Saints 2014|12

Nov 24, 2014 by

Saints LogoAhh… smell that 4-6 air! In one game the 2014 Saints dropped from the 20th worst season to the 29th. It’s our eighth visit to 4-6 and a winning season is now officially debatable. no 4-6 Saints team has ever finished better than 8-8.

The most vocal critics of the team are pointing fingers at Rob Ryan’s defense, specifically after allowing Cincinatti to score 27 points. This probably makes them feel better while ignoring the problems of the offense. To date, this season, the NFL average points scored per team is 23. The Saints themselves are averaging 26 while the defense is allowing an average of 25. So yes, our D performed sub-par against Cinci to the tune of four points compared to the NFL average and two points to its own average. The Bengals themselves average 22 points on both sides of the ball, so our D allowed them to do five points better than average. But their D, well…

The elephant in the room folks shy away from mentioning: Our offense only managed to put up an anemic 10 points last Sunday. Sixteen points less than we usually get and 12 points less than the Bengals usually allow! And while the Saints have scored 10 or less only a half dozen times in road losses over the last few years the last time we did so at home was in week 15 of the 2006 season, losing to the Redskins 10-16. That’s almost eight years ago!

And you folks with the “We got Superbowl rings, we should be doing better!” arguments better check yourselves. Only about ten members of our 53-man roster have those rings. The other Championship Saints have been broken, retired, traded and dismissed from service. Some of them are still kicking ass elsewhere in the NFL despite the Saints writing them off as over-the-hill. Darren Sproles is returning kicks for TDs in Philly with fellow ex-Saint Malcolm Jenkins who has three INTs including a pick-6. Roman Harper has three INTs in Carolina. The Saints D has just seven this season.

You want answers? Look beyond the field to the sidelines and then look past that to the Future Planning. New talent is great, but you can’t simply cut the vets and hope talent will out! The Saints currently rank 3rd in total yards (424.5/gm) but 7th in points (26.1/gm). Our 424.5 yard average per game is 5 trips to the endzone from our own 15. And we’re having trouble getting there more than twice from the 20 and beyond!

And here come the Baltimore Ravens who lead the series 4-1, 2-0 in the SPE. Relaxed from a bye week, the Ravens are going to be a huge test on whether we sink or swim! Did I just write that? Does it need saying? No. The Ravens are brutal and relentless and have been for years. The only thing that will save us here is skill, execution, coaching and good clock management! And perhaps a little voodun! The Machine says it’s close at 23-22 Saints which means it will probably be a blowout with a 50/50 chance of either team winning. Me, I say:

Ravens: 24

Saints: 30

Here’s some frippery. Don’t read it all at once… make it last.

Drew Brees (7216-5th) is 34 passing attempts from John Elway’s (7250-4th) career total.

Mark Ingram (494-12th) passed Mike Strachan (472) in rushing attempts. Ingram (2080-12th) passed Archie Manning (2058) in rushing yards and sits 10 yards behind Reggie Bush (2090).

Brian Leonard (1-248th-t) became the 287th Saint to catch a pass.

Joe Morgan came directly out of suspension and back onto the bench only to have his grabass game with Nick Toon rudely interrupted. Apparently Travaris Cadet was worn out from kneeling returns in the endzone so Morgan spelled him once in the 3Q and later caught a pass for seven yards.

Yeah, that’s about all the frippery you get when a team is coached by a corpse.

-M Styborski

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