I’m a lifelong Saints fan, and take a yearly pilgrimage down to the Big Easy to spend a weekend, watch the game, eat some Beignets and drink Hurricanes. This year I had to drink a few more Hurricanes than normal.
It was a great game, if you’re a Niners fan.
I was at the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome to witness what ended up being an awesome game from an entertainment and emotional stand point. Hell, I was sitting in the end zone in Nawlins, The Big Easy, it couldn’t be that bad: great town, great game.
In the end it didn’t work out in the our favour, but having said that it shouldn’t have turned out as a Saints win.
This is not outright complaining, it isn’t. I’ve been watching all season as the Saints have come close to victory but made critical errors and making offensive and defensive decisions that somehow baffle the brain.
I’m not a head coach in the NFL, I’m also not an offensive or defensive co-ordinator so maybe I have no idea what I am talking about. But this is my blog and I’m happy to invite all 6 of my loyal readers to enjoy my ramblings.
Let’s get going. Here are 5 top reasons my team didn’t and shouldn’t have won yesterday against the 49ers.
What Went Wrong for the Saints?
Sidebar: I’m writing this out of love for my team. I’ve been a Saints fan since I was 8 years old, I’m not going anywhere but I don’t want to see this season go this way. This is the intervention.
First drive interceptions don’t set a good tone.
The Saints have been making poor judgement calls on where to throw when, when you throw into double and triple coverage it’s only a matter of time until you’re going to throw an interception. In this case, it wasn’t a matter of time. No time at all in fact.
That set the tone for the first half. I was watching a deflated Saints team struggling to just hang in there.
You can’t take 30 minutes to get in the game.
The first half of the game was depressing. It got slightly better near the end of the second but the play was sloppy. The Saints defense was shoddy, and it has been all season long.
Every single play the Niners went with was working: the run game, the throwing game, every route, everything. Third downs weren’t even a concern. Nope, not that Given Sunday.
Coverage was messy and there was literally no pressure being applied to Kaepernick.
Can’t play this way and expect to win.
Defensive break-downs on 4th and 14 won’t work in the regular or the post season.
The game was close to being won. But like Grandpa used to say: close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades. I could ramble on endlessly about the bad call, the “push off”.
I could bitch and moan about many things. But I won’t, I’m only going to say that the Kaepernick to Crabtree connection for 56 (or whatever I’m writing this off the top of my head) yard reception was a complete and utter defensive breakdown.
The routes weren’t covered. There was no pressure applied to Kaepernick, it was 4th and 14! It doesn’t take a genius to pull the old Madden NFL trick: blitz, blitz, blitz and blitz HARD.
It. was. Fourth. And. Fourteen.
Drew Brees needs time in the pocket.
Rushed. Scrambling. Under Pressure. Making amazing plays. All under pressure even at the best of times it wasn’t ideal. To my boys on the Saints O-line.
Protect your Quarterback. Protect your elite Quarterback.
Let’s sit back for a moment and consider what a Drew Brees injury might mean. I don’t even want to think about it. I also can;t stand seeing how sloppy the offensive line has been all season long. It’s causing all kinds of chaos with our play and it’s not improving.
I don’t know what to say, no wait I do, protect your Quarterback. Do your job.
If Jimmy Graham only gets 65 yards a game, we’re going to have a losing record.
Tight Ends are important (har…de…har, yeah I said it). Gronkowski. Megatron. Graham.
They’re the keys to a strong offense. For the last 5 years us Saints fans have been spoiled by an explosive offense. Lots happening in the air, solid ground game when needed.
Sunday at the Superdome I saw: run, run, run. Ingram, Ingram, Ingram. Let’s run the ball then run some more. Don’t get me wrong Mark Ingram is awesome. A strong running game is awesome.
So is Jimmy Graham. So is Drew Bress’ ability connect with Jimmy Graham. When Drew throws to Jimmy Graham good things happen. When it’s consistent, we win.
Somehow these plays aren’t being called and it drives me mental.
Mix it up, please Coach Payton use Jimmy Graham. Not just at the 11th hour. Not just when we’re backed into a corner. All game long. The play calling was too predictable, it’s like a play calling rut that needs to be snapped.
I’ll ask, plead, beg.
Use Jimmy Graham.
Brees and Graham have a connection that might someday be compared to the legendary connection of Montana/Rice, or not. At this rate, that comparison will never be used.
I also won’t even mention the perfectly thrown bread basket toss that Colston simply didn’t catch. Just wasn’t even there. I’m blocking it from my memory, it hurts too much and yes I’m being overly dramatic.
Sometimes the calls don’t go your way. That’s Football Life.
Lastly, sometimes it’s not your fault. Sometimes, just sometimes.
This was a terrible call and a brutal display of European style drama. Really? That was not a push-off I was pretty close to it and I’m not being overly dramatic
— Deadhit Sports (@DeadhitSports) November 10, 2014
It’s small consolation that we’re still on top of the NFC South because a 4-5 record isn’t the path to the Superbowl. Unless you’re the New York Giants, for the first time ever I hope we’re the New York Giants.