by Steve Geller, firstname.lastname@example.org,posted Dec 7 2013 6:26PM
It's the final countdown! We're in the 4th quarter of the NFL season as just 4 games remain. The 9-3 Saints have a huge NFC South contest this Sunday when they host the 9-3 Panthers.
The Panthers are riding an 8 game win streak and have their sights set on snatching the top spot in the division away from the Black and Gold.
The Panthers allows just 13 points per contest, which ranks #1 in the NFL. They are also 2nd in sacks and 2nd in interceptions.
I do expect the Saints to bounce back after getting smoked by Seattle on Monday night, but it 'aint gonna be easy.
PREDICTION: Saints 23 - Panthers 20
Here are the guys I'll be looking for to make a big play or two and be a difference makers in this one:
RB Darren Sproles
What happened to Sproles over the last 2 weeks? The Niners and Seahawks were able to contain this versatile, hard to tackle back; and the offense really suffered. To me he is just as important to get involved in the game as is Jimmy Graham.
Hopefully the knee injury that kept him out of the week 12 matchup against Atlanta still isn't a lingering issue. Brees and Sproles could do some damage against this aggressive Panthers defensive front.
WR Kenny Stills
The rookie was on my list last week and remains on it for this matchup. I would dial up the deep homerun ball to Stills on the very first play of the game to remind Carolina whose house they are in and that the number one spot in the division isn't for the taking.
Stills leads the NFL in yards per catch, with 20.6 a reception, and can get the best of the Panthers DBs. The only question: Will Brees have enough time to deliver the ball?
S Kenny Vaccaro
If someone is going to lay a remember me hit on Cam Netwon, it's this guy. Vaccaro forced Marshawn Lynch to fumble the ball on Monday night, but unfortunately the Saints could not recover. It will take a force as fearsome as his to drive home the point against Newton.
When the big mobile QB takes off and scrambles, Vaccaro needs to finish the play with a hard tackle to make him think twice about doing it again.
QB Cam Netwon
You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout; I'm telling you why: Super Cam is coming to town. Yeah, he's a bit arrogant, can be a pouty crybaby at times, but when he's locked in; this kid is a stud. The latter has been the case more often than not this year.
What I've really been impressed with is the fact that he really doesn't have great weapons around him, but he is still getting the job done. If the Saints can knock him off his game, the rest of the team will crumble.
DE Charles Johnson
Well, well, well, look who's coming back this week. Johnson missed the last 2 games with a strained right knee but has taken part in practice this week, and baring a setback, he will be on the field for this game.
Not good news for the Saints O-line, and that means even worse news for Drew Brees. The league's top unit gets its best player back. Johnson has 8.5 sacks on the year and will be anxious to add to that total on the Sunday night stage.
LB Luke Kuechly
This sophomore is another young Panthers superstar and will be a thorn in the Saints side for years and years to come. All you need to know about this Cat is that he is basically a young Brian Urlacher.
Kuechly is a tackling machine and leads the team with 102. The 2nd year LB out of Boston College also has 3 INTs this season to go along with 6 passes defended. He just seems to be everywhere on the field. Keuchly is the guy you hate to play against, but you wish he was on your team.
by Steve Geller, email@example.com,posted Dec 6 2013 10:29AM
For many leagues, the fantasy football postseason begins this week. No room for error now whatsoever!
If you have any Saints on your team not named Brees or Graham...SIT EM! The Panthers stingy defense is only allowing 13 points per game (good for #1 in the NFL) and even though this game is in the Superdome, don't expect offensive fireworks from Drew & Kewe.
Here's my take on week 14:
Colts QB Andrew Luck
Luck hasn't been so lucky this season. The Colts have been plagued by injuries to his receiving targets, and the offensive line has not been able to protect him from opposing defenses. He has been taking a beating, bringing his fantasy numbers down to a disappointing level for owners who were predicting a big year. It does not get any easier this week. The Colts take on the league's eighth best pass defense in the Cincinnati Bengals.
