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New Orleans Saints Week 13 KFFL Analysis

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints Week 13 Analysis NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT WASHINGTON REDSKINS The New Orleans Saints had the opportunity to make a statement against the Philadelphia Eagles and take out one of the teams that they may have to pass ...

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Old 11-26-2003, 05:28 PM   #1
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New Orleans Saints Week 13 KFFL Analysis

New Orleans Saints Week 13 Analysis


NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT WASHINGTON REDSKINS

The New Orleans Saints had the opportunity to make a statement against the Philadelphia Eagles and take out one of the teams that they may have to pass to get to the playoffs.ÂÂÂ*Instead, after giving up a field goal on the first drive, the Saints drove down to the 1-yard line on a dominating drive.ÂÂÂ*From the 1, they ran and apparently scored, but the officials said that RB Deuce McAllister’s knee was down before the ball crossed the plane of the goal line.ÂÂÂ*Head coach Jim Haslett, chose not to review the play since a timeout was used earlier in the drive and the Saints would likely score on the next play.ÂÂÂ*Unfortunately for the Saints, when QB Aaron Brooks went to hand off the ball to RB Deuce McAllister, he hit FB Terrelle Smith and the ball popped into the end zone.ÂÂÂ*The Eagles recovered and the drive was done.ÂÂÂ*The Eagles quickly went down the field and scored a touchdown of their own.ÂÂÂ*The final score was 33-20 in favor of the Eagles and the score does not reflect how close the game was to going the other way.

While it was only six minutes into the game, it was a huge play, which turned the tide in favor of the Eagles.ÂÂÂ*It was a mistake that a road team cannot make in a hostile environment when it is playing an upper echelon team.ÂÂÂ*In order to win those games, mistakes have to be minimized and they can’t be made at crucial times.ÂÂÂ*The Saints return this week to play a Washington Redskins team that was leading the Miami Dolphins by 13 points in the fourth quarter, but squandered the lead and lost the game.ÂÂÂ*The Redskins are on the verge of being eliminated from the playoffs just like the Saints.ÂÂÂ*It is a make or break game for both of them and it should be a hard fought one.

PASSING MATCH UP – QUARTERBACKS

Saints QB Aaron Brooks didn’t play a bad game, but the two fumbles that he had proved costly.ÂÂÂ*Statistically, he had a solid game on most fronts and there were legitimate reasons for both fumbles, but they could have been avoided.ÂÂÂ*He finished the game 24-of-39 for 287 yards with 1 TD and 0 INT.ÂÂÂ*He also had seven rushing yards on four attempts.ÂÂÂ*The first fumble was at the 1-yard line of the Eagles.ÂÂÂ*It killed a drive in which the Saints ran directly over the Eagles and they looked unstoppable.ÂÂÂ*It was more devastating than the second fumble, but the second one was important also.ÂÂÂ*

In the last three games, Brooks has averaged 219 passing yards, .67 TD and 1 INT a game.ÂÂÂ*The offense dominated with the running game and the passing game was successful also.ÂÂÂ*Not having WR Donte Stallworth (ankle) and losing WR Michael Lewis (ankle) during the game proved costly.ÂÂÂ*The Saints only had three healthy wide receivers and one was a rookie who has had little playing time this year.ÂÂÂ*The focus shifted more towards passing to the tight end and running McAllister, but when they were down three scores, the injuries caught up to them.ÂÂÂ*At the end of the game, the top receivers were double-teamed and WR Talman Gardner had problems getting open.

In the past four games, Washington has given up 237 yards passing a game to opposing QBs and they have yielded one touchdown a game during the same span.ÂÂÂ*The Redskins defense against opposing quarterbacks is a below average defense in terms of passing yards allowed.ÂÂÂ*This is worse than what they usually are, but they have suffered a number of injuries to the defensive starters, especially the defensive line.



RUSHING MATCH UP - RUNNING BACKS

Saints RB Deuce McAllister had another career day against the Eagles by rushing for over 100 yards for the eighth consecutive game.ÂÂÂ*McAllister finished with 184 yards on 19 rushes with two touchdowns and he had four receptions for another 48 yards.ÂÂÂ*While his statistics were a little better in the Atlanta game, he didn’t have any fumbles this week and his yardage was limited by the fact that the Saints had to abandon the running game since they were too far behind.ÂÂÂ*McAllister is one of the best backs in the game and he dominated the Eagles throughout the game, including a 76-yard touchdown run (the second consecutive week that he had a run over 50 yards).

In the last three games, McAllister has averaged 156 yards rushing, 43 yards receiving and 1.33 touchdowns a game.ÂÂÂ*He is the primary weapon in the offense and the team’s success hinges on his performance.ÂÂÂ*During the same time period, he has been the target of 42 percent of the plays with 95, and this includes 53 percent of the red zone plays where he has been targeted nine times, and three times were inside the 5.ÂÂÂ*He continues to be a long run threat as he broke one for the second consecutive week.

The Redskins are in the lower half of the league in defending the run against running backs over the past four games.ÂÂÂ*During that span, they have given up 127 rushing yards, 27 yards receiving and 1.5 touchdowns a game to running backs.ÂÂÂ*This group has had problems defending the run, and McAllister can exploit the weakness.ÂÂÂ*McAllister is one of the best backs in the league.

Saints RB Ki-Jana Carter hasn’t been utilized too often as McAllister is involved in the complete offense.ÂÂÂ*He didn’t play too much against the Eagles as he had only one carry for eight yards.ÂÂÂ*Ultimately, he injured his foot, and surgery is a possibility.ÂÂÂ*Due to the injury, his availability the remainder of the season is in question.ÂÂÂ*With RB James Fenderson still injured, the Saints went out and signed RB Lamar Smith (Panthers).ÂÂÂ*McAllister will likely shoulder an increased amount of the offensive load even though he rarely goes out of the game anyway.

