Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Saints Finally Bring Team A Game

We've waited a while but finally the Saints brought their A game on all sides of the ball. We looked more hungry than the Bears overall in fact.

On the D side we pursued harder, gang tackled, did an excellent job in man coverage (Jabari Greer outstanding!) and got penetration up front. 6 sacks was a telling end statistic.

On the O side I thought the line did an incredible job of keeping the likes of Julius Peppers quite. Beyond a couple of 1st Quarter mentions in fact we barely even heard his name. That is testament to a much improved display by the guys in the pits.

Add to that the running game actually got going with all 3 backs gaining decent yardage and you've got to say we look like the real deal if we can continue to open holes for them.

Brees was pretty much flawless and hit Devery Henderson with an inch perfect bomb en route to a 79 yard TD. He even managed to get Meachem into the game and Mr Butterfingers himself caught every ball thrown his way and really stepped up to the plate in Marques Colstons absence.

Add to that another fine display by Jimmy Graham and you have to give the O an A rating as well.

Even on special teams we were pretty much all there. Thomas Morstead has one of the best legs in the business and managed to keep the ball away from Devin Hester most of the time. Sproles looked dangerous again on returns and it's surely only a matter of time before he breaks another big one and the coverage teams finally learnt how to tackle so again another A rating for them.

The Good

* The D learnt how to tackle

* The D brought consistent pressure

* Jabari Greer knocked down ball on third down, defended another pass to Devin Hester with perfect coverage and made an open field tackle on Forte. Great day by this unsung Stallion!

* Jimmy Graham creates mismatches all over field - still a long way to go but could be the next Tony Gonzalez

* Robert Meacham for catching all passes thrown his way and restoring faith that he can catch the ball in clutch situations

* The Saints front 7 for bringing the heat and for sustained penetration

* Sproles, Ingram and Thomas for being the 3 pronged sucker punch we envisaged and now see as reality. Great inside running by Ingram in particular one time pumping his legs for 8 yards that he had no right to gain

* Thomas Morstead for just being consistently excellent in his execution

* The O line for an outstanding job all day.

The Bad

* The Zebras. A number of bad calls in the first half put coach Payton on the road to a coronary. Harper did not rough the passer, Meachem was hit late and out of bounds + another incident that my brain can't recall right now

* Malcolm Jenkins dropped a blatant pick... although we can forgive him this one indiscretion as we know it won't happen again, right Malcolm?

* Forte 42 yard run in 1st went untouched by any defender. Add to that a 17 yard reception in which he broke 2 bad tackles and some of the Saints main frailties were once again out in the open

* Red zone conversions still a concern. The pitch to Ingram was a bad call and they still don't seem to trust the inside run down at the goal line. With 2 Pro Bowl guards you'd really like to think we could convert in such situations but apparently not and accordingly Payton doesn't trust them to get the push in those situations.

Game Vs The Texans

If we can bring that same kind of intensity, hustle and heat on a consistent basis we'll be a match for anyone especially the Texans. We have to continue line penetration with the front 4 rather than always bringing the house as quick release QBs may well pick us apart down the stretch if we always have to bring everyone.

I hope the Bears game wasn't a red herring because of their poor O line. It's difficult to judge whether we've turned the corner or whether this was an anomaly. I guess we'll find out in a few days’ time.

I'm encouraged by Jonathan Casillas and Jo-Lonn Dunbar in the pass rush. With Will Smith back and Turk McBride also putting in a good performance who's to say this isn't the start of something better, after all new personnel take time to acclimatise so maybe we're about to see the promise fulfilled.

Still the pessimist doubts remain. Let's hold judgement until after the Texans.

In the meantime Reggie who? Sad to say as I do believe the guy cared and worked hard for the team but you couldn't find a more ready-made replacement and improvement in Darren Sproles. North south running, great in the flat and what speed in the return. Truly a major acquisition. I believe he'll be the same kind of catalyst for the O as Darren Sharper was for the D in '09.

