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5 KEYS TO WINNING

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; 5 KEYS TO WINNING Monday, September 27, 2004 Brian Allee-Walsh KEEP 'EM HONEST -- Deuce who? How soon they forget. Granted, the St. Louis Rams' run defense is among the worst in the league, but Saints running back Aaron Stecker ...

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Old 09-27-2004, 03:13 AM   #1
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5 KEYS TO WINNING

5 KEYS TO WINNING

Monday, September 27, 2004
Brian Allee-Walsh

KEEP 'EM HONEST -- Deuce who? How soon they forget. Granted, the St. Louis Rams' run defense is among the worst in the league, but Saints running back Aaron Stecker had a McAllister-type game. Stecker, starting his third game in his fifth NFL season, took advantage of solid blocking to rush for a career-high 106 yards on 18 carries. He also scored on a 42-yard run in the second quarter and caught four passes for 20 yards. Stecker may have entered Sunday's game flying under the radar a little bit. But he and Ki-Jana Carter should be an adequate one-two punch until McAllister returns.

STOP THE RUN -- Mission accomplished. After getting blistered for 169 and 180 yards rushing against Seattle and San Francisco, the Saints put the squeeze on the Rams (15 carries for 78 yards, 19 of which came on Marc Bulger's touchdown scramble) and running back Marshall Faulk (12 carries for 44 yards, one touchdown). Although Faulk is still capable, he's not the player he was. He lacks the slashing, explosive running style that made him one of the game's most dangerous players. Also, what was Rams coach Mike Martz thinking when he called just 14 running plays against the league's 31st-ranked rushing defense? In a sense, Martz made his offensive unit one-dimensional against a suspect defense against the run.

PROTECT BROOKS -- Amazingly, quarterback Aaron Brooks' interception to touchdown ratio over the past 19 games is a gaudy 29 to 9, including 5 to 1 this season. Although he was sacked twice, he had good protection for the most part, particularly on the game-tying field goal drive at the end of regulation and the game-winning field goal drive in overtime. Eight receivers divvied up 24 catches. Brooks continues to make good decisions and posted his 13th come-from-behind win. He looked indecisive several times running out of the pocket, but his 12-yard run on a naked bootleg (great call by offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy) was a thing of beauty.

WHERE'S THE ATTITUDE? I like Jim Haslett's decision to go on fourth down on his team's first two possessions. Neither one moved the chains but it showed that he has confidence in his offense and was trying to get an early edge. Those kinds of bold decisions highlighted his rookie season in 2000. Brooks converted on fourth-and-one at St. Louis' 25 in the third quarter on a quarterback sneak. Haslett's decision to go for two points after taking a 22-17 lead also made perfect sense. Haslett improved his record to 4-2 against Rams coach Mike Martz, including 3-0 in the Edward Jones Dome.

PRESSURE BULGER -- If going strictly by Marc Bulger's numbers -- 32 of 49 for 358 yards and one touchdown -- one might think the St. Louis quarterback had his way with defensive coordinator's Rick Venturi unit. But they pressured Bulger with a mixture of blitzes and four-man rushes. Defensive end Charles Grant led the way with three sacks, defensive end Darren Howard had one and rookie middle linebacker Courtney Watson had his first NFL sack. Rams wide receiver Torry Holt burned Saints cornerback Fred Thomas for a 32-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. Thomas never located the ball in the front of the end zone, enabling Holt to make an easy catch.

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Old 09-27-2004, 01:57 PM   #2
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5 KEYS TO WINNING

ehhhh-hhhhmmm

\"Although he was sacked twice, he had good protection for the most part, particularly on the game-tying field goal drive at the end of regulation and the game-winning field goal drive in overtime. \"
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Old 09-27-2004, 03:03 PM   #3
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Ehhhh-hhhmmmmm

Yeah, at the end of the game and OVERTIME when they were worn out. Did we \"Excel\" at pass blockin\' Whodat. How can ya give up 2 sacks to the lowly Rams and claim we excelled? Oh, I guess you can\'t really, can you.

Remember, I said the pass blocking was ok in general...they key is the word you used...\"excel\". Wanna take an opinion poll and use words like our pass blocking so far this year has:

(a) been excellent
(b) been better than average
(c) been adequate
(d) been worse than average
(e) down right stinks

How many people you think would say we \"excel\" at pass blocking? I know I wouldn\'t. But, if you think so then good for you.

[Edited on 27/9/2004 by saintfan]

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Old 09-27-2004, 03:17 PM   #4
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actually there is only one key to winning... and this scoreing more points than your opponet.

[Edited on 27/9/2004 by Euphoria]
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