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KFFL New Orleans Saints Week 16 Analysis

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints Week 16 Analysis KFFL SPORTS View full article NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS The New Orleans Saints entered the game the New York Giants knowing they had to win the rest of the games to have ...

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Old 12-18-2003, 04:10 PM   #1
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KFFL New Orleans Saints Week 16 Analysis

New Orleans Saints Week 16 Analysis
KFFL SPORTS
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NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

The New Orleans Saints entered the game the New York Giants knowing they had to win the rest of the games to have a remote shot at the playoffs.ÂÂÂ*They were playing on the same stage, Sunday Night Football, that they played on in Week 4 when they got drubbed by the Indianapolis Colts, 55-21. Saints QB Aaron Brooks was coming off of one of the worst games in his career where he lost three fumbles.ÂÂÂ*Also, for the first time since winning the starting job, head coach, Jim Haslett, threatened to bench him if he didn’t stop turning the ball over.ÂÂÂ*The result was the most lopsided game of the year as the Saints beat the Giants 45-7.

Brooks continued his inconsistent play by following one of his worst games with one of his best games.ÂÂÂ*Despite having to change the offense due to the unexpected absence of FB Terrelle Smith (jaw infection), the offense was as potent as it has been all year.ÂÂÂ*An offense that was expected to run for most of the game passed for a majority of the game and was very successful doing it.ÂÂÂ*The end result was a team record for receiving touchdowns by a single receiver, second most touchdown passes in Saints’ history, and a total dominance over a Giants team that appeared to give up early in the game.

PASSING MATCH-UP – QUARTERBACKS

QB Aaron Brooks started the game throwing the ball and didn’t stop until he was pulled from the game with a commanding lead.ÂÂÂ*He made accurate throws in tight coverage, felt the pressure when it was getting close and was in total control of the offense the whole game.ÂÂÂ*Brooks finished 26 of 35 for 296 yards and 5 TDs with 0 INTs.ÂÂÂ*He also had 11 yards on three carries.ÂÂÂ*This was the most adversity that Brooks has faced in his career and he responded better than anyone thought that he would.

In the last four games, Brooks has averaged 236 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, 0.5 rushing TDs and 0 INTs a game.ÂÂÂ*The running game was limited against the Giants with the loss of Smith, but the passing offense had one of its best games in a long time.

In the past four games, the Jacksonville JaguarsÂÂÂ*have given up 173 yards passing per game to opposing QBs, and they have yielded .75 TDs a game during the same span.ÂÂÂ*The Jaguars’ defense against opposing QBs is the sixth best in the NFL in terms of passing yards allowed.ÂÂÂ*The Jaguars have had one of the best defenses in years due to the free agent acquisitions and the influx of youth and speed.

RUSHING MATCH-UP - RUNNING BACKS

Everyone expected RB Deuce McAllister to have a big game against a Giants defense that has struggled against the run.ÂÂÂ*He started off having a horrible game as the Giants were focused on not letting McAllister beat them.ÂÂÂ*The more Brooks succeeded, the more they had to focus on the pass defense.ÂÂÂ*The result was two runs over 20 yards, which helped him have a decent game.ÂÂÂ*He was held in check throughout the first half of the game, but he had a couple of solid runs, which have him a statistically average game.ÂÂÂ*He finished the game with 15 attempts for 80 yards and 0 TDs.ÂÂÂ*He also had eight receptions for 65 yards.ÂÂÂ*Since he wasn’t given the room to run in the first half, he was used more in the passing game and excelled in that function of the offense.ÂÂÂ*

In the last four games, McAllister has averaged 125 yards rushing, 41 yards receiving and .5 TDs a game.ÂÂÂ*He is the primary weapon in the offense, and the team’s success hinges on his performance most of the time.ÂÂÂ*With the defense stacked to stop him, the passing game was able to excel.ÂÂÂ*During the same time period, he has been the utilized on 39 percent of the plays with 112, and this includes 33 percent of the red zone plays where he has been targeted 10 times, and two times were inside the 5-yard line.ÂÂÂ*He continues to be a long run threat, which increases his value in leagues where a bonus is given for long TDs.ÂÂÂ*

The Jaguars are the best in defending the run over the past four games.ÂÂÂ*During that span, they have given up 56 rushing yards, 43 yards receiving and .5 TDs a game to RBs.ÂÂÂ*While this group is excellent against the run, this is the best running back that they have played against in a while.ÂÂÂ*

Saints RB Lamar Smith was the backup and he entered the game to get eight attempts for 40 yards.ÂÂÂ*He is the primary backup and will play whenever McAllister needs a breather.ÂÂÂ*McAllister will continue to shoulder an increased amount of the offensive load even though he rarely goes out of the game anyway.

The FB 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 six receptions for 28 yards this season.