Heal up Marques!

And Finally

2 videos for you. First up Pat Williams and Brian Blessing preview the Saints Texans game this coming Sunday, September 25.




And a short promo vid about home school kids and the Saints.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sean Payton's Long Lost Brother Turns Up Refereeing English Premier League Game

No sooner had I finished watching the Saints on Sunday than I started watching the English Premier League game between Manchester United and Chelsea on Fox and noticed the referee bore a striking resemblance to our very own Sean Payton.

It's not so much a question of separated at birth as conjoined twins at birth!

Not sure what I'm going on about? Well may I submit to the court items 1, 2 and 3!




That or coach Payton, not satisfied with the first all round team performance for some time on all sides of the ball, managed to referee the game in the UK only minutes before the big kick off in the Dome.

Strange things are afoot people. Be watchful, be very watchful.

Post game analysis to follow soon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saints Need To Improve Up Front And Fast For Bears Game

Just watched the

beat the


and it's got me worried.

On Thursday night the Packers dominated us on both lines. Watching the way the


totally dominated in the trenches leaves me thinking we could be in for a long night.

The


O line are going to have their work cut out. Last week the holes opened for the backs were miniscule. It ain't gonna get any easier this week.

And if they are to keep


off his ass they are going to need to be on their A game or


and Co. are going to have a field day.

On the other side of the ball our front 7 brought about as much pressure as a small ant on an elephants back. Despite the new guys in the line up it was the same old story. If we can't bring more heat the secondary is just going to get picked apart.

Without


we don't have a pass rush. All the stunts and corner blitz's in the world aren't going to carry us all the way unless the big boys up front can bring it with 4.

Best get working your asses off messers


+


and


as you're in for a big game. Start lifting the weights.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reflections on Saints Packers Game

Hmm. Some good, some bad on Thursday. Some great O, some poor D. What else is new?

I was heartened by the running game. I thought all 3 backs made important contributions.
was back to his 2009 standard after last years ankle problems. He looked sharp and full of running. I always feel so much better if he's getting a lot of the ball. Mr reliable.

also did a good job with some inside running. Whilst he was denied near the goalline he didn't really stand a chance. Payton should have gone with him again on 4th.

But the break out performance was obviously by
What an addition to the team. Reggie who? North to South running when taking a hand off, unbelievable break away speed on his returns and a go to receiver in clutch situations. Love him. What a player!

Real bad news that we've lost

for at least 4 weeks with a broken collarbone. He is key to our O. With


also struggling with a groin injury (something that only rest heals and something that's liable to recur if he's rushed back) we're going to be short for the Bears game.

That leaves us with Mr 'I can only catch 2 in 3 thrown my way'

and


Not something that leaves me full of confidence.

I'll follow up on my in depth analysis of the D later as its almost college football time and I need to find my wallet.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Revenge Time for 2008 Humbling? Let's Hope Not

Remember the 51-29 whipping the Saints put on the Green Bay Packers in 2008? Well the Packers haven’t. Let's hope they don't exact revenge. My gut says they won't although the Saints D still concerns me.



Responsibility has its rewards, be a responsible driver and reap the rewards after. Well at least that's the message I take from this kind of amatuer but well intentioned video. Don't drink and drive as it's just stupid numb nuts would be my version.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Saints Packers Season Opener

Family Falconer are back from a weeks vacation just in time (no coincidence I might add) for the season opener. It's a strange one going on vacation just before the big kick off. Part of you is wanting the trip to stretch on forever and the other part just cannot wait for the football to begin.

So now I've made my bed and I need to lie in it. But that's OK for now because the season is an open road we are about to get started on and for now everything is possible.

As such I thought I'd share a couple of good Saints Packers previews to get this week's posts under way.

Here’s “The Czar of the Playbook’’ Emory Hunt previewing the season opener.



Next up Brian Blessing and Kenny White share their views on the past two Super Bowl winners.



Should be great. I have the Saints by 3!