Saints 2014|02

Sep 14, 2014 by

Yeah, that was sick, especially after what we saw–or didn’t see–in pre-season. While the Saints D showed improvement from last year in the four games that don’t count, they also looked a trifle “whatever”. Professional sports mouths ignored the boredom and hyped those flashes of Ryan Mark-II that were briefly seen. Fans who know better (including yours truly) emphasized the Man Behind The Curtain and simply wrote it off as “imagine what he’s saving for the regular season!” The Great and Powerful Payton is, after all, a master at sleight of hand; keeping everything under wraps until such time as the audience–and opponent–need a dazzling. Unfortunately the magic never got past Got-Your-Nose and we were all left with a bunch of monkeys flying out of our collective ass.

The Saints scored 34 points. That’s a lot in the NFL. So much that only Atlanta and Seattle beat it in week one and only the Vikings and Eagles tie it. While Colston’s fumble led directly to the loss, Rob Ryan’s invisible secondary is what put the team into overtime from a 20-10 halftime lead. Colston’s 5 catches for 110 yards is ignored by those blaming him for the loss. Yeah, he’s getting old and that’s showing, but older still is Sean Payton’s incomprehensible clock management. 27 years in the NFL, 16 as a coordinator or coach and he still doesn’t get it. I guess Tom Benson didn’t put, “Must be able to contain the opposing team for a minute and a half at the end of the game.” on the first line of the Defensive Coordinator ad Rob Ryan answered.

The team still seems to be operating in the “We got no run game, Drew’s gotta do it.” panic-mode of last year despite the ground corps going 26 for 119. (Ingram, Thomas and Robinson.) Why else start out with two short, panicky passes in coverage? They’ll never expect it? Guess again. Take a deep breath, compose yourselves and remember… You’ve been there before! Congratulations Falcons on your third victory over Sean Payton, out of fifteen games! See you in week 16!

This week it’s the Cleveland Browns who lead the series 12-4. Payton is 1-1 against the Browns and this should have been a cakewalk. The Browns are in complete disarray but are high off a 30-point loss that should have been a blowout for them. Unless Rob Ryan can tighten his nuts up this could be a game that induces more than just coronaries!

The Machine calls it almost straight up at 32 points for each side. Almost! The Saints have a .36-point edge but I can’t figure out where. If the Machine has it so close I’m willing to bet we blow the turf out from under them, so, here I go off-line and say:
Saints: 33
Browns: 17
Look for Johnny Football to remain first-string benchwarmer!

And now, the numerical frippery!

Brees (6841) passed Warren Moon (6823) on the NFL career completions list.
Brees (51414) is 61 yards away from Elway (51475) on the NFL career passing yards list.
Brees (5032-1st) made his 5000 attempt as a Saint.

Thomas (780-7th) is 8 rushing attempts from Chuck Muncie (788)
Thomas (288-8th) passed Tony Galbreath (284-9th) on the receptions list and is 6 away from Reggie Bush (294-7th)
Thomas (2288-15th) passed both Dalton Hilliard (2233) and Dave Parks (2254) in receiving yardage.

Ingram (369-17th) passed Archie Manning (357-19) and is 3 rushing attempts away from Jess Phillips (372-16th)

Colston is just 53 yards from his 8500th receiving yard.

Jimmy Graham (309-5th) tied Danny Abramowicz on the Saints reception list.

Brandin Cooks wasted little time joining the frippery. Cooks becomes the 283rd Saint to catch a pass, 282nd Saint to gain reception yardage and 143rd Saint to catch a TD pass. Also the 224th Saint to rush and gain yardage. Cooks’ 7 receptions for 77 yards puts him in 174th and 170th places respectively, leapfrogging more than 100 other players on each list.

Tyrunn Walker (2-87th) made his second career Saints sack. The only sack of the game and only tackle for a loss.

Curtis Lofton (178-33rd) passed Mike McKenzie (174-35th) and tied Jimmy Spencer on the tackle list.

Jairus Byrd (5-223rd) became the 308th Saint to make a tackle. Brandon Deaderick (1-278th) became the 309th.

Brandin Cooks, Austin Johnson, Jairus Byrd, Brian Dixon, Ronald Powell, Kyle Knox, Vinnie Sunseri, Kasim Edebali and Brandon Deaderick become the 839th through 847th Saints players to take the field. Who will be #850? Tune in tomorrow!

-M Styborski

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