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The Saints ainít going 16-0. But at this point, who cares?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; NEW ORLEANS Ė OK, thereís 6:53 left in the first quarter and it has become clear to me that the Saints ainít going to finish 16-0. I never really gave much thought to it before because itís such a long ...

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Old 11-08-2009, 11:47 PM   #1
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NEW ORLEANS Ė OK, thereís 6:53 left in the first quarter and it has become clear to me that the Saints ainít going to finish 16-0.

I never really gave much thought to it before because itís such a long way from 7-0 to 16-0, and Iíve never considered this team to be a team for the ages.

But watching the first eight-plus minutes of the victory against Carolina on Sunday in the Superdome reinforced what we had seen the last two weeks Ė the Saintsí run defense is vulnerable and their pass protection is suspect.

The run defense was exposed right away as DeAngelo Williams zipped through the New Orleans defense for a 66-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage.

The pass protection was shaky from the beginning and calling passes on each of the first four plays wasnít helpful. On the fourth one, Drew Brees was sacked by Tyler Brayton, fumbled, and Jon Beeson recovered for the Panthers at the Saints 11. Two plays later Williams had another touchdown and Carolina had a 14-0 lead, and I had the lead to this column.

The Saints ainít going to finish 16-0, theyíre not a team for the ages, and theyíre vulnerable against the run and in pass blocking.

Theyíre still a very good team, quite possibly the best in the NFC, and they can overcome those shortcomings. But there is going to be overcoming that needs to be done.

As worrisome as the run defense can be, right now the pass protection is the greater concern. The Saintsí biggest strength, by far, is Drew Brees and the passing game, but as good as Brees has been, heís like every other quarterback in the history of football Ė when he is forced to operate under duress heís going to be less effective and turn the ball over.

In less than 10 quarters from the start of the Miami game into the second quarter Sunday Ė Brees had turned the ball over eight times, including six interceptions.

No team, including this one, is going to go very far if its quarterback is averaging nearly a turnover per quarter.

Of course, these two areas can go hand in hand. The Saints never trailed in their first five games and scored on their first possession of each game, including four touchdowns. New Orleans was constantly playing with the lead, which made it difficulty for opponents to establish a consistent running game, and which also enabled the Saints to avoid predictable passing situations.

In the three games since, New Orleans has been in far more competitive games, playing from behind much of the time.

These deficiencies were masked during the first five victories, but have since been unmasked.

Now the third quarter has just ended and the Saints have finally pulled even at 20. Theyíve done it because Brees and the big-play passing game have gotten untracked, and the Panthers canít take full advantage of their running game because theyíre scared to death to let Jake Delhomme to try and make a play in the passing game.

Now that the game is tied, the Panthers decide to let Delhomme throw down the field and it yields a few first downs but they wind up punting when the Saints surround Johnathan Stewart for a loss on third down.

New Orleans takes over at its own 2-yard line and after a few first downs Iím having flashbacks to the 27-24 regular-season victory against Philadelphia in 2006.

The Saints arenít able to run out the clock in scoring a tie-breaking field goal as they did in beating the Eagles, but they do break the tie with a 40-yard field goal by John Carney.

Along the way Sean Payton outdoes even himself in the ridiculous replay challenge department. Itís ironic that Paytonís reluctance to challenge an incompletion to Marques Colston cost him because itís usually his overzealousness is choosing to challenge thatís the problem.

But while Payton was vacillating on whether to challenge, the play clock was about to run out. At this point the sensible thing to do would have been to challenge the play because you were going to have to call timeout anyway, you might as well hope the replay officials somehow decide to overturn the play; it canít hurt since you were going to lose a timeout anyway.

Apparently this is what Brees was trying to convey to Payton on the sideline, but the coach called a timeout AND challenged the ruling. The officials rightly upheld the ruling and New Orleans lost two timeouts.

But allís well that ends well and after Anthony Hargrove recovered two fumbles and returned the second for a touchdown, this one ended Saints 30, Panthers 20.

New Orleans for the first time is 8-0, halfway to 16-0. But the comeback and victory Ė as impressive as they were Ė donít change my original premise.

The Saints ainít going 16-0. But at this point, who cares?

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Old 11-09-2009, 08:31 PM   #2
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Re: The Saints ainít going 16-0. But at this point, who cares?

I don't care about a perfect seaon - I would just like to see a SB victory for the Saints & all of us fans who have been longing & needing for SOOOO long!!
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:45 PM   #3
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Re: The Saints ainít going 16-0. But at this point, who cares?

call me crazy but i dont want to go 16-0. we dont need any more added pressure come playoff time. ill take 15-1 and less media hype.
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:17 PM   #4
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Re: The Saints ainít going 16-0. But at this point, who cares?

i don't care for the 16-0. I just want to win the S.B..
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:40 PM   #5
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Re: The Saints ainít going 16-0. But at this point, who cares?

All I want is a superbowl dammit!!! And to know who that girl is in ashleys avatar!!!
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:06 PM   #6
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Re: The Saints ainít going 16-0. But at this point, who cares?

Super Bowl, 16-0 isnt important as long as the 1 L isnt to the Rams.
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:25 AM   #7
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Re: The Saints ainít going 16-0. But at this point, who cares?

16-0 would be like icing on the dreamcake but isn't nearly as important as having a successful playoff and subsequent Superbowl victory. I agree that trying to maintain a no loss record is probably putting added pressure on our guys. If we do lose I just hope the team that beats us has to fight for it . . . no demoralizing/devestating loss on our part.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:03 AM   #8
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Re: The Saints ainít going 16-0. But at this point, who cares?

Who's the alleged writer of this piece, more of a piece of ****?

The run defense was "exposed"? Exposed to what? 2-bit pseudo journalism BS? Because of 1 play? Doesn't everyone and their grandmas know that the Saints had to activate someone from the practice squad to play DT because their 2 starting DTs are hurt? As for pass blocking, doesn't he know either that their starting LT and FB are hurt? Surely he knows that teams throwing their best at the Saints comes with the unbeaten tag...

But what genius fails to mention is this: even with the injuries, even with the bad starts, the Saints are able to make game-time adjustments and overcome the early pressure. What did D'Angelo Williams do after the first half? Nothing. Who got to Brees after the 1st half? No one.

... blame the internet.. too many "journalists" these days.

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Old 11-10-2009, 10:26 AM   #9
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Re: The Saints ainít going 16-0. But at this point, who cares?

These predictions are more for fun or just plain speculation. No one knows what is in store. I could not say they will lose one or more or if they will go 16-0. The chance of the Saints losing some games is fairly high. We still have 6 more divisional games to go and these are going to be against two teams so far who have gave us fits. I would like them to totally run the table all the through and win the SB. This is my preference. If we are going to lose one I pray it would not be like the Pats.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:28 AM   #10
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Re: The Saints ainít going 16-0. But at this point, who cares?

Originally Posted by Ashley View Post
i don't care for the 16-0. I just want to win the S.B..
Genius!
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