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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2010 Season Recap Report!!!

Some of my concerns during the offseason for the New Orleans Saints are to secure a steady running attack and emphasize better coverage in the secondary.  The Seattle game was a complete embarrassment to me.  I’m still in shock that Matt Hasselbeck threw 4 touchdowns against us and in the end the Marshawn Lynch 67 yard TD run. 

It has taken me about a month to write this blog because I still don’t know what to say.  We marched into Atlanta on Dec. 27th and made the so called “Dirty Birds” look like a bunch of chumps on their own turf.  We stuffed Michael Turner for a game total of 48 yards rushing.  That is unheard of for Turner to not even reach 50 yards before halftime.
Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis have a lot of positions to fill this offseason.  I personally hope to see Reggie Bush playing for another team next season.  Its been a good stint for Reggie while in New Orleans but lets face it he is not the premiere NFL running back that we had all hoped he would be when he came out of USC.  There are some websites reporting that a former Saints player could be resigned to help out in the backfield and that player is “Mr. Rickey Williams.”  In all honesty to me this is of course just a rumor and I’m not even sure if this is even a credible source of information.  In the near future that is known as the offseason and with the help of a lot of prayers and meetings with the NFLPA and the NFL I truly hope that there is a NFL season next year and not a strike.  With that being said I see Chris Ivory working out and conditioning his body for the long haul of a full NFL season.  Ivory is already working with strengthening and conditioning coaches in New Orleans rehabbing his broken foot.  With a healthy Ivory and a healthy Pierre Thomas we will be unstoppable.  It has come out in recent weeks that Brees was playing with a strained MCL for the majority of the season.  That may have been some of the major reasons for his career high interceptions record.
In the secondary I am concerned that Tracy Porter the savoir of the XLIV Super Bowl has maybe lost a step or two.  We need a lock down corner much like Darelle Revis or a Charles Woodson type corner that no quarterback in their right mind would challenge.  It’s just so hard to find one of those players in the draft or pick one up off of free agency for a fair price and not some ridiculous salary.  I’m sorry to all the Patrick Robinson fans out there in Saints Nation but Robinson every time he gets on the field and the opposing quarterback notices they throw his way almost 95% of the time and almost 95% of the time it’s a completion for the other team.  Robinson is listed as 5’11 and 191 lbs.  I’m thinking more like 5’9 and 180lbs.  In the NFL the average size of a WR is at least 6’2.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Robinson is going to get beat up top almost every time.  Maybe with more time and practice I will come to see why Sean Payton drafted him. 

Some of the highlights of the season in my mind that stand out player wise are as mentioned before the pick up of Chris Ivory.  I also think Sean Payton hit a home run out of the park when he drafted Jimmy Graham in the 3rd round.  Graham is going to be one of the top tight ends in the NFL for a long time to come. 
Next season will be a much more improved Saints team.  We are over our Super Bowl hangover and the team will be prepared to make another Super Bowl run because much like in 2009 we were not expected to win the Super Bowl and we had no added pressure of having to defend a championship.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"The Beast" was unleashed on the Cowboys Thanksgiving Day

This past week’s Thanksgiving Day game against the Cowboys proved to be a real shoot-out with a much improved team led by interim coach Jason Garrett.  Chris Ivory a.k.a. “The Beast” was unleashed against the Cowboys for two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter of the game. By halftime, the Saints had a commanding 14 point lead of 20-6.  The Cowboys came into the third quarter with a chip on their shoulders and scored a 60 yard touchdown run by Miles Austin.  All the Saints could manage during this time was a 28 yard field goal from Garrett Hartley.  Later in the third, Reggie Bush made his comeback; although, it was not the way in which he had hoped. He muffed a punt return, which led to the Cowboy’s unthinkable 1 yard touchdown run by Marion Barber. This brought the score to 23-20, with the Saints holding a mere 3 point lead and the defense beginning to unravel. If Saints fans weren’t nervous by then, they were sweating bullets by the fourth quarter.  The Cowboys drove the field with only seven plays and a 1 yard touchdown run from Tashard Choice.  This gave the Cowboys a 4 point lead and left me with the same sick feeling I could read on the players’ faces. The 68 seconds it took to regain the lead seemed like an entire quarter. Our savior, “Breesus,” drove the Saints down the field in five plays for 89 yards. The Saints’ victory was sealed with a 12 yard touchdown catch by “Sir Lancelot” Moore.  The final score was 30-27 Saints.

