had in 2009, ending the Saints perfect season, but that was not the case.
The Cowboys led by three points on two different occasions, with the second being 10-7 after 7 yard touchdown run from DeMarco Murray. Dallas had run the ball right down the field with ease to set up the score. Murray had 67 yards rushing on their 8 play 72 yard drive to take the lead. That score came directly after the Saints took the lead on Marques Colston’s first touchdown reception since Week 1.
The 10-7 lead that Dallas held was the last good thing that they had going for them for the rest of the night. New Orleans responded with 28 straight points to open up a huge lead and turn the game in to a blowout. The game got out of hand right before halftime when the Saints scored three touchdowns in a matter of five minutes to close out the half. The first of those touchdowns was a followup of the touchdown Murray scored to give Dallas the lead. It was a very efficient, wear-down type of drive from the Saints, eating up nearly nine minutes of the clock on a 15 play 80 yard march that ended with a 1 yard touchdown reception from Pierre Thomas to retake the lead at 14-10. Continue reading