RECEIVING MATCH-UP PART I - WIDE RECEIVERS

The complaining that top wide receiver Joe Horn has done the past few weeks obviously paid off.ÂÂÂ*He was the target on a lot of pass plays and it was evident that Brooks kept his eye on him most of the game.ÂÂÂ*WR Donte Stallworth finally returned after missing five of the last six games and his presence was helpful in keeping defenses honest in guarding Horn. WR Jerome Pathon also had a solid game against the Giants making one of the best catches of the year on his touchdown grab.

Horn finished the game against the Giants with nine receptions for 133 yards and a franchise record 4 TDs.ÂÂÂ*On his second touchdown, he made the call heard round the world when he picked up his cell phone from underneath the goal post padding to celebrate in Terrell Owens fashion.ÂÂÂ*The celebration cost him $30,000 and has been the talk of sports shows over the last few weeks.ÂÂÂ*Over the last four games, he has averaged 84 yards and 1 TD a game.ÂÂÂ*He has been the target in 15 percent of the plays (44 targets), and he has been targeted eight times in the red zone, which accounts for 26 percent of the chances.ÂÂÂ*

Pathon continues to start and put up average numbers.ÂÂÂ*His production has decreased the past few weeks with the increased workload of McAllister.ÂÂÂ*Over the past four weeks, he has been the target on 6.3 percent of the offensive plays with 18 opportunities.ÂÂÂ*In his last four games, Pathon has averaged 2.8 catches for 26 yards and .25 TDs per game.ÂÂÂ*While he is the starter, Brooks tends to spread the ball to the receivers, TEs and McAllister if Horn isn’t open.ÂÂÂ*

Stallworth finally returned and finished the game with two receptions for 23 yards.ÂÂÂ*He wasn’t too involved in the offense as WR Michael Lewis also had some playing time.ÂÂÂ*Stallworth and Lewis could alternate in the three receiver sets unless Stallworth returns to 100 percent.ÂÂÂ*Outside of them, the options are Derrick Lewis, a recent addition from the practice squad and rookie WR Talman Gardner.ÂÂÂ*Neither Gardner nor Lewis is expected to provide a lot of output, and the questions surrounding Stallworth’s continued health and Lewis are big too.

The Jaguars are the second-best team in the NFL in defending wide receivers with 356 yards or 89 yards per game. They are also giving up an average of .5 TDs and nine receptions a game during the same span to opposing receivers.

RECEIVING MATCH-UP PART II - TIGHT ENDS

TE Boo Williams continued his solid play against the Giants and he is the third option on in the offense now behind McAllister and Horn.ÂÂÂ*Williams finished the game against the Giants with five receptions for 47 yards and 0 TDs.ÂÂÂ*His receiving output has been very solid in his four games as a starter.ÂÂÂ*He really only became a receiving threat over the last four games, when starting TE Ernie Conwell (ankle) went down with an injury.ÂÂÂ*Since that time, Williams has averaged 5.3 catches for 65 yards and .75 TDs per game.ÂÂÂ*Williams has been the target of 29 plays or 10 percent of the plays over the last four weeks.

The Jaguars are below average in giving up yards to TEs.ÂÂÂ*Over the past four games, they have given up an average of 42 yards receiving and 0.25 TDs a game to opposing TEs.ÂÂÂ*This is the weakest part of the Jaguars defense, but it still isn’t that bad.

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 other players.

KICKING MATCH-UP

The Jaguars have been an above average team against opposing kickers recently.ÂÂÂ*In the last four games, they have averaged 1.25 FGs on 1.5 attempts and 1.25 PATs a game.ÂÂÂ*That translates to the opportunity for opposing PKs of roughly 5 points per game.ÂÂÂ*Their defense overall has been impressive of late, and it is able to keep opposing teams out of the end zone and out of field goal range.

PK John Carney was 1-for-2 in FGAs against New York and 6-for-6 on PAT attempts.ÂÂÂ*The offense has shown some improvement, but Carney’s accuracy has limited his production.ÂÂÂ*He has averaged .5 FG and 3 PATs per game over the past four weeks, scoring 4.5 points per game.ÂÂÂ*

DEFENSIVE MATCH-UP

With Michael Lewis back, the return game got a boost and it was evident.ÂÂÂ*He is a threat to score at any time, and opposing kickers have to avoid him.ÂÂÂ*In addition, the Saints defense has improved, but the run defense still suffers somewhat.ÂÂÂ*In the past four games, the Saints are averaging .5 INTs, 1 fumble recovery and 1.75 sacks per game.

The Giants are averaging .75 INTs, .5 fumbles and .75 sacks a game to opposing defenses the past four games.ÂÂÂ*Rookie QB Byron Leftwich is improving as the season goes on and he has decreased the number of mistakes considerably.ÂÂÂ*The offensive line has given him solid protection and the health of RB Fred Taylor has helped ease the pressure.
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