Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
The Big Chief's Final Analysis of the Saints and Cowboys
by Deke Bellavia, email@example.com,posted Nov 10 2013 2:36AM
The next two weeks are very important to the New Orleans Saints. After having a once seemingly comfortable four game lead in the NFC South, the Saints now have the red hot Carolina Panthers right on their heels.
Carolina is now just a game back at 5-3. The key here is that the next two weeks the Cats take on San Francisco and then New England. With a little help from the 49ers and Patriots, the Saints could widen the gap between them and Carolina over the next two games.
Now none of that really matters if the Saints don't handle their own business starting this week with the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is 5-4 with two closes losses (17-6 to KC & 51-48 to Denver), and you could argue that the Cowboys are a little better than their record indicates.
One thing the Saints and Cowboys have in common is their poor rushing attacks. The Dallas Cowboys have the 27th ranked rushing attack, with an average of 75.7 yards per game. The Saints are 26th averaging 79.8. Numbers can be somewhat deceiving as the Saints have rushed for over 100 yards just twice this season. In their other six games, New Orleans failed to reach 80 yards rushing. So, their average is a little better than they actually have been this season.
Looking at how each team has struggled to run the football leads me to believe that both of these teams will be patient in trying to establish the run as long as they can, but I expect both Dallas and New Orleans to throw the ball much more than they pass it.
Let's be real. When you're struggling to run the football; and you have QB's like Brees and Romo along with pass catchers like Graham, Moore, Bryant and Witten, the reward of getting the ball in those players hands is pretty good.
I believe in the human element of sports. To think that the Saints Players don't want to go out and play harder for their new defensive coordinator would be incorrect of me. I do believe that Coach Rob Ryan wants to have a good showing against Dallas (the team that fired him), and I fully expect the Saints to come with more blitz packages this week to try and make Mr. Romo uncomfortable when he's trying to pass the football.
The Saints still own the Dome, and I like the Black and Gold to roll over the Cowboys Sunday Night. Take the Saints and go to the bank Monday morning. Take make a deposit that is. My prediction: New Orleans 28 - Dallas 17
What they are saying
Dallas Cowboys QB #9 Tony Romo on being familiar with what Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan does...
"I think you have to take everything into account. They are going to have a plan against us and we have to have a plan against them. We have to go out and execute that. It will be a great test for everybody. They are playing great football. Rob (Ryan) puts them in a great situation and you can see they are flying around and they are very difficult to deal with. It is going to be an unbelievable difficult test this week.”
Saints QB #9 Drew Brees on the Saints Offense trying to be more balanced...
"Well you focus on it. You commit to it. I think the big thing is, something we have been very very good at maybe up until last week was just sticking to the plan throughout the game and just knowing that hey, even though maybe you are only getting two to three yards a rush early on, keep plugging away, plugging away and by the fourth quarter those numbers go up. It just takes a toll on the defense. I think coming out of that game after you step away from it you say, gosh we got pretty one dimensional. We were throwing the ball quite a bit there at the end. Granted we were down by two possessions before that second half so you are kind of in a situation where you have to somewhat, but still to maintain some level of balance. Listen, we still have to get more efficient both in the passing game and the running game and then understand how those complement one another and just how that helps us overall as an offense. It opens up the big play opportunities. It helps with protection, time of possession, complementary football, their defense, all those things.”
Saints Coach Sean Payton on if he has to force himself to call running plays...
"I need to…absolutely. It's not even force yourself. It's just paying attention. The efficiency level we operated at last week when we ran it was pretty good, so that's something you look closely at and (also you look at) how the game is unfolding. I thought that when it came to running the ball, we blocked that front pretty well. Certainly that takes a little bit of pressure off of the offensive linemen. I know I said this earlier in the week, when you're throwing it that many times, that formula is often times not good. Especially on the road against a good rush team like that.”
Dallas Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett on facing the Saints and former Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan...
"I think they're a really good football team in all three phases. Obviously they've been a really good team on offense for a number of years. They've got an outstanding quarterback (Drew Brees), (and) a lot of great weapons around him. The system of football they believe in has been really good for them. They're explosive. They can drive the ball, they can score points, and they're a very dangerous offense. Defensively they're playing well, there's no question about that. Rob's doing a great job for them. They've got a lot of pieces in place. They've got some very good players up front. The linebackers are solid – veteran guys. On the back end, they're really playing well. It's a good football team through and through. They've got a lot of good playmakers and they play good, sound, fundamental football.”
Dallas Cowboys (5-4) at New Orleans Saints (6-2)
Sunday, November 10, 7:30PM Kickoff Mercedes Benz Superdome
Last week's results: NY Jets beat New Orleans 26-20 and Dallas beat Minnesota 27-23
Series History: The Cowboys and Saints have met 25 times, with the Cowboys leading the series 15-10. As of late it has been all Saints as New Orleans has won seven of the last eight games between the two.
The Big Chief's Final Analysis of the Saints and Cowboys
Please Enter Your Comments Below
Win baby win
They say Tony Romo knows Rob Ryan .Well I can assure you Rob Ryan knows Tony Romo. An I think Romo will get very familiar with the turf in the Superdome tonight we also need to run the ball better we don't have to run the ball great but better to keep Dallas's offense of the field because they have a very good offense as well go Saints .I predict Saints 28 Cowboys 21