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TallySaint 09-26-2005 02:01 PM

Saints Report Card - Vikings
Monday, September 26, 2005


By Mike Triplett Times-Picayune

OFFENSE: There were few positives in this one. The Saints trailed 17-0 before they even gained a first down. They committed penalties, failed to establish the run and didn't protect quarterback Aaron Brooks against a series of blitzes by Vikings' cornerbacks and safeties. Worse yet, the Saints seemingly took forever to adjust to those unexpected blitzes. And Brooks was especially off, not even mixing in great throws with bad ones like he did last week against New York. He completed one pass to Joe Horn, none to Donte' Stallworth, repeatedly underthrew receivers and threw two interceptions. The Saints were 2-of-12 on third downs.

Grade: F

DEFENSE: The defense barely avoided an F by keeping the Vikings out of the end zone the final 20 minutes and giving the Saints a chance to come back. Otherwise, it was an abysmal performance. The Saints' defense did not force any turnovers for the second consecutive week. It allowed Daunte Culpepper to get into his old groove early in the game. And, tailback Mewelde Moore rushed for more than 100 yards for a team that was getting desperate with its rushing attack. Early in the game, Saints coach Jim Haslett began rotating in the entire second-string linebacking corps of Ronald McKinnon, James Allen and T.J. Slaughter on rushing downs, which actually made a difference.

Grade: D-

SPECIAL TEAMS: The Saints did not respond well without injured return specialist Michael Lewis. Veteran Aaron Stecker fumbled away the opening kickoff, an unforgivable blunder after Fred McAfee did the same thing to open last week's loss. And the special teams committed another series of penalties, including a block in the back by receiver Nate Poole that negated Stallworth's punt return for a touchdown.

Grade: F

COACHING: Again, the coaches get only the slightest amount of lenience because that opening fumble put the team in a hole early. And that 17-0 lead rendered the game plan moot. But the Saints did not put enough pressure on a struggling Culpepper or a dismal Vikings' rushing attack to rattle their confidence in the first half. And the Saints took too long to adjust to the Vikings' defensive plan. One of these days, the Saints might get to show off their vaunted rushing attack, but first they need to come out ready to play.

Grade: D-


TallySaint 09-26-2005 02:10 PM

I didn't see the game. It musta been butt-ugly.


WhoDat 09-26-2005 02:20 PM

That's putting it nicely.

saintswhodi 09-26-2005 02:26 PM

Even with all the blitzes, Culpepper was sacked 7 times, Brooks 3. And we blitzed our corners often as well, Fred Thomas especially. Culpepper was under heat too, he just made plays. It basically came down to that, and prob the fact that the players on their defense are simply better than the players on ours. They were able to force us into mistakes, and we couldn't, even with the hurries and sacks. Seems like several defenders were often out of place, including Dwight Smith, and Culpepper capitalized, even with the pressure. It was rough all around. Still couldn't run. If I see the Deuce pile into the line play oen more time I am gonna lose it.

WhoDat 09-26-2005 02:45 PM

I think that we are equally as talented on defense. They have a coordinator. We do not.

saintswhodi 09-26-2005 02:56 PM

I'll take Smoot, Chavous and Winfield over McKenzie Craft and Smith any day of the week. I'll take Cowart and Thomas over Watson and Colby or the rest of the committe any day of the week. Kevin Williams over Young or any of our other DTs. I'd take Howard over any of theirs though. He was a damn force. What the hell is wrong with Charles Grant by he way? Top to bottom, i'd take Minny's defense over ours though.

Euphoria 09-26-2005 10:25 PM

they have more talen on D... don't over hype our guys we are week on talent maybe due to coaching but we are week... we are even as it seemed by my eye even undersized...

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