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Saints: Avoiding early hole key to success

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Atoning for the Saints’ worst offensive performance under Sean Payton won’t take complicated game-planning, if you ask the coach. It’s simply a matter of preventing the beginning of their NFC Divisional playoff at top-seeded Seattle (13-3) on Saturday from overwhelming ...

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Old 01-09-2014, 10:10 AM   #1
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Atoning for the Saints’ worst offensive performance under Sean Payton won’t take complicated game-planning, if you ask the coach.

It’s simply a matter of preventing the beginning of their NFC Divisional playoff at top-seeded Seattle (13-3) on Saturday from overwhelming them in the manner it did when they were pummeled 34-7 in that city last month.

“We’ve got to do better ... just handling the early portion of the game,” Payton said this week. “There’s certain things in playoff football, or for that matter just playing on the road, that you’ve got to give yourselves an opportunity. I think we’re working hard this week to do that.”

Enveloped by a record-breaking din as well as a misty rain at CenturyLink Field, New Orleans did the exact opposite of giving themselves a chance the night of Dec. 2. On their first three drives, they ran nine plays and gained 9 yards.

Two of those drives ended in punts, which Seattle’s offense answered with a field goal and a touchdown. On the other one, Drew Brees fumbled upon being sacked by Seahawks’ defensive end Cliff Avril; Michael Bennett scooped the ball up and ran it back for a 22-yard score.

The stunned Saints (12-5) found themselves down 17-0 with 1:55 still left in the first quarter, and they had been outgained by 125 yards. The game was over — New Orleans only gained 179 yards the rest of the way and scored off a 2-yard pass to Jimmy Graham. The Saints ended up with their fewest yards in a game on offense since 2003 and their fewest points since 2008.

New Orleans kneeled to the end the first half, punted four more times and lost possession on downs twice on their remaining drives against a Seattle defense that was No. 1 in the league at the end of the regular season.

“That was not a very good performance by us,” said Brees, who was 23-of-38 for 147 yards passing and was complemented by a rushing attack that managed a mere 44 yards on 17 carries. “There’s a lot about that game that we walk away from and say that’s not us.”

Indeed, it wasn’t.



Brees put up such meager numbers even though he was sacked only once and hit three times on his 39 dropbacks, according to the website Pro Football Focus.

Graham — first on the Saints with 86 receptions for 1,215 yards and the NFL with 16 touchdown grabs in the regular season — caught only two other passes despite being targeted a team-leading nine times. Each went for 20 yards, the Saints’ longest gains.

Receivers combined for only eight grabs. The dink-and-dunk passes to running backs that so often fill in for the rushing game when it’s sluggish yielded little — Darren Sproles had seven grabs for 32 yards on eight targets, and Pierre Thomas had four grabs on as many targets for 21 yards.

Sproles this week admitted it stunned him how quickly the Seahawks clamped down on screen plays.

“They sniff it out fast,” said Sproles, who has topped the Saints in combined yards from scrimmage the three seasons he’s been with them. “They seemed like they knew it was coming when we tried to run our screens. You can tell they study film real (well).”

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Old 01-09-2014, 12:22 PM   #2
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Re: Saints: Avoiding early hole key to success

Seattle is not the only team we played that not sniffed but inhaled our screens. They did their homework and got a A+ for it. Run the ball!!
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:01 PM   #3
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Re: Saints: Avoiding early hole key to success

We must play better defense.. 7 to 17 and we give up a big 1st down that led to them scoring before half. And Brown wasn't the only person struggling on the oline strief also struggled big time.
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:07 PM   #4
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Re: Saints: Avoiding early hole key to success

Originally Posted by halloween 65 View Post
Seattle is not the only team we played that not sniffed but inhaled our screens. They did their homework and got a A+ for it. Run the ball!!
I've been wondering if the intense defensive focus on screens lately can be exploited. I'm no offensive genius, but once a screen is setup, is there not a misdirection that can still be done?

It seems to me that starting a screen will open up the middle of the field as the linebackers and safeties stream to the edge to cover the screen. Is there a way to run a draw or throw a pass into that voided area?

Here is an example of a Oklahoma’s Fake-Screen-and-Post and Other “Pop” Screen Passes | Smart Football fake screen that Oklahoma ran on Notre Dame in the 2012 season. Why can we not do something like this?

SFIAH
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The Saints have been to playoffs 4 of the last 5 years and a own a SB championship.

I can hardly believe this happened in my lifetime.
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:24 PM   #5
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Re: Saints: Avoiding early hole key to success

I thought starting slowly was our M.O. this year, but 17-zip wasn't starting slowly, it was 10 days of preparation thrown away in 13 minutes of clock time

God I hope we come out aggressively on Saturday
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:28 PM   #6
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Re: Saints: Avoiding early hole key to success

I think that's the same quote my Dad used during 'the talk'
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:31 PM   #7
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Re: Saints: Avoiding early hole key to success

Nothing was sniffed out as much as how poorly we blocked for screens.

If you do not understand blocking for the screen... Then this will be a little light bulb.

Our guards and Center are getting where they need to be for screens...Our worst screen blockers on the team are our sloooowwww arsed tackles Strief/brown.

Enter Terron Armstead.

Watch how effectively we screen to the left.

Drew may also be looking to the screen side to early, meaning the defense doesn't bite hard on the misdirection.
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:17 PM   #8
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Re: Saints: Avoiding early hole key to success

who dats the key to saturday's success
1)balanced offense
2) win the turnover battle
3) play ol school defense
plain and simple!
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