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews
It has been a mediocre season for Mathews, mixing a few big games in with a bunch of so-so outings. He faces a tough matchup this week against the Giants and their ninth ranked rush defense. Mathews should see around 15 touches this week, but will that be enough to make him starter for you? I think not, look elsewhere.
Panthers WR Steve Smith
Yes, he has historically been a Saints killer, but his overall production has really dropped off this season. Don't expect that to change Sunday night in the Superdome since the Black and Gold defense is giving up the 5th fewest fantasy points to wide receivers at home. Smith is at best a flex play if you are desperate.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco
Try to forget for a moment how this season has gone for the Super Bowl MVP. Instead, let's focus on the matchup. Baltimore hosts the Minnesota Vikings. They're not just awful against the pass, they've allowed the most passing TDs and the fourth-most passing yards in the NFL. Only two QBs have failed to put up big fantasy numbers against the Vikes: Eli Manning back when the GMen were at their worst and Matt Flynn's recent performance with the Packers. You could do a lot worse if you are in need of a signal caller.
Dolphins RB Lamar Miller
I feel like everyone except the Dolphins knew they should have been using Miller more often this season. For some reason, Miami's coaching staff had a man crush on Daniel Thomas and refused to hand over the reins. Well, nothing like an injury to change all that, and force the coaches' hands. Last week in the first game with Thomas out, the Fins handed the ball off to Miller a career 22 times. Unfortunately it only went for 72 yards, but it should be noted that he did this against the best rush defense in the league, the NY Jets. With Thomas done for the season, the Dolphins should continue to feed Miller the rock.
Titans WR Kendall Wright
This guy has definitely flown under the radar this season. Barely anyone talks about him, but over the first 12 games Wright has already caught 71 passes for 840 yards. The problem I guess is that he has only scored two touchdowns. Get him in your lineup this week as he faces a Denver Broncos defense giving up 284 yards per game through the air.
by Steve Geller, firstname.lastname@example.org,posted Nov 30 2013 12:25PM
Well, the Monday night football schedule makers got it right with this one! The two best teams in the NFC meet when the 10-1 Seahawks host the 9-2 Saints. While we all know the huge Dome-field advantage New Orleans has when at home, Seattle’s current run is even more impressive.
The Seahawks are on a 13 home game winning streak and haven’t lost in CenturyLink Field since 2011. The Saints will need their best game yet to earn victory, and this one has major postseason implications. A victory would give the Black & Gold the tiebreaker over Seattle and the inside track for the #1 seed with home-field advantage.
Here are some players I think will be the difference makers in this one:
RB Pierre Thomas
The PT Bruiser has been proving over and over again that he can be trusted as the Saints main man in the backfield, while Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles are nice compliments.
In the last 3 contests Thomas has totaled 325 total yards and has proven to be a force to be reckoned with as he thrives in gaining yards after contact. That type of physical play will be vital to the Saints’ success on offense against the Seahawks. I’d like to see PT get at least 15 touches this game.
DT Akiem Hicks
One of the reasons the defense has been better against the run this season has been Hicks’ play up front. He helped spearhead the Saints containment of San Fran RB Frank Gore in week 11 and a similar shutdown of the Seahawks Marshawn Lynch is top priority.
While Russell Wilson is surging, unlike other sophomore QBs this season, forcing Seattle to pass more often should benefit the Fleur Di Lis D.
WR Kenny Stills
Production from this rookie has been hit or miss from week to week, but the team needs a big hit in this contest. Sure, Seattle will be down two of their DBs, but Marques Colston and Lance Moore aren’t the threats they used to be and just can’t be counted on to make a big impact.
Enter Kenny Stills. He has game breaking ability and has been lauded by coaches as well as Drew Brees for his maturity & football IQ. With “The Legion of Boom” Seahawks secondary only allowing 180 yards through the air per contest, a big homerun ball to Stills could be key to silencing the Seattle crowd.
DE Cliff Avril
Yes, Drew Brees is tough, but it doesn’t mean that I want to see him peeling himself off the ground each week after taking a big hit. Well, Avril will be looking to do just that to his fellow Boilermaker.