In week 13, the Saints face off with the Cincinnati Bengals.  The Bengals are ranked eleventh in passing defense and twenty-fifth in rushing defense.  Our defense is currently ranked seventh overall in the league.  Our passing defense is ranked third, but our run defense is ranked twenty-fourth in the league. With a healthy Traci Porter and Jabari Greer as our corners, I’m not highly concerned.  Our pro bowl safety, Roman Harper, has been our shining star on defense in the secondary with Malcolm Jenkins.  Jenkins has really proven himself at safety this year while filling in for Sharper.  As Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart knows, a healthy Darren Sharper is a force to be reckoned with. I have yet to see the talent everyone else seems to see in rookie Patrick Robinson, but hopefully with time he will be a lock down corner. 

In this week’s game, I look for more and more pounding of the ball by the Saints.  Chris Ivory has proven that he is now a solid replacement for Pierre Thomas. NFL Insider reports that Ivory has won over the coaches in New Orleans, and that he will remain the premier inside running back for the Saints, regardless of the pending return of Pierre Thomas.  John Clayton also reports that Chris Ivory will be the future running back for the Saints, and that he and Reggie Bush will be paired together.  I couldn’t agree anymore with the coaches’ decision to keep Ivory as the premier inside running back.  I am aware that Reggie Bush is coming off of a broken fibula injury, but in last week’s game he dropped a touchdown catch and muffed a punt return which was recovered for a touchdown. Reggie apparently got a bit rusty during his time off. When Bush gets his mojo back, I believe he is needed more on special teams than in the running game. However, I am anxious to see what Ivory and Bush can do together since Thomas has gotten nowhere close to an agreement for a long-term contract with the team.  With Ivory playing like this, the Saints will have the upper hand regarding Thomas’s contract negotiations in the off season.

If Drew Brees is your fantasy quarterback this week, you can relax with the way he’s been playing. This week’s game will be a good match-up for Brees.  Yes, the Cinci pass defense is ranked eleventh in the league, but who cares when you have Brees as your QB?  I expect Brees to get two or three touchdown passes out of this game with his usual 300+ yards passing.  Who will be on the receiving end of those passes?  Look for “Spidey Man” Colston to grab at least one of those touchdown passes from Brees; and, if you have Meachem just sitting on your bench, go ahead and play him this week.  Lance Moore scored last week, so it’s Meachem’s turn to score this week.  If Chris Ivory was on your bench last week, I don’t have to tell you to put him in your line-up. He sat on my bench racking up points and outscoring most of my starters. In the past two games, Ivory has scored three times and proved he is a goal line back when it comes to short yardage plays.  This weekend’s weather report for Cincinnati predicts snow on Saturday and Sunday during the game with a high of 37 degrees.  If it does snow, this game will turn into a running competition. This might diminish Brees’s performance slightly, but he’ll still rack up some yardage.  My prediction this week is: Saints 30-17.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Feast!!! Bush Approved

    The New Orleans Saints look to feast on the Cowboys Thanksgiving Day.  The Cowboys which have won 2 games in a row under new interim head coach Jason Garrett have looked like a totally different team since he has taken over.  To the Cowboys credit they seemed to have improved a little since Wade Phillips was fired.
    The Saints came off an impressive win over the Seattle Seahawks Sunday 34-19.  Drew Brees picked apart the Seahawks secondary like a skilled surgeon.  Marques Colston and Robert Meachem each scored 2 touchdowns.  Chris Ivory a.k.a. “The Beast” finally got his first regular season NFL touchdown in the first half of the game.  Mark my word that with time Ivory will be one of the best running backs in Saints team history.  With word coming out that Pierre actually tore a ligament in his ankle his future for the regular season is looking grim.  Hopefully he will be healthy enough to play in the playoffs.  With a healthy Pierre and Chris Ivory as his back up I could see the two of them becoming one of the greatest  1-2 punches in the league.  Almost reminds me of the old days with Deuce and Williams.
    I’m sure a lot of Saints fans are wondering which Dallas team will show up Thursday.  My guess is it will be the team that went up to the Meadowland’s and beat a good Giants team and a pretty decent Detroit team.  I see this game as being the Cowboys Super Bowl since by all account they are not going to win the NFC East and they are not going to get a wild card spot.  The TV ratings for this game will be off the charts.  At of all the three games I see this as being best.
     If the Saints start off flat and have to play from behind this could be trouble for New Orleans.  But, I think Brees will start out of the gates fast like a thorough breed horse.  Pay close attention to the rookie sensation tight end Jimmy Graham.  Since Shockey’s injury he has really stepped it up and really helped Brees and this offense out.  I am really ecstatic about his future in the league.  The next “Tony Gonzales” is being thrown around on some online forums.
    If you have Brees on your fantasy roster I would of course start him.  Colston, Moore and Meachem will have plenty of targets so if you have any of them I would start them this week.  Out of the 3 I would take Colston then Moore.  With the return of Reggie Bush I would be careful this week but from what I have heard from the injury report Ivory was limited all week in practice but he maybe just getting some rest.  If Ivory starts I still see him getting the bulk of the carries with Bush getting between 10-15 carries.  My prediction is that this will be a shootout.  Saints 38 Cowboys 27.
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Que Dieu bénisse les saints et la ville de La Nouvelle-Orléans

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Have Breesus and His Disciples Finally Sobered Up From Their Superbowl Hangover?