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 two receptions for seven yards this season. His primary role is to serve as a lead blocker on offense.

RECEIVING MATCH UP PART I - WIDE RECEIVERS

The Saints suffered another blow to their thin receiving corps with Michael Lewis spraining his ankle.ÂÂÂ*They were down to Joe Horn, Jerome Pathon and Talman Gardner as the only healthy receivers.ÂÂÂ*The result was an increased focus on TE Boo Williams.ÂÂÂ*WR Donte Stallworth and Lewis are doubtful this week with injured ankles.ÂÂÂ*This will put increased pressure on Horn, Pathon and Gardner to succeed against a secondary, which features two excellent shutdown cornerbacks in Fred Smoot and Champ Bailey.ÂÂÂ*The tight ends and the running game are also likely to feel more pressure due to the injuries.

Horn finished the game against the Eagles with four receptions for 76 yards and no touchdowns.ÂÂÂ*He was in the game the whole time and appeared to be recovered from the knee bruise that kept him out of most of the game last week.ÂÂÂ*Over the last three games, he has averaged 45 yards and 0 touchdowns a game.ÂÂÂ*He has been the target in 8.36 percent of the plays (19 targets), but he has not been targeted in the red zone.ÂÂÂ*His decreased production can be attributed to his injured knee, but he looked much healthier against the Eagles than he has in a while.ÂÂÂ*

Pathon has been more involved in the offense with the multiple injuries that the various receivers have had over the past few weeks.ÂÂÂ*Since Stallworth and Lewis are doubtful for this week, Pathon should continue to have a role in the offense.ÂÂÂ*Against the Eagles, Pathon had a costly fumble on the opening drive of the second half deep in Saints’ territory.ÂÂÂ*He wasn’t spectacular against the Eagles, but it wasn’t his worst game either.ÂÂÂ*He finished the game against the Eagles with five receptions for 35 yards.ÂÂÂ*Over the past three weeks, he has been the target on 9.24 percent of the offensive plays with 21 opportunities, including one red zone chances to account for 5.84 percent of the red zone offense.ÂÂÂ*While he is the starter, Brooks tends to spread the ball to the receivers if Horn isn’t open and Williams excelled last week as one of the secondary options.

WR Talman Gardner is a rookie who hasn’t played much this year.ÂÂÂ*He has suffered some drops, but he has the potential to be a solid receiver down the road.ÂÂÂ*He has good size and speed, but his inexperience makes him a questionable producer at this point in his career.ÂÂÂ*He is unlikely to contribute significantly at this point.

The Redskins are in the bottom five of the league in defending wide receivers with 761 yards or 190 yards per game. They are also giving up an average of .75 touchdowns a game and 12 receptions a game during the same span to opposing receivers.

RECEIVING MATCH UP PART II - TIGHT ENDS

Boo Williams took over the starting role as Ernie Conwell (ankle) is out for the season.ÂÂÂ*To say that he exceeded expectations is an understatement.ÂÂÂ*Williams finished the game against the Eagles with nine receptions for 110 yards and 1 TD.ÂÂÂ*In addition to his contributions in the receiving department, he also had a good day blocking.ÂÂÂ*He helped open holes well and wasn’t overpowered like he has been sometimes in the past.ÂÂÂ*Williams has been the target of 15 plays or 6.6 percent of the plays over the last three weeks.

The Redskins are one of the best teams in the NFL in giving up yards to tight ends.ÂÂÂ*Over the past four games, they have given up an average of 19 yards receiving and zero TDs a game to opposing tight ends.ÂÂÂ*The linebacking corps and safeties are very effective in neutralizing the tight end.

Saints TEs 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*

KICKING MATCH UP

Washington has been an average team against opposing kickers recently.ÂÂÂ*In the last four games, they have averaged 1.25 field goals on 2 attempts and 2.5 PATs a game.ÂÂÂ*Their defense is solid against kickers and the climate may not be conducive to opposing kickers.

Saints PK John Carney was 0-for-1 in FGAs against Philadelphia and 2-for-2 on PAT attempts.ÂÂÂ*As the offense has shown some improvement, Carney’s production has increased.ÂÂÂ*He has averaged 1.33 FGs and 2 PATs per game over the past three weeks.

DEFENSIVE MATCH UP

With the top two Saints returners out with an injury (Lewis and Stallworth), Pathon would normally be the returner.ÂÂÂ*Due to the injuries at receiver, Haslett does not want to risk an injury to Pathon, so Keyuo Craver returned kicks against the Eagles and will likely do it against the Redskins.ÂÂÂ*The defense has improved the last few weeks, but they still squander some opportunities with dropped interceptions.ÂÂÂ*They have also been susceptible to the run against a lot of teams.ÂÂÂ*In the past three games, the Saints are averaging 1.33 interceptions, 1.67 fumble recoveries and 2.67 sacks a game.

The Redskins are averaging 1 interception, 0.5 fumbles and 2.25 sacks a game to opposing defenses the past four games.ÂÂÂ*The Redskins tend to be a pass first team as they have abandoned the running game early in games before.ÂÂÂ*Whether Patrick Ramsey or Tim Hasselbeck starts at QB could determine the fate of the team as Ramsey suffered tremendously against the Saints last year.ÂÂÂ*Hasselbeck has one start to his credit, and it was a good one against a respected Miami Dolphins defense.ÂÂÂ*
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