The six year vet is putting together a heck of a season with 6.5 sacks, 4 passes defended and 3 forced fumbles. The ability to keep the 6 ft. 3, 260 pounder at bay and give Brees time to throw will be a huge challenge.
S Earl Thomas
I don’t think Thomas gets enough credit throughout the league, but Seahawks fans sure love and appreciate this guy. He is fun to watch and has really emerged as the leader on this team. He’s easily one of the best free safeties in football right now and brings the BOOM to the Legion of Boom.
Thomas is known for dishing out punishing hits that strike fear into opposing WRs. That in turn causes them to drop balls. This is the guy Kenny Vaccaro molded himself after in Texas, and Saints fans are hoping they’ve got the same kind of player.
RB Marshawn Lynch
Last, but certainly not least, is this mammoth player. When Lynch ran back that 67 yard TD against the Saints in the 2011 NFC Wild Card game, Bobby Hebert and I looked at each other with eyes wide open and jaws dropped to the floor. That was a prime example of why they call him Beast Mode. Sorry Saints fans, but it is still the greatest run I’ve ever witnessed.
Fast forward to 2013, and Lynch is still dominating the league. He has 925 yards rushing with 9 TDs and averages 4.4 yards per carry. He’s also a threat in the passing attack. He’s caught 24 passes for 303 yards and 2 scores. Containing the Beast is my biggest key to victory besides not turning the ball over. Yeah I know, easier said than done.
by Steve Geller, email@example.com,posted Nov 29 2013 10:41AM
For many this is the final week of the regular season of fantasy football. Whether you are clawing for a spot in the postseason or just trying to be the highest seed possible, it's a pretty big week.
Let's pick some winners! Here's my take for this week:
Colts QB Andrew Luck
Coming off a blowout loss to Arizona, Luck and the Colts will look to rebound against their division rival Tennessee Titans. Indy's offensive line has been unable to protect the second year star, and he's not being given enough time in the pocket. That's meant a mediocre fantasy season. The former Stanford quarterback is coming off another bad game. He threw for just 232 yards and zero touchdowns against the Titans two weeks ago. Fantasy owners cannot expect a huge improvement on those numbers this week, making Luck a risky play in fantasy leagues.
Patriots RB Stevan Ridley
Coming off another fumble, Mr. Ridley cannot be trusted in fantasy leagues. He was benched after coughing up the ball for the second consecutive game, and will likely lead to sitting on the Patriots bench as the playoffs roll around. The former LSU Tiger did not come back into the game following his week 12 fumble, and with Shane Vereen back for the Pats, it is hard to imagine Ridley being trusted in key situations.
Vikings WR Greg Jennings
The Vikings' major offseason signing has failed to live up to his contract. Jennings has been unable to top 100 receiving yards in any game this season. He has just two touchdowns on the year. Minnesota has been plagued by terrible quarterback play all season long, and there is little hope that they will get it turned around this season. Fantasy owners should give up on Jennings as a starter, and should only be holding on to him as a reserve in deeper leagues.
Bears QB Josh McCown
McCown has been a lot more effective moving the ball than anyone could have hoped for, unfortunately it hasn't turned into as many wins as they had hoped. Last week in his best game of the season and career, he passed for 352 yards and two touchdowns. This week McCown faces a below average pass defense in Minnesota. The Vikings are giving up the fourth most passing yards per game at 281 yards per game.
Texans RB Ben Tate
Often the best times to start someone is the week after they have a horrible game. Not only do the players want to make up for their poor performance, but the coaches will do what they can to get this guy going. This week, look for that to be Ben Tate. He is coming off his worst rushing game of the season, gaining only one yard on seven carries. He did at least have five receptions for 26 yards, but he still had a really crappy game and was replaced by rookie Dennis Johnson who was much more effective. Not much to look into here, as Tate ran the ball very well two weeks before when he gained 117 total yards. This week the Texans face the second worst run defense in the Patriots, who are giving up 140 yards per game.
