Saints 2014|07

Oct 19, 2014 by

Saints LogoWelcome back my friends to the coronary that never ends! It’s our 9th stop at 2-3, and 17 seasons have begun worse, so, we got that going for us! Jimmy Graham is gone for the next few weeks but Tom Corbett will be riding the bench as an emergency back-up TE while Josh Hill and Ben Watson actually compete for yardage.

In the past I might assume that Graham’s 2-3 week sit-down was just Sean Payton playing mind games. “We’re 2-3, let’s tell ’em Jimmy’s out for that long! Then when he plays Sunday, they’ll be baffled! Baffled, I say!!” But, sadly, that Sean seems to have died during his year in suspension hell. (Oh, sure, he’s hinting at Graham playing Sunday but if you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you!) We’re now stuck with a sad, lackluster, handsomely compensated head coach who shows no sign of allowing the spark of imagination back onto the field. Punt and kick returns? Take a knee. Third and long? Checkdown lateral. Fourth and inches? Punt. We did try a fake kick a few weeks back, the execution of which sent half of Saints Nation to Charity with apoplexy. I’m not saying we should try a flea-flicker on every down, (although…) but let’s have a little more diversity than the three-yard play-action dump-offs that were the hallmark of Jim Mora’s anemic offense and seem to be our go-to play every other down.

By the way, King Roger the Inconsistent did not fine Bucs CB Major Wright for lowering his head and spearing Jimmy Graham. The second time Graham’s right shoulder was targeted in two plays. Can you say bounty? Can you say bullshit?

The good news is that Mark Ingram is back! (Shaddup, you!) Ingram should be able to pick up where he left off and if Payton has any football sense left behind his granny-glasses he’ll retool the positioning so that Khiry Robinson can take over the Darren Sproles routes that Branden Cooks has been running and Cooks can slide into Jimmy Graham’s routes. We can only hope, right?

Sunday we face the Detroit Lions for the 23rd time! The Saints lead the series 12-9 and under Payton are 3-0! Unfortunately, we’re heading to The Motor City and this season we’re positively Suck Incarnate on the road dropping two games in OT and being blown out by the Cowboys in W05. Meanwhile, Detroit has been almost perfect at home drubbing the Giants 35-14, the Packers 19-7 and losing to the Bills 17-14 in what can only be considered an Act of God.

Detroit’s D is working overtime keeping opponent scores low, (allowing a league-low 14-points on average,) and the Bills loss can be chalked up to Calvin Johnson’s bum ankle.About that, I’m irked as he’s wideout numero-uno on two fantasy teams. As a Saints fan though, it’s manna from heaven! The Lions have used the injured Johnson as a decoy for two straight weeks and each time he’s re-injured himself. Resting him would be the Lions best move both for the Saints and for the Lions season.

Of course, there’s also the matter of the grudge match. Not only has Payton trounced Detroit three games running, (something bound to be remembered by all but the rookies,) but there are a few folks up there looking to make a very loud statement. Like the entire Lions RB corps. Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Jed Collins, all former Saints, make up the whole of the Lions rushing attack! It might seem odd that all three Saints cast-offs-from-diverse-times wound up on the same team but I think OC Joe Lombardi, (Saints OA/QBC from 2007-2013,) may have had something to do with that. Oh, and what were you asking about why Drew Brees seems to be slumping this year?

It’s gonna be interesting. Graham or Johnson out makes this game an arguable slam dunk for the other team. Both gone brings it back to a coin flip. Respective home and road records tilts the game to the Lions league-best D. The unknowable factor, however, is the bye-week. Did we work hard on fundamentals or did we just go through the motions? Is Ingram truly 100%? Will Crabtree be more than a seat-warmer? I really don’t know. I’ve spent the bye-week working my tuchas off fine-tuning The Machine but unfortunately it just made things worse for the Saints. Initially it called for a 20-25 loss but thanks to time on my hands and a pig-headed desire for prognostic accuracy it now says:

Saints: 19

Lions: 26 

And before you start hating on me… LOOK!! The shiny object that is The Numerical Frippery!

Drew Brees will tie Sam Mills at 18th place today with 133 games as a Saint! Brees (5208-1st) got his 5200th attempt, (3506-1st) 3500th completion, (40,307-1st) and 40,000th yard as a Saint all in one game! Unfortunately he also threw (130-2nd) his 128th, 129th and 130th interception as a Saint. Still, he needs another 26 to catch Archie and that’s not likely to happen this year! (<<Knocks wood!)

Brees (7017-5th) also got his 7000th career attempt, (4631-4th) 4600th career completion and (52,659-4th) 52,600th career yard! Drew also crossed the 40,000 mark in yards with one team, (40,311-7th). He should easily cover the 2730 yard distance needed to pass Dan Fouts (43,040-6th) by W15.

One “non-stat stat” about Brees: He is the scoringest sumbitch the Saints have ever had! NFL stats give passing scores to the receivers and not the QBs. I don’t know why it’s not a split, but there it is. So, while Brees officially sits in a 67th place tie with Andy Livingston and Bob Newland at 48 points, his unofficial scoring total (rushing, passing, 2PCs, etc, calculated at full value) hit exactly 1800 points last week! That’s 482 points past Morten! And despite this lackluster season, I’d just like to say “Thank you, Drew!” I’d offer to have your babies, but you seem to have that covered!

This will be Pierre Thomas‘ 100th game as a Saint! Thomas (248-11th) Passed Lance Moore (238) and Charlie Durkee (243) on the scoring list. He is now just 16 points away from Jimmy Graham (264)! Thomas (40-7th) passed Moore (39) on the TD list and needs four to catch Graham (44). He (28-3rd) also moved into a TD tie with Chuck Muncie! Thomas (2417-14th) passed Michael Haynes (2368) in receiving yards and (12-23rd) moved into a tie with Reggie Bush, Boo Williams and Ike Harris for receiving TDs.

Khiry Robinson (115-47th) passedJames Ford (104) and Tony Lorick (109) in rushing attempts. Robinson (528-39th) also jumped Troy Davis (446), Bobby Hebert (452), Tom Barrington (493) and Jim Strong (524) in yardage and sits 46 yards behind Vaughn Dunbar (574).

Joe Morgan and Nick Toon held a heated debate on the sidelines over the advantages and disadvantages of a national flat-tax rate.

Shayne Graham (9-15th) passed Steve Mike-Meyer (6) and Chip Lohmiller (8) for FGs made. Graham (22-14th) needs three PATs to pass Martin Gramatica. And he needs to not jump up and down in celebration when he does.

Junior Galette (24.5-14th) tied Willie Whitehead in sacks and is pulling away from Cam Jordan in this years Sack Race, 3-1. You gonna let him get away with that, Cam? I dare you to sack Stafford six times! Both of ya! And by the way, that was an end-zone sack for a safety! The last safety the Saints recorded was by Will Smith against, ironically, the Bucs’ QB Luke McCown in a 23-27 loss in W13 of 2007, and frankly, it’s been too damn long! (You have no idea how long it took to track down that stat!)

Curtis Lofton (201-30th) made his 200th tackle as a Saint passing James E Williams in the process. Lofton leads all active Saints in tackles followed by Patrick Robinson (127-50th).

Patrick Robinson (8-22nd) left his 12-way tie for an 8-way in interceptions.

Marcus Ball became the 852nd Saint to take the field.

Brian Dixon became the 851st Saint to take the field and 310th to make a tackle.

-M Styborski

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