Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke: It's now or never for the Black & Gold!
by Deke Bellavia,posted Oct 7 2012 8:30AM
Simply put, it’s now or never for the Saints. There is no margin for error for the Black and Gold. Can the Saints go 10-2 in their final 12 games of the season? Will 10 wins be enough to even make it to the playoffs in the NFC this season?
Bottom line, 10 wins has long been the mark to earn a playoff berth, with some seasons 10 not being enough. Back in 2006 10 wins were enough for the Saints to land the #2 seed in the NFL. New Orleans has to win, and win a lot!
Series History: The Chargers lead the Saints 7-3, with the Saints winning the last meeting between the two back in October of 2008 when New Orleans beat the Chargers in London.
Noteworthy - Drew Brees hasn't had a game without a TD pass since Oct. 4, 2009, against the New York Jets. With one TD pass against the Chargers Brees will break Johnny Unitas’ record of consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Saints Coach Sean Payton will be in attendance Sunday night when the Saints host the Chargers.
The Chargers have beaten the Raiders, Titans and Chiefs. I know that the Chiefs beat the Saints and then the Chargers beat the Chiefs, but realistically San Diego has not really been tested this season, unless you consider a 27-3 blowout loss at home to Atlanta test!
1. Whatever it takes to win, do it! If the appearance of Coach Payton gives the team a boost, if we get a call in our favor, if we win on a Hail Mary, whatever it takes the Saints have to win. There are no more “this is not a must win” pressers, this team must win 10 of the next 12 weeks, and that still might not be enough. That’s the flat out truth and everyone knows it!
2. Put the bull in the pen! The Saints have one bull in their offensive backfield and his name is Chris Ivory. I’m not a coach and I’m sure I’m easily dismissed, but the Saints are not getting the type of push up-front that they need to rush the ball effectively..and Chris Ivory is the RB who has proven he is the most physical. Yes, Ivory has fumbled the ball before, but the risk of a fumble is far less great than the need to run the football at this point. Give Ivory the rock!
3. Be like the Chargers. San Diego should serve as motivation for the Saints. The Bolts also started the season 0-4 in 1992 and still made the playoffs. Odds are heavily stacked against the Saints, but it has been done before.
4. Do your job! There is no need to throw out numbers or stats, just do your job. The man will be in the house Sunday night, so make him proud. A win before the bye week could go a long way, or at least make everyone have a little hope for at least another two weeks!
5. Defensive improvement? Whether or not you think the Saints defense has been improving, the Saints held the Packers to just 7 points in the last 34-plus minutes of the game. Let's hope that is a sign that the defense has turned the corner.
What they are saying
Saints Coach Aaron Kromer on Chargers run defense:
“San Diego is very good against the run. Last year, we were sixth rushing. It’s an early stat but they are very good against the run. We still need to be able to run the football on them and I think we’re capable.”
Saints QB Drew Brees on breaking Johnny Unitas’ record versus his team’s 0-4 record:
“Yes, obviously if our record were a little bit better. It doesn’t change the significance of the record, but hopefully we can use it as a launch point, a platform for the rest of our season.”
The Big Chief’s Final Analysis – The Saints have to win, don’t they? Sean is going to be in the house. To lose this game would be the end of the season, bar none. Lay the 3 ½ and take the Saints.
San Diego Chargers (3-1) @ New Orleans Saints (0-4)
Last week’s results: San Diego beat Kansas City 37-20 and Green Bay beat New Orleans 28-27