Browns TE Jordan Cameron
After being the toast of the fantasy world the first half of the season, Cameron has come back down to earth as his production has slowed to a near crawl the last four weeks. During that span he has only caught 14 passes for 146 yards and no touchdowns, whereas the first seven weeks of the season Cameron caught 45 passes for 515 yards and six touchdowns. A big reason why his numbers might be down the last four weeks would be due to having Jason Campbell at QB, and the two of them not meshing. Well, Brandon Weeden is back at QB, so I expect Cameron to get back on track this week as he faces the Jags
by Steve Geller, firstname.lastname@example.org,posted Nov 22 2013 4:54PM
This is the final week we will have to deal with byes, and the fantasy playoffs are just around the corner. Taking a look back at the Saints game, I really thought the offense was going to put up a lot more points. Sure a win is a win, but that doesn't help my fantasy team!
Here's my take on week 12:
Chargers QB Philip Rivers
Rivers has been a fantasy steal this season, racking up some big games. He had somewhat of a down game in week 11, throwing for 298 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a loss to the Dolphins. Now the Chargers will face another stiff test in week 12 as they travel to Kansas City to take on the league's ninth best pass defense. The Chiefs are coming off their first loss of the season, and I expect them to try and tomahawk Rivers and the air attack.
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington
The impressive rookie seemed to fall back behind Rashard Mendenhall in week 11, as he touched the ball ten times compared to Mendenhall's 16 touches. Ellington is excellent with the ball in space, but if he is only going to touch the ball between 10-15 times, he is an extremely risky play in all fantasy leagues. I would only start him against the Colts if you are desperate for a high risk, high reward option in week 12.
Rams WR Tavon Austin
Austin made his biggest fantasy impact of his young career in week ten, catching two touchdown passes for 138 yards, while also finding the end zone on a long punt return. The electric rookie was picked up in many fantasy leagues after this game, but I would not recommend starting him until he starts seeing the field more on offense. Despite his big fantasy numbers in week ten, Austin played just 15 snaps on offense, a number that will not lead to fantasy success in the future.
Patrios RB Shane Vereen
Vereen made his long awaited return to the field in week 11 and despite talk of him being eased back into action, that wasn't the case. He played on nearly 50 percent of the snaps, leading the Pats in receptions and yards with eight catches for 65 yards, and he was targeted 11 times. This week Vereen has a very juicy matchup vs. the Denver Broncos, in what will likely be a shootout.
Giants WR Rueben Randle
Man o man is this former LSU Tiger the definition of boom or bust in fantasy this season. He has scored six touchdowns in his last six games played, but during that same span he has only gained more than 75 yards once. Randle is definitely not catching many passes, but when he does he is making them count as he is scoring a touchdown on every 4.8 receptions. This week Randle faces the Dallas Cowboys, which the Who Dat Nation knows very weel is by far the NFL's worst pass defense as they are giving up 313 yards passing per game. Randle's only game this season when he has surpassed 100 yards receiving was in week one vs. the Cowboys and don't be surprised if he does that again.
Packers WR James Jones
After leading the NFL with 14 receiving touchdowns last season and with Greg Jennings no longer part of the team, the sky was the limit for James Jones. Unfortunately that hasn't been the case as injuries and three different starting quarterback has made this season a frustrating one. With Aaron Rodgers still injured, Scott Tolzien will start once again. Tolzien hasn't been great, throwing five interceptions and only one touchdown over two games, but he has also passed for 619 yards. This week Jones and the Packers will be playing the Vikings, who are giving up the fourth most passing yards per game through the air this season. Jones should have plenty of chances to make some plays and put up fantasy points.
by Steve Geller, email@example.com,posted Nov 20 2013 8:41AM
The Who Dat Nation roasted some Falcon to open the season, and fans are salivating for some leftovers this week. While the Black & Gold have played fairly consistently and are one of the top teams in the NFL at 8-2, Atlanta hasn't been able to pull out of the tailspin that started in the season opener in the Superdome.
The Saints know all too well though that even though the Falcons are just 2-8 on the year, they would relish nothing more than to beat their division rival. I expect the outcome to be more like the Saints/Cowboys game then the Saints/Niners match-up though.