This past week’s bye gave me an opportunity to scout other teams that are in the playoff race this season.  I enjoyed watching the Falcons’ “come from behind” win over the Ravens. However, the main event of the week was the Eagles versus the Redskins on Monday Night Football.  Michael Vick’s performance will be remembered as one of the best Monday Night performances of all time by a quarterback. It was the football equivalent of watching Michael Jordan drop 50 points on the New York Knicks. It seemed almost as if I was watching someone playing a video game…..completely unreal. To say that Vick’s stats were impressive is an understatement.  He had 4 touchdown passes,  20-28 completions, and 2 rushing touchdowns. Other than the Saints winning the NFC Championship game (and of course the Super Bowl XLIV win), Monday’s game has gone down as one of my all time favorites.  We witnessed history being made.  I believe Vick is a changed and rehabilitated man.  I think prison and all of his personal struggles from bankruptcy, etc… have made Vick into a mature man.  If he continues to play like this, he could one day be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
The Saints will be marching back into town Sunday afternoon against the 5-4 Seahawks.  Breesus and his disciples look to increase their winning streak once more with another solid win against a weaker opponent.  Although, the Seahawks are in 1st place in their division in the NFC West, their conference seems to be much weaker than the NFC South.  With that being said, I believe that the Seahawks will give all they’ve got against the Saints.  Last week the Seahawks dominated the Cardinals with a score of 36-18.  Matt Hasselbeck returned after a one game hiatus from an injury. Mike Williams had a newly rejuvenated career day with 11 receptions for 145 yards.  I look for Tracy Porter or Jabari Greer to be assigned to Mike Williams throughout the game with ‘cover 2’ help coming from Sharper or Jenkins if needed.  I am also looking forward to seeing Vilma record at least a sack this game, and possibly another interception.  Hasselbeck is not known for his scrambling abilities, and with a fully rested Vilma it can only spell trouble for opposing quarterbacks and running backs.
If you have Drew Brees as your starting quarterback in your fantasy lineup go ahead and start him (unless you have Michael Vick).  The Seahawks total defense is ranked 27th in the league according to, while Gregg Williams’ defense is ranked 3rd in the league.  MR. REGGIE BUSH is expected to make his return this week after suffering a broken fibula during week 2’s game against the 49ers.  With Bush back in the lineup on both offense and special teams, the Saints will only improve their chances of becoming repeat Super Bowl Champions. I would love to see Bush take one down the field for a punt return. If you have Bush on your roster, it would be wise to watch what he does this week and keep him on your bench.  I would start “Sir Lancelot” Moore and Marques “Spidey Man” Colston.  The two of them should combine for at least 2-3 touchdowns. The Saints have just begun their playoff push.  For those of you who are still not sure about what to do with Pierre Thomas,  you are not the only ones.  I’ve been hearing rumors that he will be back this week or that week.  I’ve also heard reports that he is back on crutches and trying to reduce the pressure on his ankle.  It is even rumored that he is being traded to the Patriots for a defensive player. Who knows? I don’t even think the coaches know what is going on with him. If you have Pierre Thomas on your fantasy roster, at this point he is just taking up space…drop him.  I don’t even think Pierre knows when he will return, and when he does, he won’t be in football condition if he has been on crutches for weeks.
Good luck to the Saints this week and to all of the fantasy footballers. Que Dieu bénisse les saints et la ville de La Nouvelle-Orléans

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Will The Saints tame the Panthers?

