SUNDAY 1:00 Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
THIS team was the last one to beat us in a playoff game (AT HOME!), so you may have noticed that I’m still working through some bitterness. This game has the ability to be a shootout that keeps you on your feet, or it could be the equivalent of Phil Simms appearing on the inside of your television, greeting you by name, and then smearing handfuls of feces all over his side of your screen. I think it will be the latter. This game will be won by the first team to realize there’s a game going on.
Having to play 95% of the minutes− Oops! Sorry, Chip. The “snaps” –in every game, is starting to show up in the number of injuries that are beginning to mount among our Defensive players. Right now we can’t stop the pass (ranked 25th) and are only okay at stopping the run (13th). However, stopping the run only gets harder as the year goes on. At this rate we won’t be able to stop anyone passing or running by December. But December is still weeks away. Unfortunately for the Saints, they face us in October.
Being unable to run makes us only half of an Offense. Teams know we’re going to pass because it’s the only way we really move the ball. We cripple ourselves with runs that start off going east-west instead of downhill. The one week we opened up with something different (vs the Jets) we were able to run our full Offense and we won the game.
Opponents are now just squatting in the “B” gaps to disrupt our blocking scheme. Look for how our opponents play the “B” gaps. You may be in danger of becoming a more knowledgeable fan.
Rookie OLB Hau’oli Kikaha has recorded a sack in 3 straight games and he leads the Saints in that category. Word on him is that he’s a one trick pony. Then again, getting sacks is an impressive trick. Especially when it leads to 2 of the teams 3 turnovers. Yes you read that right. Going into Week 5 the Saints have a paltry 3 turnovers, none of which are interceptions.
Like us, they throw the ball a ton because they can’t reliably run the thing. For that reason more than any other they’re 3rd in passing yardage, but they’re 19th in scoring.
QB Drew Brees is still trading on his rep from back when he had weapons like RB Darren Sproles, TE Jimmy Graham and a functioning version of WR Marques Colston. In reality his TD and yardage numbers have been dropping every year for the last four. He’s still good, but he’s not “that guy”anymore.
WR Brandin Cooks is shaping up to be a phenomenally pedestrian player; (and to think some fans wanted this guy to replace DJax.) The receiver to keep an eye on is Willie Snead.
What the Saints do different this year is they’ve knocked off that RB by committee nonsense and now they run everything through the team’s leading rusher (in both carries and yards), and leading receiver (in both receptions and yards) RB Mark Ingram. It’s not producing great numbers or wins yet, but it’s a sound building block to establish a go-to for big moments.
This is two bad 1-3 teams hanging on by a thread. Somebody’s season is coming to an end on Sunday. The giants are almost certain to beat the 49ers and go to 3-2. We can ill-afford to fall to 1-4. On the other hand most of our issues are technical and can be overcome. The Saints however are every bit as bad as their 1-3 record indicates.
EAGLES 28 – Saints 16