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KFFL Saints Week 11 Analysis(Good Player Breakdown)

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints Week 11 Analysis November 13, 2003 By Joe Adams Edited by Randy Smith ÂÂÂ* NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS ATLANTA FALCONS The New Orleans Saints are coming off of a bye week, but they have won three of ...

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Old 11-13-2003, 02:34 PM   #1
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KFFL Saints Week 11 Analysis(Good Player Breakdown)

New Orleans Saints Week 11 Analysis




November 13, 2003

By Joe Adams
Edited by Randy Smith


ÂÂÂ*
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS ATLANTA FALCONS

The New Orleans Saints are coming off of a bye week, but they have won three of their last four games.ÂÂÂ*Before the bye week, they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on a John Carney game-winning field goal after squandering a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter.ÂÂÂ*The offense played well and minimized their mistakes, but they didn’t have a tremendously productive game.ÂÂÂ*The defense was excellent, forcing five of the six turnovers that the Bucs suffered that day.ÂÂÂ*A lot of the turnovers were in Saints’ territory and CB Ashley Ambrose ran an interception back for a touchdown.

The Saints should continue to improve with the return of DE Darren Howard and LB Sedrick Hodge.ÂÂÂ*They return against a Falcons’ team that the Saints defeated 45-17 last month in Atlanta.ÂÂÂ*In that game, the offense exploded for over 500 yards of total offense, and the defense limited the Falcons to three points after two early touchdown drives.ÂÂÂ*The Falcons won their last game against the New York Giants in New York, but they are still without QB Michael Vick.ÂÂÂ*The running game won the game against the Giants and it will have to do the same this week.ÂÂÂ*A Falcons’ victory is possible as the Saints run defense isn’t stellar and Atlanta rushed for 130 yards against them in Week 7

PASSING MATCH UP – QUARTERBACKS

Saints QB Aaron Brooks didn’t have a spectacular game against Tampa Bay, but he minimized the mistakes he made and managed the offense well when it was crunch time.ÂÂÂ*He finished the game 13-of-29 for 142 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.ÂÂÂ*He also had 15 rushing yards on one attempt.ÂÂÂ*The offense was very conservative in the second half as they were trying to preserve the lead.ÂÂÂ*Brooks has played much better in the last five games than he did in the first four.ÂÂÂ*The offense is more in sync and he is leading the team well.

In the last three games, Brooks has averaged 227 passing yards, 2 TDs and 0.67 INT a game.ÂÂÂ*The offense continued the trend of spreading the field, making it easier for RB Deuce McAllister to run.ÂÂÂ*In turn, the effective running game opened up opportunities for the passing game and Brooks was able to convert at a good pace.ÂÂÂ*He has also rushed for an average of 11 yards a game the past three games.ÂÂÂ*If the Saints continue running the same style as they did against the Falcons in the first game, Brooks should continue to build on the success he has had the past five games.

In the past three games, Atlanta has given up 292 yards passing a game to opposing QBs and they have yielded 1.33 passing touchdowns a game during the same span.ÂÂÂ*The Falcons’ pass defense has been very bad throughout the season.ÂÂÂ*This resulted in Atlanta head coach Dan Reeves benching the entire starting secondary after the game against New Orleans.


RUSHING MATCH UP - RUNNING BACKS

Saints RB Deuce McAllister broke the team record with his sixth consecutive 100-yard game against Tampa Bay.ÂÂÂ*McAllister finished with 110 yards on 26 rushes and he had four receptions for another 16 yards.ÂÂÂ*He is the brightest shining star on this threatening offense and the success is always built off of him.ÂÂÂ*The last time the Saints played the Falcons, McAllister finished the game with 116 yards on 21 rushes with 2 TDs.ÂÂÂ*He also had a reception for no gain.ÂÂÂ*He hasn’t broken a long run, which he did multiple times last year and he could be due for one soon.

In the last three games, McAllister has averaged 109 yards rushing, 16 yards receiving and 0.67 touchdowns a game.ÂÂÂ*He is the primary weapon in the offense and that won’t change any time soon.ÂÂÂ*During the same time period, he has been the target of 38 percent of the plays with 82, and this includes 27 percent of the red zone plays where he has been targeted four times, and once was inside the 5.ÂÂÂ*His touchdowns have been down, but he can score at any time with his speed and importance to the offense.

The Falcons are in the lower half of the league in defending the run against running backs over the past three games.ÂÂÂ*During that span, they have given up 127 rushing yards, 32 yards receiving and 1.67 rushing touchdowns a game to running backs.ÂÂÂ*This group has had problems throughout the year both in defending the pass and the run.ÂÂÂ*The change in secondary shouldn’t improve the run defense in any significant manner.ÂÂÂ*

Saints RB Ki-Jana Carter hasn’t been utilized too often as McAllister is involved in the complete offense.ÂÂÂ*Carterââ‚ ¬Ã¢Â„¢s most extensive playing time was against the Falcons in Week 7 as the game was wrapped up before the fourth quarter.ÂÂÂ*Once the game was out of hand, Carter entered and scored his first touchdown since 2000 (and that happened to be against the Saints).ÂÂÂ*He finished the game with 10 carries for 21 yards and 1 TD.

