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Frederick Smith 11-25-2009 08:24 AM

Re: Who wants to talk football?
How have opposing teams teams generally approached and set their game plan to win against the Saints so far ? Answer Run the ball effectively enough to keep Brees and the quick strike offense off the field with an early lead to force us to play catch up through the air. This allows them to send three/four and play shutdown in the passing game against the Saints and they have almost been successful and caused Brees to make some near costly errors.The way we have been able to run the ball this year has offset this approach somewhat. No matter how good Brees is I do not think the Saints can allow the Pats to make them one dimensional. The Saints need to use the same game plan other teams have used against us so far to keep Brady off the field. Our linebackers are going to be challenged to break up the short stuff across the middle of the field and short sideline to Faulk which is really all he is good for shut that down and Faulk has no game. Not going to be able to stop the Pats completely with Welker and Moss but the Giants have submitted a blueprint for containing Brady the D-line will have to get to him quickly to limit his looks down field. This is not a test for the Pat's they have established themselves as winners year in and year out. This is a challenge for a Saints squad to see if they can answer the bell in a big time game.

FrenzyFan 11-25-2009 08:32 AM

Re: Who wants to talk football?

Originally Posted by 71husky (Post 178806)
Morning everyone.

I think this game will be a benchmark for both teams. As far as "joining the elites", I think being 10-0 indicates that the Saints are no fluke this year and are one of the few 2009 teams that can be deemed to be elite. As a Patriots fan, I do believe that this game finds NE in a very precarious situation. Are we an elite team this year - maybe yes, maybe no. The three losses were at the JETS in week 2, at Denver in week 5 and at Indy in week 10. All 3 opponents were undefeated at the time and all 3 were on the road - Does that scenario look familiar? Elite teams can win on the road and although their road record is only 1-3, their only win was in London against the Buccanneers (BTW, my wife and I were there and what an experience that was). I've never been to NO so I really don't know what the effect on opposing teams is from the crowd noise, and I'm sure the noise will be quite deafening on Monday night. I never discount "the 12th man" at any venue, especially indoors.

I think think your post is a one to hit item by item to see if I can give you some insight that is as good what you've provided. Please remember that this is just my opinion, and some here might disagree. That's the beauty of this board, we can disagree without being rude or trash-talking.

To start, I'll address the "12th man". There is no place in the entire league harder to play than the Dome. It is easily the loudest venue there is. Our fans are fanatical and in an enclosed space, we are loud, Loud, LOUD. If I were a Vegas oddmaker, I would give 3 points to any home team except the Saints. The Saints I would give 5 points to. It's just that loud.


Originally Posted by 71husky (Post 178806)
From the Patriots O, this is what should happen. The running game will be used but on a limited basis. If the Patriots OL gets the push on your DL, expect to see a lot of Maroney/Faulk.

Your running game will likely have some success early. Our defense lately has seemed to have trouble getting control of the running game early in the game. We seem to be able to clamp down on it hard particularly in the second half. That's been without our starting DT, Big Sed, whose been out with an injury. We may get him back for this game and if he's up to speed, it's likely the Patriots won't be able to get their running game established.


Originally Posted by 71husky (Post 178806)
If that doesn't happen, expect your LBs to be very busy with the short passes to both Welker and Edelman (some of us call him mini-Wes).

If the Patriots stay willing to take those short routes, they will likely eat our lunch all day. Our D-line gets some pressure, perhaps not every down, but often enough that if you go long with the ball a lot we'll get to the Brady and bad things will happen. The only thing that will likely stop those short routes is your receivers, drops, tipped balls and the like. Those are flukes, however, and not something I would count on defensively.


Originally Posted by 71husky (Post 178806)
Your DBs and Safeties will have to be pre-occupied with Moss and Aiken/Watson/Baker/Stanback. I also wonder if any of your DBs can play Moss 1-on-1. If the Patriots OL can control the Saints DL, and can give Brady the time he usually gets in the pocket, watch out. The more Brady can play 5 wide, the better he likes it.

We do not have anyone (there may not be anyone in the league) who can cover Moss 1-on-1, even among our starters. Unfortunately all of our starters are injured, at the moment. We may get our #1 back for the game on Monday, but he's been out with a tweaked groin - not an injury I think bodes well for covering Moss 1-on-1. I expect they'll have to have safety help and that means Welker is going to be more active for you. The one wildcard in all of this is our defense's opportunism. Our guys just seem to be ball hawks, every last one of them. We lead the league in takeaways and seem to have a knack for running them back for a TD. It would be a concern for me, if I were a Patriots fan.


Originally Posted by 71husky (Post 178806)
Brady reacts very quickly to coverages and has successfully been able to find his 3rd/4th option when given the time.

My discussion of the Patriots D later.

Brady is one of the bests there is at checking down, and his mechanics are nearly flawless. I think he also reads defenses pretty well, but I think less so than say the elder Manning or Brees. Justification: Brady seems to have less input into the offense than Manning or Brees, but that could be because of the Patriot's coach's ego rather than lack of ability. We may never know the truth of that.

That checkdown ability will expose us if Brady is given time, as everyone suspects. Our D coordinator will likely be able to come up with some suprises, even for someone as talented and experienced as Brady. Will they happen often enough to rattle him? That's the $64,000.00 question.

I really appreciate your assessments and look forward to your write-up on the defense.

gumbeau 11-25-2009 09:17 AM

Re: Who wants to talk football?
The Saints take what the opposing defense gives. That keeps the opposing defense on the field.

My prediction is the first defense to hit 50 plays on the field loses this game. It is my own little barometer of NFL games and one that works pretty well.

