Saints 2014|03

Sep 21, 2014 by

Saints LogoWelcome to Saints Football 2000! Finest coaching mind in Saints history. An offense that won’t quit. A defense that promises to rewrite the playbooks. More talent on one team than ever before. And they can’t even tie their fucking shoelaces properly, much less win a game.

It’s the Saints twentieth 0-2 start since 1967; the Second for Sean Payton (2007) and third in the SPE (2012-Kromer/Vitt). Game one against the Atlanta Falcons could be written off as one of those painfully close intra-divisional rivalry games that just finish the wrong way. Game two, unfortunately, reveals the beginnings of a pattern that we’ve seen before.

A week ago I made an offhand joke wondering who on the Saints roster was nailing the other players’ wives. I wasn’t alone, either. More than one sports-wag made similar comments and after the W02 loss to the perpetually-rebuilding Cleveland Browns, well, the comparisons to the Jim Haslett era began in earnest. In the first six Saints possessions, Drew Brees was 7 of 12 for 23 yards and an interception. He also lost 7 yards on a sack that should have been a safety. At this point there was just 3:25 remaining until halftime.

Fact: Jimmy Graham wasn’t targeted until 3:37 remaining in the 2Q, a pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.

Fact: After reeling in 5 of 8 for 110 yards in W01, Marques Colston didn’t even rate a look in the W02 debacle.

Graham’s late start is a message from Sean Payton: You’re a tight end, so block, bitch. It’s a we-can-do-this-without-you mentality that simply doesn’t work on paper or in practice. Colston’s 0 yards on 0 catches out of 0 targets is another message entirely. Punishment for that W01 fumble on a pass that never should have been thrown. Incredible but true, Peyton likes to rule his little kingdom with cookies and castor oil. Unfortunately, it tends to ruin a football game now and again. And again.

Asinine coaching aside, the real problem lies within the minds of the players themselves. The loudest rumours concern the biggest contracts and who the Saints let go in order to pay them. Considering a 7-catch, 152-yard performance (including two 50+yard catches) by a certain Philadelphia Eagle, these rumours may be valid. Then there are whispers of resentment over the whole TE/WR kafuffle. While fans generally take the “Hey, if he can talk them into paying him that, more power to him!” road, it’s a different story when that money comes of the back-end of your own paycheck. And if you think the defense points fingers every which way when the offense changes their stance just before the ball is snapped, you should see the “practice” they get in the locker room after a game!

And here we are; not a team but a collection of sulky, overpaid children. It’s difficult to admit a season is over with fourteen games remaining but that looks like the situation. Does this mean we stop rooting? Of course not, but it certainly puts a damper on swagger. Is this season salvageable? Absolutely. 14-2 is first-round-bye material, but the players need to come to terms in the locker room before that happens.

On the bright side, Mark Ingram is playing like he means it. Well, it is a contract year, but at least I won’t have to suffer through y’alls endless whining about him this year!

Up next: The Minnesota Vikings who lead the series 20-10, 2-1 under Payton. The line opened with Adrian Peterson playing and the Saints a 10-point favorite. (In what dreamworld, wonder I?) Now that AP is benched again it seems a likely game for us to right our ship, but I wouldn’t count on it. The Machine calls it a Saints loss 23-26, but me… I’m a sucker for faith, hope and all that crap so…

Vikings: 28

If you’re gonna dream, dream reasonably big, right?

Now, on with the Numerical Frippery!

Drew Brees (51651) took 4th place from John Elway (51475) on NFL career passing list and starts 130th game as a Saint tying Joe Federspiel for 20th place on the games played list.

Mark Ingram (380-16th) passed Jess Phelps in rushing attempts. Next stop Ray Zellars (382) and Derek D Brown (388). Ingram (14-13th) also passed Aaron Brooks and Craig Heyward and tied Mike Strachan in both rushing and career Saints TDs. Ingram reached 40th place on the Saints scoring list. His 14th Saints TD breaks his tie with Hokie Gaijan, Lonzell Hill, Michael Haynes and Aaron Brooks and ties him with Mike Strachan, Craig Heyward and Floyd Turner in 30th place on the Saints career TD list. He’s now one away from Wes Chandler and John Tice.

Pierre Thomas (783-7th) is 5 rushing attempts away from tying Chuck Muncie (788). Thomas (291-8th) is 3 receptions away from Reggie Bush (294).

Austin Johnson became the 225th Saint to rush (2-176th) for yardage (10-156th)

Robert Meachem (160-22nd) passed John Tice (158) in receptions and is two away from Michael Haynes (162).

Jimmy Graham (319-5th) broke his receptions tie with Danny Abramowicz (309). He’s just 27 catches away from Lance Moore (346). Graham also passed 4000 receiving yards as a Saint. Just over four years, kids! See how easy it is?

Joe Morgan and Nick Toon were inactive. Again. Go figure. Can we trade them to Philly to get Sproles back and just have a 52-man roster this year?

Junior Galette (22.5-17th) breaks his sack tie with Cam Jordan (21.5). Hopefully this starts the sack race back up!

Shayne Graham kicked his fifth Saints FG passing Florian Kempf, Toni Fritsch, and Russell Erxleben for 17th place. One more and he’ll tie Steve Mike-Meyer for 16th. Graham also nailed his 14th XP, passing Chip Lohmiller for 16th place. Three more ties him with Happy Feller. Whoop-dee-doo.

-M Styborski

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