The fullback in the Saints’ offense is Terrelle Smith and he is a non-factor when it comes to production.ÂÂÂ*Smith has no carries and only one reception for one yard this season. His primary role is to serve as a lead blocker on offense.

RECEIVING MATCH UP PART I - WIDE RECEIVERS

The Saints’ receivers were held in check against the Bucs two weeks ago.ÂÂÂ*The leading receiver was Michael Lewis who was filling in for injured WR Donte’ Stallworth.ÂÂÂ*Lewis led the team with 3 receptions for 69 yards and 1 TD.ÂÂÂ*Saints WR Joe Horn was limited to 39 yards and WR Jerome Pathon only had one reception.ÂÂÂ*This was due in part to the success running the ball and the conservative game plan, but the Tampa defense also played very well against a good receiving corps.ÂÂÂ*The last time the Saints played the Falcons, the WRs were explosive, including Horn’s best game of the season and a Stallworth 69-yard TD catch where he broke through the defense for the Saints longest play from scrimmage this year.ÂÂÂ*

Horn finished the game against the Bucs with four receptions for 39 yards and no touchdowns.ÂÂÂ*He was double-covered for most of the day and Tampa seemed intent on not letting him beat their secondary.ÂÂÂ*Over the last three games, he has averaged 82 yards and 1 touchdown a game.ÂÂÂ*He has been the target in 15 percent of the plays (33 targets), but has only been targeted twice in the red zone accounting for 14 percent of the red zone opportunities.ÂÂÂ*

Stallworth hasn’t played since the last Atlanta game, but he may be able to return this week.ÂÂÂ*As with all muscle injuries, it is a wait and see type of decision and Stallworth has been plagued by lingering muscle pulls in the past.ÂÂÂ*He broke the long pass play against the Falcons the last time they played and none of their cornerbacks have the speed to keep him in check all day.ÂÂÂ*If he is able to play, he could serve as a No. 3 receiver.

Pathon continues to succeed despite limited opportunities.ÂÂÂ*After increasing for a while, Pathon’s chances have decreased the past few weeks.ÂÂÂ*Defenses may be focusing on him more and the loss of Stallworth is evident as Pathon is getting more attention.ÂÂÂ*He finished the game against the Bucs with one reception for 5 yards.ÂÂÂ*Over the past three weeks, he has been the target on 5.14 percent of the offensive plays with 11 opportunities, including one red zone chances to account for 6.8 percent of the red zone offense.ÂÂÂ*While he is the starter, Brooks tends to spread the ball to the receivers if Joe Horn isn’t open.ÂÂÂ*

The Falcons are in the lower half in defending wide receivers with 531 yards or 177 yards per game. They are also giving up an average of 1 touchdown a game and 11 receptions a game during the same span to opposing receivers.

RECEIVING MATCH UP PART II - TIGHT ENDS

Saints TE Ernie Conwell has been less efficient with the increase in productivity of McAllister and of the Saints WRs.ÂÂÂ*He has a definite role in the offense every week and in the past three weeks, he has been targeted on 4.21 percent of the plays (9 chances), but none have come in the red zone.ÂÂÂ*Another potential contributing factor has been the drops that he has had this year, which have been costly.ÂÂÂ*The increased playing time for TE Boo Williams hasn’t helped his cause any either.ÂÂÂ*

The Falcons are the worst team in the NFL in giving up yards to tight ends.ÂÂÂ*Over the past three games, they have given up an average of 83 yards receiving and 0.33 TDs a game to opposing tight ends.ÂÂÂ*The linebacking corps and safeties are not effective against defending the tight end on every play, and the secondary turnover isn’t beneficial.

Saints TEs Boo Williams, Walter Rasby and Zack Hilton have not been consistent factors in the offense with very limited production and opportunities due to the focus on the other players.ÂÂÂ*Williams has had increased opportunities of late and coule be someone to watch if he keeps getting playing time.ÂÂÂ*

KICKING MATCH UP

Atlanta has been a below-average team against opposing kickers recently.ÂÂÂ*In the last three games, they have averaged 1.33 field goals on 1.67 attempts and 3 PATs a game.ÂÂÂ*Their defense is weak and tends to give up a lot of scoring opportunities.ÂÂÂ*This is a good chance for opposing kickers, and this week it is Saints PK John Carney.

Carney was 1-of-2 in FGAs against Tampa and 2-for-2 on PAT attempts.ÂÂÂ*As the offense has shown some improvement, Carney’s production has increased.ÂÂÂ*He has averaged 1.3 FGs and 3.3 PATs per game over the past three weeks.ÂÂÂ*

DEFENSIVE MATCH UP

With Saints WR/KR Michael Lewis returning kicks, there is always the chance of a touchdown and the return game is improved when he is in the lineup.ÂÂÂ*The defense has improved the last few weeks, but they still squander some opportunities.ÂÂÂ*In the past three games, the Saints are averaging 1 interception, 1.33 fumble recoveries and 2 sacks a game.

The Falcons are averaging 0.67 interceptions, 0.33 fumbles and 1.67 sacks a game to opposing defenses the past three games.ÂÂÂ*The Falcons’ success hinges on their running game and the safe passing game is built from there.ÂÂÂ*When they fall behind, they have problems catching up due to the questionable passing game.ÂÂÂ*


[Edited on 11/13/2003 by saint5221]
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