Prediction: Saints 38 - Falcons 20
Now here's who to watch:
RB Mark Ingram
Since returning to the lineup, Ingram has been putting up solid numbers. In the last 2 games he has rushed for 170 yards, for an average of 8.5 yards per carry. I would have liked to see him get more touches against San Fran, where he got just 6 carries.
The Falcons defense has been gashed by the run all year and is giving up a whopping 133 yards per game to opponents. This would be a great game to give Ingram a truckload of carries to keep boosting his confidence.
WR Marcus Colston
Big congratulations to the Quiet Storm for becoming the franchises' all time leader in yards receiving. It's also great to see him finally putting up Colston-esque numbers in the last 2 weeks, with a total of 12 catches for 187 yards and a score.
In his career, the receiver has torched the ATL for 944 yards and 7 TDs. With Dr. Brees reporting for surgery Thursday night against a failing Falcons secondary, Colston could end up with his 2nd triple-digit receiving yards total of the season.
OLB Junior Galette
Galette has racked up 3 sacks in the last 4 weeks and looks to feast on some Falcon this week. Besides have a turrrrable defense, Atlanta's offensive line has also failed their franchise QB Matt Ryan. The Saints sacked Matty Crushed Ice 3 times in the first meeting of the year and has been taken down a total of 19 times this
season. The Falcons will likely double and triple team Cam Jordan so look for Galette to bring the pain in the Georgia Dome.
TE Tony Gonzlez
While he's been banged up and missing practice this week, this guy has been a pain in the rear for the Saints ever since signing with the Falcons in 2009. He's scored 6 touchdowns against the Black & Gold to go along with 60 receptions for 708 yards.
Yes, he may be close to 100 years old and fighting through injury, but Gonzalez is still someone you have to keep close tabs on. With no Julio Jones in the lineup for Atlanta, and QB Matty Ice running for his life, the future Hall of Fame tight end is a dependable security blanket.
DE Osi Umenyiora
Osi has played in 6 games against the Saints and has managed to sack the QB 4 times. He has been one of the only bright spots on their defense this year and surprisingly still has some juice left in the tank at 32 years old.
Umenyiora has tallied 6.5 sacks this season and will draw much attention from the Saints O-line. He was held to just one tackle in the season opener, but will the Black & gold be able to hold him at bay again?
RB Antone Smith
You may be saying who? Well I was too watching last week's game against the Bucs when Smith ripped off 88 yards and a score on just 2 carries. He should earn an increased workload this week, especially since Steven Jackson just isn't the guy he used to be. Jackson has turned out to be one of the worst free agent signings in 2013.
Smith is 28 years old and went undrafted in 2009 coming out of Florida State. He has just 3 career carries in the NFL, but with the Falcons in desperation mode they could turn to Smith to provide any kind of spark on offense since nothing else has been working.
by Steve Geller, firstname.lastname@example.org,posted Nov 15 2013 1:19PM
Just the Cowboys and the Rams are on a bye this week, so rosters are not impacted too badly. That being said, there is little room for error now with most fantasy playoffs starting in 3 weeks.
A lot of folks have been asking me if they should pick up Saints RB Mark Ingram after his bust out 145 yard performance against the Cowboys last week. I say go ahead and grab him because if your league is anything like mine, there is absolutely nothing decent available right now in free agency. The running back position is so hard to fill, and while a repeat performance from Ingram shouldn't be expected this week against San Fran, he still may be a guy going forward that could put up decent fantasy numbers if he remains healthy.
Here's my take on week 11:
Ravens QB Joe Flacco
This Super Bowl MVP has struggled this season, throwing 12 touchdowns with 13 picks. He is coming off a poor passing game in which he threw for just 140 yards and two touchdowns, while turning the ball over three times in an overtime win over Cincinnati.
This week the Ravens travel to Chicago, and while the Bears' pass defense has struggled this season, it is not a good enough matchup to consider starting flakey Flacco.
Bills RB C.J. Spiller
One week after breaking out for 155 total yards against the Chiefs, Spiller disappointed fantasy owners once again with a ten touch, 34 yard performance in a loss to the Steelers. His ankle has been an issue and still may be hurting his on field performance. It is tough, really tough to even consider him a starter right now; and facing a Jets defense makes him a definite sit for me this week.
