Notebook: Saints on the road offer hope
While all the hype will deservedly be on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints’ top-rated offense and passing game when they enter Mall of America Field on Sunday, there could be some opportunities for the Vikings offense and defense.
The Saints defense is ranked 27th overall and 30th against the pass, a fact that isn’t lost on rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, despite his recent struggles.
“We know that we’re going to need big plays to win the game. We’ve had some games where we’ve had a lot of big plays and we’ve had a few games where we haven’t, and we know that big plays can change the momentum and win the ball game,” Ponder said. “We want to go out there and we’ve seen some things on film that we want to capitalize on. It’s just about execution, we need to make sure we execute.”
In about seven full games of action, Ponder has produced 23 passing plays of 20 yards or more. By comparison, Drew Brees has 55 pass of 20 yards or longer in 13 games. Of those, 17 have gone to TE Jimmy Graham, who is the second-leading receiver in the NFL with 80 catches for 1,101 yards.
Like the Vikings, the Saints haven’t created a lot of turnovers, at least through interceptions, this year. While the Vikings are tied for last in the NFL with six interceptions, the Saints are right there with them with seven. Of course, with the interceptions Ponder has been throwing lately, the Saint’s lack of interceptions is also a good sign. Ponder has thrown five in his last two games and 11 in the seven games he has started.
Brees has thrown 11 interceptions over his 13 starts this year, but he has shown more of a propensity for those on the road. At the Superdome, he has 20 touchdowns and three interceptions. On the road, he is still pretty good, throwing 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions, but there is clearly a tendency toward throwing more road interceptions, averaging more than one a game away from New Olreans.
All three of the Saints' losses this year have been on the road.
Scout.com: Notebook: Saints on the road offer hope
WIll we have Turk back for this game??
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