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Game-by-game review of last season

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; This is something I wanted to do before it got too much into the offseason, but I have all the games from last season saved on my PS3. I intend to watch one game a night and try to do ...

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Old 04-09-2014, 11:36 PM   #1
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Game-by-game review of last season

This is something I wanted to do before it got too much into the offseason, but I have all the games from last season saved on my PS3.

I intend to watch one game a night and try to do a pretty detailed breakdown on what I see, as it relates to the players on next year's team - that will include free agent acquisitions who we've played against ie. Lorig and Byrd - and trying not to focus on the players who have departed. I'm not handing out grades or anything like that, just giving a general opinion on what I see (or what I think I see).

I am in no way an expert on anything, but I did play defensive back at a D3 school so my most worthwhile insights will probably be related to the secondary. Also because that part of the game has always fascinated me. Actually, my understanding of offense is somewhat limited so don't expect anything too insightful there. But I think it will be fun anyway.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:37 PM   #2
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Re: Game-by-game review of last season

FALCONS AT SAINTS

Re-watching this game surprised me, it was much different than I had remembered.

OFFENSE:

OL: The main problem here was the offensive line which was just plain old bad for a lot of the game. Had to manufacture a lot of yardage with quick passing plays because the deep ball just wasn't going to happen due to lack of protection. In particular Charles Brown got beat up on pretty bad by Umenyoira. But the entire line struggled a lot. Run blocking was god-awful terrible too.

RECEIVERS: I was surprised to see how big a role Stills played. And this was well before he supposedly took Lance Moore's job later in the season. The kid really stood out in this game. I think he gets mislabeled as a deep threat though. He is more like a Lance Moore with speed - perfect example his big play of the game came on a four-man vertical route where he got outside of his man then cut it inside, then shook his man and took off toward the opposite corner of the field. This was very much a Lance Moore kind of play. Colston was Colston, always comes through when you most need him. Surprisingly Graham was not super-involved in this game, although there were at least a few occasions where he dragged a safety out of position for Stills and/or Sproles to sneak out toward the sideline for big plays.

RB: Sproles and Ingram were both terrible in this game in terms of carrying the ball. Some of that falls on the OL, but they are both stutter-stepping and hesitating all over the place. On the contrary, PT looks fantastic. It is weird how that would flip-flop later in the season. Now Sproles made some impact in the pass game, especially on that little wheel route that seems to turn into a gamebreaking play several times a year and that Reggie Bush had perfected before Sproles came along. I fear without a Sproles-type player in the backfield we are going to lose that part of the playbook.

DEFENSE

DL: These guys were amazing. Can't say enough. Other than a 50-run by Jackson (which really seemed to tick them off) they smothered the Falcons running game and had Ryan running for his life almost every play in the 2nd half.

LB: Struggled in coverage against Gonzalez and receivers over the middle. I would not say either Lofton or Hawthorne were terrible on their own in coverage, but together they are a bad combo. Double bracketing Gonzalez didn't work as both were 1/2 step slow and led to a touchdown early. I noticed later in the game that Humber and Herring were getting worked in on pass downs with Lofton. Particularly Humber who was on the field for most of the last two Falcons possessions. He and Lofton seem to work really well together. If we can establish a 3-man rotation of Humber-Lofton-Hawthorne more consistently next season I really think that will make up for some of the weaknesses in intermediate pass coverage.

DBs: If I were to ask you who our two best corners are last year, you would say Lewis and Greer. But both of those guys struggled a ton in this one. Lewis in particular was giving up huge cushions and inside leverage at the line and got burned bad (twice) by perennial Saints killer Harry Douglas. He did not look at all like the guy who would become the shutdown corner we all know later in the season. In fact, Lewis was actually benched early in the 2nd quarter for Patrick Robinson, who played very well in his place. Robinson made several nice plays, including a good open-field tackle to hold Julio Jones to a short gain, then a couple of nice coverages in the end zone. Lewis came back in the fourth and didn't seem to give up any plays after that. Corey White actually played really, really well in this game and made a bunch of good tackles but lost the ball in the end zone. If I had to pinpoint one weakness in his game it would definitely be ball skills and this game showed that unfortunately.

The 3-safety look showed up for the first time in the early parts of the 3rd quarter and appeared to fluster Ryan who couldn't find anywhere to throw the ball. Harper, Bush, Jenkins and Vaccaro all seemed to play in about equal measure, and at some points all 4 of them were on the field. I was a little surprise to notice how much Bush played at the end of the game. Even at this early point in the season Rob Ryan must've trusted him a lot. Vaccaro has some big plays but often looked a little lost. But man when this kid hits somebody he gets his money's worth. Even a routine tackle comes with a little something extra. Add in Byrd ballhawking the deep half and these safeties are going to be so much fun to watch. It's unconventional now, but I would be willing to bet next season you'll see a whole bunch of teams trying to copy the 3 safety look.