The Steelers’ “Steel Curtain Defense” crumbled to the Super Bowl Champs.  Once again the Saints bounced back from a loss.  The first half of the game was definitely a defensive battle.  Jonathan Vilma played a major part in curtailing the Steelers’ running game including a ruthless sack on Roethlisberger. The Saints defense was able to stop the Steelers on a goal line stance and force them to a field goal even after a penalty was called on the Saints which reset it to 1st and Goal. The Saints can thank their defense for this win. In fact, the defense has looked good all season. The previous losses were mainly due to turnovers and interceptions. I began to get a little nervous when Brees threw the interception in the first half, but our defense was just not letting them through.  Marques Colston seems to be getting back into a rhythm. It’s nice to see him getting touchdowns again.  I hope he keeps this momentum going.  I would like to see the running game become a factor again.  I’m just waiting for the day when Chris Ivory gets his first NFL touchdown.  Ivory has so much raw talent that I hate to see him not fulfilling his potential. If they would just open up a few holes, I can only imagine what this guy could do.  It seems like Ivory is actually running toward the other teams defensive players instead of trying to run around them. Sometimes he does manage to run through them, but if there were only one or two lineman to run through instead of the whole defense, he could easily break those tackles. I think he is destined for greatness if he can just learn how to maximize his potential by developing his technique.

 If Drew Brees is your fantasy quarterback, then I would expect to see more points on the board than usual this week.  I expect him to have over 300 yards of passing with at least 2 touchdown passes.  If you took ESPN’s advice last week and didn't start Brees like they were suggesting, I hope that waiver wire pick up of Ryan Fitzpatrick did you well. Even after all those interceptions, I'm still shocked that the "Talented Mr. Roto," Matthew Berry, was so down on Brees.  On one hand, it was the Steelers they were playing, but the Saints seem to be able to beat the best teams in the league. It’s the worst teams they have a problem with.  It seems that Brees just gets sloppy when he plays a team that doesn’t scare him enough. The Saints have now proven that they can hang with the so-called “best team in the league” since beating the Colts in XLIV and now the Steelers. Though Pierre might not be back until after the bye week, it’s hopeful that Bush will be healthy enough to compete. There have been games when all we needed was a good punt return from Reggie to get back in the game. Fantasy players should look for him on the waiver wire while he still might be there. Meachem isn’t a bad idea for a backup receiver if you have one on a bye week. If your fantasy league has defensive players such as linebackers, I would definitely start Jonathan Vilma against either joke of a Carolina quarterback (whether it’s Jimmy Clausen or Matt Moore).

This week’s game against Carolina (1-6) should be a synch, but I would have thought the game against the Browns would have been as well.  The Saints have seemed to do the opposite of what’s expected in the last few weeks. Maybe they prepare more for games they believe are more challenging. The Saints’ offensive line will have their hands full with Carolina’s John Beason and James Anderson.  However, with a mediocre secondary, I believe the Saints should come out on top if Brees can pick apart their defense and refrain from throwing interceptions.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Will Sunday’s Game Be a Trick or Treat?

New Orleans could be a scary place for Steelers fans if the Saints can get their running game in a rhythm similar to that of the Tampa Bay game. However, this past Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns (who at the time had only one win this season) seemed like déjà vu compared to the Arizona game two weeks ago.  The running game was nowhere to be found and Drew Brees threw 4 interceptions in the game.  Two of those interceptions were returned for touchdowns.  If you do not factor in the interceptions, Brees had an impressive day with 356 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, and 37 out of 56 completions.  Brees was quoted during the post game conference saying, “We outscored the Browns had it not been for those two touchdown returns.”

Fantasy owners of Marques Colston were glad to finally see him make it into the end zone this season.  He had an impressive game with 10 receptions for 110 yards and one touchdown.  Chris Ivory led the team in rushing with 48 yards.  Looking forward to this week’s game against the Steelers, it is going to be a tough one. If Drew Brees is your starting quarterback, then he is a safe bet and consistent scorer since even in his worst games, he seems to make up for negative interception points with excessive passing yards.  I think Colston will get double teamed this game so I look for Lance Moore to get the bulk of the receptions, with Meachem  being a close second to Moore.  Although the Saints running game looked great against Tampa Bay, I’m not as confident in the running attack against the Steelers run defense.  Chris Ivory has looked good but they are primarily using him as a ‘between the tackles runner’ and not throwing any screen passes (which I believe he could really take advantage with a full head of steam.)  If Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush make their return this week, I might feel better about the Saints running game. However, if they are sidelined again, I would not start any of the Saints running backs.

Although this past week’s game was a major upset, I feel there is a possibility that the Saints still have a chance to win the NFC South. With the possible return of Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush in week 8, and having Darren Sharper back at safety, I think the Saints will make a post season push starting this week in the Dome against a very good Steelers team.  If we are able to win this  game at home on Halloween, this could be the perfect cure for the mediocre season we’ve had thus far. So, Saints fans, get out your voodoo dolls and put a pin in the arm of number seven. We’ll need all the luck we can get in this game.