‘Cuz I Sez So!

Nov 21, 2013 by

Saints LogoWeek Eleven:
The Machine called the Saints for  276 in the air, 102 on the ground and 23 points. They clocked in at 305, 92 and 23; 19 total yards better than expected and spot on in scoring. The Saints defense destroyed The Machine’s predictions for San Fran: 194 air, 133 ground and 20 points; spot on in scoring but 119 yards short of expectations. Of course, the Niners didn’t need much yardage thanks to 17 turnover points. The three points they managed to score on their own were awful cute though!

Week Twelve:
This is the 89th regular season game of the Saints longest rivalry which the they trail 42-46. However, since 2000 the Saints are 17-9 against the Falcons; 12-3 in the Sean Payton/Drew Brees era!

No doubt by now you’ve heard the wags claiming that a Falcons win tonight will be the bedrock on which they’ll build an 8-8 finish from a 2-8 start. It’s almost a losing-team meme in the NFL, but here it’s nothing more than “If you can’t say anything nice…”. Atlanta’s season is toast, their post-season is non-existent and it’s the beginning of the end for Mike Smith who is about one loss away form a Jim Mora style “PLAYOFFS!?!?” press conference.

Well, the wags are wrong.

I lived in Atlanta for half-a-dozen years in the Nineties. I trod the turf of the Georgia Dome the day it opened to the public. And why not? I lived across the street from it for the first two years of its existence. I walked around that steroidal circus tent in a ratty old Saints shirt! I chanted mystick words of failure in the Falcons brand new locker room! I drew a huge fleur-de-lis hex on the 50-yard line with my finger! And I baked under the glaze of hatred from scowling Falcons fans.

Sure, I was asking for it; we’d do the same to a Falcons fan flapping his arms in our end-zone, wouldn’t we? And that’s the real point of this game. Pure, old-fashioned, semi-good-natured hatred. While it’s nice of the media to claim this game is a building block for the Falcons, it’s nothing of the sort; this game is the Falcons season. The only feather left un-plucked from the bird and the one that Falcons fans desperately want to hang onto for future cap-sticking. When someone brings this miserable season up at post-season parties, every Falcons fan just wants to be able to say, “We beat the eventual division, conference and Super Bowl Champion Saints in week 12, so there!”

Good luck with that.

The Machine predicts a 41-29 Saints victory with 305 passing yards and 115 on the ground. Atlanta might come close to 251 passing and 94 rushing. Of course, while that sounds reasonable there’s not a “grudge” setting on The Machine and I’ve got to calculate that by voodoo. The chicken entrails were clumped and delicious so I’m going to have to say…

Saints: 36
Falcons: 32

Department of Trivia:
Since 1967 the Saints have never been 8-2. Seriously. I don’t know how much fun you can have with that, but enjoy it for the next few hours!

The Statistical Frippery:
Marques Colston (7923-1st) is now the Saints receiving yard leader, breaking Eric Martin’s 7854 yards which has been the franchise record since 1993. Martin spent nine years as a Saint playing in 153 games and racking up 5% of the Saints total passing yards to date. Colston is in his eighth year and has played just 110 games with 5.04% of all Saints passing yards.

This will be Thomas Morstead’s 75th game as a Saint. Morstead ranks 5th on the franchise punting list (269 – 10 away from tying Russell Erxleben), 4th in yards (12,659) and 1st in average yards/punt (47.06)

Garrett Hartley extended his franchise record for PATs without a miss to 136.

Pierre Thomas (3387-6th) needs 7 yards to pass Chuck Muncie (3393) and 22 yards to to pass Reuben Mayes (3408) on the franchise rushing yards list. Thomas (2076-20th) moved ahead of Jeff Groth (2073) on the franchise receiving yards list.

Darren Sproles (209-15th) passed Henry Childs (207) on the franchise receptions list and is just 38 receiving yards (1840-25th) from passing Bob Newland (1877).

Mark Ingram (1297-20th) is 11 yards away form swapping spots with Chris Ivory on the franchise rushing yards list. Ingram has 211 rushing yards in five games this season. In six games, Falcons powerhouse Steven Jackson has 192.

Jed Collins moved into 36th place on the franchise rushing TD list. He is now tied with ten other players with three total rushing TD’s.

Josh Hill became the 309th Saint to score a point, the 274th Saint to score a touchdown and the 142nd Saint to catch a TD pass.

The Sack Race:
Both Junior Galette (15.5-19th) and Cameron Jordan (15-20th) found a sack of gold in the Niners’ backfield. Jordan leads Galette 7-6 this season and slipped past Charlie Clemmons (14) on the franchise sack list.

Career Watch:
Drew Brees (49,288-6th) is now just 38 yards away from passing Warren Moon (49,325) on the NFL’s career passing yards list! Brees also threw his 350th career TD pass last week against the Niners! (His 270th as a Saint!)

-M

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