this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Posted by Peter Finney, Times-Picayune October 08, 2007 At this time last year at the Superdome, Drew Brees led the 5-1 Saints on a 16-play, 72-yard drive that took up the final 6 1/2 minutes to set up a game-winning ...
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|10-08-2007, 09:59 PM||#1|
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Payton, Brees unable to find the magic
Posted by Peter Finney, Times-Picayune
October 08, 2007
At this time last year at the Superdome, Drew Brees led the 5-1 Saints on a 16-play, 72-yard drive that took up the final 6 1/2 minutes to set up a game-winning field goal on the final play against the Philadelphia Eagles.
On Sunday in the Superdome, Brees led the 0-4 Saints on a 19-play drive that produced a field goal, then led the Saints on a 24-play drive that ended in a blocked field-goal attempt, making it the first time in NFL history a team held the ball a total of 43 plays and came away with a mere three points.
How could this happen to the same team, with virtually the same players and coaching staff it had the year before?
How do you explain the same team going from 5-1 to 0-4?
Let me refresh your memory by telling you what happened last year going into the Philadelphia game.
The week before, Reggie Bush was beating Tampa Bay with his first NFL touchdown, a 65-yard punt return.
Before that Steve Gleason was blocking a punt that led to a quick touchdown, triggering a 23-3 victory over Atlanta that included three John Carney field goals, one from 51 yards.
Before that, Carney was kicking four field goals in a road victory against Cleveland and another two in a road victory against Green Bay.
Get the picture?
The Saints were making plays and Carney was kicking field goals.
Now the Saints are not making plays, and Olindo Mare has become a Sean Payton mistake.
And that, my friends, is only part of a mystery the head coach has not begun to solve.
Here's the big picture in a nutshell: The 2006 Saints, at this time of the year, were playing like a team expecting good things to happen. The 2007 Saints are the picture of a ballclub waiting for bad things to happen.
Payton called Sunday's 16-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers "sickening."
He talked like someone who has no idea what's going on, except to state the obvious.
It had to be especially sickening to watch it being won with a 52-yard field goal.
All Payton could do was give you the usual postmortems like:
"There's a lot of blame to go around."
"Maybe we're not playing the right guys."
At the moment Payton is in a coaching trance.
And, to compound matters, Brees is in a quarterback trance.
"We got beat in the first three games," he said. "This one we gave away."
In four games, Brees has thrown one touchdown pass and nine interceptions.
He would have had his second touchdown Sunday had Pro Bowl left tackle Jammal Brown not been flagged for lining up slightly behind the line of scrimmage, negating a 10-yard completion to Aaron Stecker in the second quarter.
He would have had another touchdown in the fourth quarter of a game the Saints were leading 13-6.
On third down from the Carolina 2, Brees fired to Bush running a slant. The ball was slightly behind Reggie, allowing a Carolina defender to make the play.
Get the picture?
The play of the game followed: A Julius Peppers block of a 20-yard Mare field-goal attempt, 1 yard closer than an extra point, that would have given the Saints a 10-point lead with 10 minutes left.
"The ball never got 6 feet off the ground," moaned Payton of the man he brought in to replace Carney.
Coaches live and die by their mistakes.
So do quarterbacks.
There have been times this season when Brees' protection has broken down, when his receivers have come up with crucial drops, none more crucial than the one Sunday that bounced out of Devery Henderson's hands in the fourth quarter that would have given the Saints life on the Carolina 33, but resulted in a Panthers' pick.
However, there have also been times, as was the case Sunday, when Brees has made some awful decisions, like the interception he threw on the first series when he had the offense moving. The pick not only killed the drive, but set up a 3-0 Carolina lead.
Yes, Brees had some drops, but he also was fortunate not to have some forced throws backfire into other picks.
At the moment, Brees is beginning to look like a quarterback who has become shell-shocked over protection problems, over drops, over flags like the one Sunday that cost his team a touchdown.
Right now the head coach and the quarterback are a couple of shell-shocked twins staring into a mysterious abyss.
Payton, Brees unable to find the magic - New Orleans Saints Beat - Times-Picayune NFL - NOLA.com
|10-09-2007, 08:19 AM||#3|
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Re: Payton, Brees unable to find the magic
I know, let's go sign Delhomme's injured arse to come in a give the team a seminar on leadership. Yeah...leadership is what we need.
Last edited by saintfan; 10-09-2007 at 08:20 AM.. Reason: Because I want to