Friday, October 23, 2009

New Orleans Saints helmet game day analysis

In my regular new feature 'New Orleans Saints helmet game day analysis' (could you not of thought of something a little snappier? Ed.) I will be taking you inside a Saints fans helmet for a totally biased but fair (but also pretty biased) analysis of the upcoming Saints Dolphins week 8 match up.

New Orleans Saints Helmet
 New Orleans Saints helmet game day analysis

To do this, and to aid my recovery from spinal surgery, I have purchased the NFL Game Pass in order to while away endless bedbound hours watching pixelated footage of our upcoming opponents from the sunshine state. So strap yourselves in and be prepared to be dazzled (or not) by the insights I am about to lay upon you.

Things I have learnt from inside the Saints helmet

Fact 1 - Miami are without (insert dramatic suspense music) Chad Pennington... Yes everyone knows that Peter but it's still worth reminding ourselves as the Dolphin threat is somewhat reduced when missing their number 1 Quarterback.  Be prepared for those crazy fish to employ the Wildcat offensive schemes with Chad Henne in the shot gun.
Red Zone Saints

Fact 2 - The Dolphins are shitty on Defence.  And I'm not talking that feeling in your gut after a heavy night on the Bourbon.  No my friend I'm talking 'couldn't cover a turtle with a blanket if the little leaf eater was only a foot away, sleeping under the tip of a giant neon flashing sign that read "Cover turtle with a blanket and win $1,000,000 right now or ya mumma gets it!!".  They give up an average of 5.6 yards per play ranking 24th in the NFL in this category.  Moreover, they are 23rd in the league in yards allowed per drive and one third of all drives against them penetrate the red zone.  All this bodes well for the leagues number 1 ranked New Orleans Saints offence.

Fact 3 - The New Orleans Saints have the number 1 ranked offence in the league.  Let me repeat that for all Saints fans because it just tastes so good when you say it again... The New Orleans Saints have the number 1 ranked offence in the league.  When Drew Brees looks over the shoulders of his formidable linemen he will be picking from a combination of Robert Meachem, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Lance Moore, Jeremy Shockey, Reggie Bush and more.  That's a hell of a lot of weapons for a suspect Miami defence to cope with.

New Orleans Saints Offence

Fact 4 - New Orleans can now run the ball and run the ball hard.  In fact, as you may well know, the combination of Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, Reggie Bush and Co. are currently ranked 4th in the league in total rushing yardage.  That is some balance they now bring to what was previously a pass heavy offence.

Fact 5 - THE KEY MATCH-UP... The Wildcat running game Vs the Saints Defence.  Number 1 Vs Number 5.  The fight to end all fights, well in this game anyway.  If Miami are to have a shot at this they need to put up big yards and maintain possession of the ball for as long as possible.  The assignment football the Saints Defence need to play will be key.  The front 7 will have to stay disciplined at keeping to their man or this Dolphin ground game will cause problems.

And finally Fact 6 - The Saints special teams ain't so hot right now and could be our Achilles heal.  The Saints rank 30th in the league in kick off return yards allowed so it would be nice if the black and gold can find a way to improve that figure this week.  The Defence could well be on the field for a long time so it would be 'groovy' if they at least start by defending from deep in Dolphin territory.

Darren Sharper Saints Interception

If the Saints are able to roll into Miami with the same work ethic and attitude as last week then I can see this being a relatively comfortable win.  It will suit them well if they can rack up some early points and force the Dolphins to play catch up football.  Thanks in part to my main man Sharper the Saints lead the league in the turnover ratio so a more desperate Dolphin O could be forced to the air if behind which will play into the hands of number 42.

Prediction - Saints by 20.

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