Falcons WR Roddy White
White is back in action for the Falcons but has caught just one pass for 20 yards since Week 5. His amount of playing time is encouraging, as he was in on 55 of Atlanta's' 58 offensive snaps last week, but he is going up against the Bucs.
That means “Revis Island” and that pretty much insures White will be shut down with no Julio Jones for Tampa to worry about.
Texans QB Case Keenum
I got to tell you, I'm in love with this kid. Sure the Texans haven't been winning of late, but the passing game has seen an improvement with Keenum now running the show. Over the first three games of his career, he has passed for 822 yards and seven touchdowns, as well as rushing for 49 yards. If your quarterback is injured, on bye, or just plain sucks; Keenum might be the guy to help you out this week. Give him a look.
Giants RB Andre Brown
The long awaited return of Brown went much better than could have been expected. The Giants were hoping to slowly ease him back into action, but after an early fumble by Peyton Hillis it was off to the races. Brown rushed the ball 30 times for 115 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season. He should have no issues getting 20 plus touches a game going forward and will be the goal line back.
Packers WR Jarrett Boykin
When Randall Cobb when down with a long term injury, the Packers knew exactly who would replace him in the lineup: Jarrett Boykin. In three of the four games that Cobb has been out, Boykin has been very involved in the offense, catching 21 passed for 304 yards and his first career TD. The one game he didn't produce was two weeks ago when Aaron Rodgers went down with injury, and the whole offense was in disarray. Yeah, he has Scott Tolzien throwing to him but the two appeared to have good chemistry last week. If you are in need of a WR3 or flex, I would give Boykin a start.
by Steve Geller, email@example.com,posted Nov 15 2013 8:03AM
The first thing that pops into my head when I hear Saints vs. 49ers is the NFC Divisional playoff game back in 2012. The Saints lost in the final seconds. Alex Smith drove San Fran, a la John Elway, down the field capping it off with a TD strike to Vernon Davis to end the game and the Black & Gold's march towards another Super Bowl ring. Where is the "Men In Black" mind-eraser when you need it, right?
The Saints have dropped the last two contests against the Niners, and the players are saying that payback isn't on their minds. The Who Dat Nation, on the other hand, still hasn't forgotten about Donte Whitner's hit on Pierre Thomas that knocked him unconscious early in that playoff fiasco.
My initial gut feeling was that the Saints would win 27-26 over the Niners. Frank Gore and the San Fran rushing attack definitely scares me along with their defense that is hard hitting and has a knack for creating turnovers. A big stat from Las Vegas, though, has me changing my initial forecast.
The line is Saints by 3.
Did you know that the Saints have covered 14 straight games at home under Coach Sean Payton? That is more than just an anomaly and too hard to ignore.
Now I say the final will be:
Saints 26 - 49ers 20
Here are the players I'll be keying in on in Sunday's big NFC battle royal:
DE Cam Jordan
While he was dominating to start the season, Jordan's been awfully quiet for the last few weeks. Playing with an ankle injury is likely the reason for the drop off in his performance, but the Saints really, REALLY need his presence in this game.
The Panthers beat the 49ers in a good ole fashioned knockdown, drag out, scrum on the gridiron. That's exactly what the Saints have to do as well. Jordan has really come alive as a pass rusher this season, but it's his solid run defense that will really be needed to help stop a San Fran rushing attack that averages 148 yards per game and is ranked 4th in the NFL.
RB Mark Ingram
Marky Mark had a break out game against the Cowboys last week, and now it's time to see if he's really turned the corner going up against a fearsome 49ers defense. Obviously the offensive line's play was a big factor in last week's game. They pushed the Dallas d-line around, but you got to give Ingram a lot of credit. He ran with a lot of emotion and forced several tacklers to miss.
Surprisingly San Fran is giving up 105 rushing yards per game to opponents, so it's really not impossible for Ingram to put together another solid outing. The key to me will be getting him the carries, so he is able to get into some kind of rhythm. We'll see if Payton stays committed to the run, even if they aren't having success early.
