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The Obvious And The Underrated

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Posted 11-04-2013 at 03:56 AM by BoudinSandwich

It's been a while since I posted to this blog, but since then, the Saints have gone 1-2. It's time I post again and get the football gods back on our side.

There are some obvious reasons why the Saints are struggling and there are some underrated/under the radar reasons. We'll start out with the obvious and that happens to be the offensive line. Plenty of times in my blog, I've talked about the trend of struggling in the red zone. At first, I thought it was a play calling problem. (And, it was to some degree.) However, there's a more serious issue at hand.

The offensive line is struggling to block. There is no room for any running back to be productive in this offense. This is why we're having to call so many screens. It's not only to counter the blitz, but also to have an 'extended hand off' that allows the backs to get beyond the line of scrimmage before they start running. With this offensive line, most of their effort comes with just trying to get to the line of scrimmage.

They're struggling with pass blocking as well. It's obvious in the numbers, but it also appears somewhere else. The past few weeks, I found myself very critical of Drew Brees, noticing how he keeps locking on the same players and forcing the ball to them. I've come to realize that it's not really his fault. The man no longer has a comfortable time period to throw the ball. He locks on to Graham and Sproles because they're the most trusted weapons in a quick-paced down.

This issue is not something that can be fixed during the season. It's something that has to be managed. Can a team actually manage it well enough to win a Super Bowl? Honestly, I don't think so. We'll have to wait and see.

There is also another reason why the Saints are struggling. It's right in front of our eyes, but it seems no one wants to give it any weight. The reason, my friends, is the Saints are riddled with injuries. Look at it from a depth chart layout to get a true perspective of what is going on. Plenty of fans notice the defense struggling with run defense and just think they "can't stop the run." It's very difficult to stop the run when 4 of your 5 Defensive Ends and both of your Strong Safeties are either out or limited due to injuries. The Saints can stop the run. They're just paper-thin with healthy run-stoppers at the moment. The good news here is that they can get healthy and improve.

Furthermore, the Saints may actually be the most injured team in the league right now. (NFL Week 9 Injury Reports) There are a few teams with longer lists, but keep in mind that those teams' lists are filled with Probables while the Saints' list is filled with Questionables. Yes, there is most definitely a difference.

Unfortunately, the Saints are entering a really tough stretch on their schedule. The injuries are only going to make it tougher. Overall, it's not as bad as it looks. Most of the team's struggles are not from a lack of talent. The struggles on the offensive line turns an elite offense into an offense that's just pretty good. If this team can heal up quickly, they can still make a nice playoff run. I'm not sure about any championships, though. If they can't heal up quickly, things may get very, very disappointing.



Next week, the Cowboys. Dallas is pretty banged up as well. That said, this one has the makings for a shoot out.
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  1. Old Comment
    SloMotion's Avatar
    "It's only weird if it doesn't work ... ", good read & keep on postin' ... your team needs you, .
    permalink
    Posted 11-04-2013 at 08:16 AM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline

 
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