The Breakdown: OK, let’s be real here. The Saints would have much rather faced the Patriots coming off a win instead of a loss. But the way New England lost last week is more cause for concern…At least that’s the way I feel. Since Tom Brady has been QB, I’d be willing to bet that there aren’t too many times, if any, that a New England offense was held to 248 yards and did not score one TD!
Give credit where credit is due, the Bengals defense is legit and they flat out got after the good-looking QB all day long. Tom was sacked four times for a loss of -31 yards with one interception and a QB rating of 52. The rating number also represents the number of games that Tom had thrown a TD pass. He did not make it to 53! And Brady had almost 29 percent of his passes off target meaning those passes were either overthrown or underthrown. Brady failed to throw for 200 yards in a game for the second time this season.
I know I’m comfortable in saying that Tom Brady will be ready to play this week after hearing all week long how bad he looked the week prior. Bottom line, expect the best shot from the future Hall of Fame QB this week when the Black and Gold comes to town.
The Patriots are 31-3 at home in their last 34 games. Folks, it comes down to securing the football, and will the Saints be able to run the ball when they need to. I’ve not picked against the Saints all season long, and I’m 5-0.
I do expect Tom Brady to bounce back and play much better. But I’ll take the Saints again this week 23-20 over New England.
New Orleans Saints (5-0) vs New England Patriots (4-1)
Sunday October 13 3:25 Kickoff on WWL 870AM/FM 105.3
Series History: The Patriots lead the series 8-4.
Last week’s results: New Orleans beat Chicago 26-18 and Cincinnati beat New England 13-6
What they are saying
New England Patriots DE/LB Rob Ninkovich
Can you talk a little bit about the traits that Bill Belichick and Sean Payton share?
“I think that would be, playing for both coaches, you can kind of see the similarities and how they want their teams to be mentally tough teams that are smart. Again, in the NFL, more teams lose games than go out and win them so playing smart football and taking care of the football (is very important). Not giving it away on offense and taking it away on defense, (are) the core fundamentals of playing great team football. I think that both coaches really try to hit home on and get every single player in that mindset of playing three phases, taking care of the football on offense and creating turnovers on defense.”
New England Coach Bill Belichick on Saints Coach Sean Payton’s offensive system:
“I think Sean does a real good job of keeping the defense off balance. They really attack pretty much every inch of the field. They run toss plays and screens. They like to get the ball outside. They have a good inside running game. They throw the ball. (Drew) Brees uses his guys on checkdowns and things like that very well and they have the ability to get the ball vertically down the field to pretty much everybody, especially the receivers, but (Jimmy) Graham obviously and even (Darren) Sproles to an extent. So, you have to defend the deep ball. You have to defend from the sideline to the middle of the field. You have to defend the running game inside and out, the backs, the tight ends, the receivers; they are all a big part of the passing game. Brees even, they have some moving pocket plays where he boots and he has had a couple red area scrambles where the receivers are covered and he was able to run them into the end zone as kind of a sixth receiver. They just have a lot of different weapons, a lot of different ways to attack you, obviously a lot of good players, very good scheme. They are well-coached. They don’t make a lot of mistakes. They don’t get a lot of penalties, turn the ball over, or have bad plays where they create long yardage situations, little stuff like that. I think they are at the top of the league in fewest negative runs, those type of numbers so you don’t get a lot of long yardage opportunities that some teams get themselves into one way or another and it’s hard to convert those. They don’t get that on first and second down, they are usually in a third down situation and is somewhat manageable. They stay on the field and when they get in the red area they score a lot of points down there. It’s a great offensive system. Sean (Payton), Pete Carmichael and their staff do a great job of coaching it and installing it and they execute it well.”
Saints Coach Sean Payton on QB’s Drew Brees and Tom Brady
“I think, obviously both are accomplished. The success that Tom has had there is well documented, noted and through his time and Bill’s (Belichick) time there has been a lot of different pieces, no different than you would say to some degree, Drew has seen different players come and go. They are different in a lot of ways and yet they are competitive and guys that know how to win. They aren’t playing against each other really, they are playing and working with their own teams. Look, it’s a good team we are playing on the road after another road game we just played. They are coming off a tough loss and we are going to have to play one of our best football games. I think our players see that and they understand that.”
Saints Tight End Jimmy Graham on what type of defensive looks he has been getting.
“I would say there’s definitely been some different looks as far as being doubled, (with) safeties doing things they wouldn’t do in a normal cover two or having a guy stand over you and his sole job is to keep you on the ball. It’s gradually gotten more difficult. I’m just going to take what they give me. If it comes my way I’m going to try to catch it.”