ST: Speaking of Bush, I can just about guarantee he's going to be the special teams captian this year. Kid was all over the place on the kick team. Always the first man down. Literally, every single time we punted he was all over their guy. In general though we need more speed on ST's. We have too many big guys running down kicks. Hartley looked shaky already. Glad we took care of that issue.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Overall my impressions from this game were that I really freaking love our defense and the offense is getting old and stale. Hopefully we can reload the offense with some new schemes and re-jigger the personnel enough to breathe some new life into it because you can tell as a unit the offense just isn't as dynamic as it used to be. Even after week 1 you can see the transition to becoming a very defense-oriented team. And there's nothing wrong with that, but when you have a Drew Brees you must do everything possible to make the offense around him as good as it can be.

Week 2 in the next few days, whenever I can get around to it.
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:47 AM   #3
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Re: Game-by-game review of last season

Thanks jack, I used to study games in the offseason too. It was fun to see all the comments made about certain players and after reviewing the game several times you wonder what game were they watching?
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:58 AM   #4
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Re: Game-by-game review of last season

Originally Posted by Jack Vegas View Post
This is something I wanted to do before it got too much into the offseason, but I have all the games from last season saved on my PS3.

I intend to watch one game a night and try to do a pretty detailed breakdown on what I see, as it relates to the players on next year's team - that will include free agent acquisitions who we've played against ie. Lorig and Byrd - and trying not to focus on the players who have departed. I'm not handing out grades or anything like that, just giving a general opinion on what I see (or what I think I see).

I am in no way an expert on anything, but I did play defensive back at a D3 school so my most worthwhile insights will probably be related to the secondary. Also because that part of the game has always fascinated me. Actually, my understanding of offense is somewhat limited so don't expect anything too insightful there. But I think it will be fun anyway.
Please tell the manor you capture or get the games on your gaming console. is it an app? my XB1 has an NFL app and I have not looked into whether it does rewind or all 22 yet.
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:36 AM   #5
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Re: Game-by-game review of last season

Good summation JV.
Usually after a win everyone forgets about how tough it was. That entire game could have swung on one play either way.
I remember that everyone was dumping all over both defenses and said it would be a shootout, but the defenses played relatively well. I forgot we spotted them 10 early.
The O-line was pushed back all day, but you will be writing that a lot for the first half of the season.

Looking forward to the next one. Oh wait, Tampa in the rain? Maybe not
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:40 AM   #6
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Re: Game-by-game review of last season

Originally Posted by ScottF View Post
Good summation JV.
Usually after a win everyone forgets about how tough it was. That entire game could have swung on one play either way.
I remember that everyone was dumping all over both defenses and said it would be a shootout, but the defenses played relatively well. I forgot we spotted them 10 early.
The O-line was pushed back all day, but you will be writing that a lot for the first half of the season.

Looking forward to the next one. Oh wait, Tampa in the rain? Maybe not
Which is fairly uncommon for the start of the NFL season to have defenses preforming well. Normally it takes defenses a few weeks to have enough tape to be upto speed for the new offenses.

This group came off of a terrible season and was still learning a new DC.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:41 AM   #7
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Re: Game-by-game review of last season

Originally Posted by TheOak View Post
Which is fairly uncommon for the start of the NFL season to have defenses preforming well. Normally it takes defenses a few weeks to have enough tape to be upto speed for the new offenses.

This group came off of a terrible season and was still learning a new DC.
the over for the game was 54.5- also fairly uncommon

Matty's happy feet helped when it mattered- good pressure up had him throwing it in the stands. Day 1 of our bend don't break D
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:55 AM   #8
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Re: Game-by-game review of last season

Originally Posted by TheOak View Post
Please tell the manor you capture or get the games on your gaming console. is it an app? my XB1 has an NFL app and I have not looked into whether it does rewind or all 22 yet.
Torrent downloads from Ten Yard Tracker onto my computer, then I copy them over to my PS3 through my wireless network. Actually I could stream the game from my computer to PS3 but it makes the fast-foward and rewind very glitchy.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:04 PM   #9
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Re: Game-by-game review of last season

Excellent post.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:26 PM   #10
 
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Re: Game-by-game review of last season

Awesome content, Jack. I wish I had time to do cool stuff like that. Knowing how the defense improved, this review gives you a different perspective.
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