Really looking forward to the London game on Sunday against the Vikings, when our footballers can properly play in the metric system, when a wide receiver can rack up over 100 metres in pass catches, a team will just miss converting a third down by 17 centimetres, and some linebacker will fly in and hit a running back like 1,000 kilos of bricks.
Well, against the Panthers, we certainly played complementary football.
When somebody made a good play, somebody else on the field missed a key block or committed a penalty (although one or two were phantoms….)
When we were in FG range we took a bad sack and then missed the FG.
When we finally had a good drive, we had a short FG try and PK Wil Lutz, trying to get under the ball, hit his foot on the ground first and it popped up, he hit the ball too high, line-drove it into a blocked FG.
Then when the offense finally got itself together and put together a great drive, three plays later the defense parlayed two shit attempted tackles into giving up a 60-yard TD and the game was over.
That, my friends, is what you call a team effort.
Millions of words were spent this week talking about the play of Saints QB Jameis Winston, god knows it got almost as much coverage as Hurricane Ian, although not nearly as much as the royal funeral.
Let me sum it up for you: Winston could play better. It’s not all his fault. He’s hurting, but we don’t know how much. That’s it.
(Honestly you could probably say the exact same thing about new King Charles. If you cared about it.)
Lies, damned lies and statistics: Vikings QB Kirk Cousins (98.2) has a better career passer rating (98.2) than Tom Brady (97.5) and just behind Drew Brees (98.7). Cousins has one playoff win in three career tries, and all Saints fans know it took a miracle. Know who’s tied with Cousins for 6th all time? The immortal Dak Prescott.
This passer rating thing, once sort of useful, is seeming like a poor metric, and useless in comparing generations. Dan Marino is 40th. Johnny Unitas, who invented the modern position and the two-minute drill, is tied for 98th. Enough already.
There is no truth the rumor that Queen Elizabeth died rather than tolerate a Saints/Vikings game in London. But you can’t prove she didn’t, either.
With all of our injuries in the secondary (FFS can this team ever stay healthy?), people were missing former FS Marcus Williams (signed as FA with Baltimore) and former slot corner CJ Gardner-Johnson (traded for Philly for a low-round draft picks and one of those fancy on-field injury carts, the latter filling a position of need).
Williams is being his classic self in Baltimore. In week two against the Dolphins, he had two picks in the first half (zero return yards on either, of course) while the Ravens were running up a 28-7 lead. Then, in the fourth quarter alone, down 35-14, the Dolphins score FOUR touchdowns to steal a 42-38 win, with Dolphins QB Tua Tagliavoa going 12-15 for 258 yards and four TD passes.
In that utter meltdown of the fourth quarter, Williams had….one tackle and no pass breakups. Which is his career encapsulated in a single game. He has tremendous skill and range, he makes plays where he can cherry-pick the ball, and is absolutely never there when you actually need him and you desperately need somebody to make a play.
As far as CJGJ, let’s look at him and new Saints slot corner Justin Evans after three games:
CJGJ – 15 tackles, one tackle for loss, no sacks, forced fumbles or interceptions, one pass defensed
Evans — 12 tackles, one tackle for loss, no sacks, forced fumbles or interceptions, one pass defensed
Let them go.
A little sad this week when I realized that we’ll probably never get that acoustic version of Fatboy Slim doing “The Rockafeller Skank.” Such is life.
Look, after three weeks, I am $300 in the hole on three straight Saints games, because I had sort of forgotten that Sean Payton was gone and I didn’t know this team at all. And nobody else does either, including the owner, the GM, the coaching staff and the players. This is going to take a little time to shake out. But it still has the potential for a brilliant ending, and that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
The one fear right now? This is one of those Saints seasons of yore when we lose games we are not supposed to by playing down for lesser teams looking to get some mojo back. Like last Sunday.
As far as this week, with Winston injured and the whole QB situation a little in the air, I am just guessing.
So I am guessing a change will do us good. Saints 27, Vikings 20.
Let’s go Saints!