I like the Saints to keep the Patriots defense on the field and score late in the game. The Saints offense is built for sustained drives AND has quick strike talent.

The Saints defense will have to pressure Brady early and often to get off the field.

71husky 11-26-2009 07:49 AM

Re: Who wants to talk football?
For the Patriots D, here's my take. The front 7 is a hard-nosed group that will be able to stop the run, although it has had games where they just don't click. If injuries don't get in the way, Wilfork (who might just be the best NT in the game), Green, Wright and Warren will get the jump on an opponents OL and keep the opposing QB from feeling comfortable in the pocket. Chances are, if this does happen Monday night, Brees might need to keep 1 player in his backfield for protection. The LBs are a mixture of old and young, getting better all the time. The mainstays are Mayo, Woods, Guyton and Thomas, although Banta-Cain had a great game last week. The LBs don't blitz all that much but are able to keep RBs from long gains should they get past the DL. The Patriots have no-name Safeties and DBs that are still underestimated by most teams. The Patriots don't blitz all that much but find themselves being quite successful if they do. The blitz will most probably occur from either LBs Banta-Cain or Thomas from the edges or S Meriweather up the middle. For the most part, though, the Patriots D plays their positions and plays them well. Boden's 3 interceptions last week were an anomoly, primarily because it was the JETS and a rookie QB who made all the mistakes. Don't take that to mean that interceptions don't accur but they are relatively few and far between.

Beleckick is well know for his adjustments at any time during a game. I don't know much about the NO coaching staff but a team doesn't win it's 1st 10 games of a season without having a coaching staff that also knows how to adjust. The Patriots players know how to play their positions well, as I'm sure the Saints players do. This will be a game of adjustments by both coaches, and teams of players willing to make those adjustments successfully.

When you have two great teams playing each other, you need the best officiating crew available. Give me Mike Carey and his crew and I will be very happy.

zachsaints52 11-26-2009 08:16 AM

Re: Who wants to talk football?
Wilforks my boy, I love em, but best NT in the game is probably Hampton or Jenkins. Once Jenkins went down the whole NYJ sucked. Ty is probably one of the best 3-4 Ends in the game. I can't wait to watch Warren vs. Evans and Nicks. I think the hardest things gonna be is to stop welker. I think when he is inslot and we are in nickel because Gay is our third CB (i believe) he will do the most of his damage. But I still think Brees will shine and we win :)

SaintsFan1967 11-26-2009 09:21 AM

Re: Who wants to talk football?
Very informative and insightful. Thanks 71 and welcome to the B&G. In my opintion I think the play of the ST's will be a big factor in this game. And as many has said turnovers. Who will win? I think it will be the team that has the ball in the last 2 minuates of the the game. I see a field goal winning this game. And I just hope it's a Saints field goal.

71husky 11-26-2009 11:06 AM

Re: Who wants to talk football?

Originally Posted by SaintsFan1967 (Post 178998)
my opintion I think the play of the ST's will be a big factor in this game. And as many has said turnovers. Who will win? I think it will be the team that has the ball in the last 2 minuates of the the game. I see a field goal winning this game. And I just hope it's a Saints field goal.

Two ST questions:

1) Are you able to keep teams from returning KOs on a regular basis (touchbacks)?
2) What is the outside range of your FG Kicker?

BTW, Gostkowski, our FG kicker, also performs the KO duties and has a great leg that prevents a lot of run backs (and that's outdoors in the weather, who knows how he will do indoors). I can't believe that the Saints will be starting too many drives beyond their own 20 yd line at best. The 'Ghost' (as some of us affectionately call him) has a pretty decent range but again, we really don't know what his range will be indoors. Hansen is only OK as a punter but when he's needed to set a team back deep, he's been able to do so.

Looking at stats - you have the slight edge on both counts.

TheDeuce 11-26-2009 11:30 AM

Re: Who wants to talk football?
I think this game comes down to how well the Saints are able to pressure Brady. If we can get in his face consistently, like the Giants did in the SB a few years ago and the Jets did earlier this season, we've seen that Brady doesn't have time to make all his reads. If we blitz, however, and don't get to him it could be a long day.

rich006 11-26-2009 10:06 PM

Re: Who wants to talk football?
To answer 71's questions, the Saints' rookie punter Morstead handles KO's as well and does well with both. They were giving up some long kick returns earlier in the year but have done well lately. The FG kicker John Carney is probably not viable over 50 yards except at the end of the half or in desperation time. Even in the high 40's most of us are sweating when he goes out there.

Like a couple of people said, this game probably comes down to turnovers, and other unpredictable things like kick returns, questionable pass interference calls, etc. The coaching will be interesting to watch because Sean Payton may be the most Belichick-like coach in the league other than BB himself. He has matured a lot in his play-calling and game management over the last season or so and is one of the best.

One thing about the Saints is that Drew Brees tends to struggle when he is pressured up the middle (probably partly because he isn't that tall). If Wilfork has a big day Drew might have it rough. However, the Saints interior linemen are very good, especially the guards. The key for the Saints offense will be to establish the run game to slow down the Patriots' pass rush (how's that for a cliche).

As Cheramie mentioned, the Pats have started fast this season and tended to fade late in some games, whereas the Saints have sometimes started slow on offense and defense but always finished strong. If those trends continue on Monday and the Pats build a big early lead, it could potentially take the fans out of the game early, which would erase the home field advantage.

This should be a close game between two teams that have a lot of similarities. On a neutral field, I think it could go either way. At home I give the nod to the Saints, but I wouldn't put money on this game.

Modest 11-27-2009 06:51 AM

Re: Who wants to talk football?
I really wish we had Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris back for this game.

Maybe we could work out a trade with NO for Bush. :P

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