RB Frank Gore
Anyone who thought Gore was washed up better hush their mouth. This 30-year-old running back remains among the elite in the league and just won't run around you, he'll barrel you over. He is well on his way to his 7th 1,000 yard season. Gore has racked up 700 yards already this season.
Gore is also a viable option to catch the ball out the backfield and is really underrated as a pass blocker. He just might be the best back in the NFL at picking up the blitz. This guy is the heart and soul of the 49ers offense, and what he is capable of versus the Saints is downright scary. New Orleans is giving up 118 yards a game and 5 yards a carry to the opposition.
TE Vernon Davis
Without Davis, the 49ers' passing game is non-existent. No really! Davis has caught 78% percent of Colin Kaepernick's touchdown passes this season, which is the highest percentage by one player in the NFL.
The tight end suffered a concussion last week but has been practicing, and you can bet he'll be suited up for Sunday. The Saints need to focus on neutralizing him to make the Frisco offense one dimensional.
by Steve Geller, firstname.lastname@example.org,posted Nov 13 2013 6:31PM
No New Faces:
The Saints worked out a handful of kickers, but none were signed to the roster... at least not yet. Garrett Hartley remains the lone place kicker on the team despite shanking 4 of his last 6 attempts. This upcoming game against San Fran could definitely be decided by a field goal, and another miss could have the Saints kicking Hartley to the bench even though Coach Sean Payton says he still has the utmost confidence in the kicker.
Besides working out kickers Payton also mentioned they brought in some safeties for a look see. Rookie Kenny Vaccaro suffered his 2nd concision in the last 3 weeks and posted on Instagram that he is out for Sunday's contest. He said today though that he spoke too soon and just assumed he was out. C'mon Kenny! Never assume, it makes an ass out of you and me (ass-u-me). Meanwhile Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper have been battling knee injuries and their status is uncertain.
Still no word on the Ed Reed front. He did clear waivers and is now a free agent. While the Saints are hurting at the position, Reed's skills have diminished to the point where many believe he is done, put a fork in him. The St. Rose native is undoubtedly a first ballot Hall of Famer, but father time looks to have won this battle. The 35 year old still may get a shot somewhere, but it likely will not be in New Orleans. This isn't another Darren Sharper situation, even though most Saints fans wish it were the case.
Sunday's boos quickly turned to cheers for running back Mark Ingram. He posted a career day, rushing for 145 yards, while scoring his 1st TD of the season. He deflected most of the credit to the offensive line for opening up running lanes for him, but can Ingram and the rest of the backs have similar success against the dreaded 49ers defense?
Ingram feels that as long as everyone sticks to the game plan and executes, everything will be fine. San Fran is a tough, physical D but ranks middle of the pack versus the run. The 49ers defense is allowing an average of 105 yards per contest. If Ingram were to put up more big numbers this weekend, the fans perception of the frequently banged up back could change drastically.
by Steve Geller, email@example.com,posted Nov 13 2013 9:42AM
The Texans have handed Ed Reed his walking papers after he said Houston was outplayed and outcoached Sunday in their loss to Arizona. Instantly, speculation started to run rampant locally about the former Destrehan star coming home and suiting up for the Saints.
The fact of the matter though is that Reed isn't the same player you remember and may not have anything left in the tank. The 35 year old's role with the Texans this season had been limited before his release, and he has a history of hip and knee issues.
That being said, the Saints just may bring Reed in for a look. They would only be on the hook for $412, 000 plus $62,500 for each game the future Hall of Famer is active.
Injuries at the safety position make it seem like a great fit for the Saints, and Reed would be a fantastic mentor for rookie Kenny Vaccaro. Heck, folks said Robert Meachem was done; and while he isn't lighting it up, he is still contributing to the team. Reed would obviously not be a long term fix, just a Band-Aid.
Maybe playing for a legitimate Super Bowl contender would add some extra fuel to Reed's fire. He could add to his trophy case as he won his 2nd championship right here in New Orleans last year against the San Francisco 49ers.