WWL NFL analyst Mike Detillier says he picked the Saints going into Sunday's huge showdown with the Falcons, because Atlanta's undefeated record looked to mean more to New Orleans than the Dirty Birds.
"I kind of felt all week long, sometimes you catch teams at just the right times...Sometimes it's not who you play but when you play them. The Saints matched up well against the Falcons, that's why I picked them."
Detillier says the Saints have had the neccessary parts to commit to the run, but have only recently put the parts in motion.
"For the second straight week in a row, you've seen a real commitment to the run. It's not that they didn't have pieces before; there was just not real commitment to run the football. They had a nice combo with Chris Ivory and Mark Ingram...You got that rolling, and the less of Drew Brees sometimes is better. I always preach this, when the Saints rush for more than 120 yards in a game, the team is 33 and 3. That tells you the whole story! 120 yards is not a lot of rushing yards in the NFL, and when you have that committment to run that football, it takes the pressure off Drew from having ot be phenomenal each week."
According to Mike, a defense that still gives up a lot of yardage has stepped up when it counts.
"This team has squeezed teams in the red zone, forcing field goals, and made two monumental goal line stands...One in Tampa, and the other yesterday," Detillier said.
And of all the amazing defensive plays in the game, one stands out in his mind.
"Now, as terrific as Malcom's play was, the play Jabari Greer made saved your season! Had you lost that game to Atlanta, in that moment, having that team beat and you lost on the scoreboard...I think that would have been an emotional loss you couldn't have recovered from. As much as Ivory's run set the tone, Jabari's knock-down at the end of that game basically saved your season."
Photo by Chris Bennett