You’d think by now the Falcons would have figured out how to block for their kickers when they play the Saints, amirite?
Re-watching the Falcons game, I got an eerie feeling I couldn’t quite place. Then it hit me:
How many years did we spend watching the Saints lose games like that against traditional NFL powers, feeling like we were so close, just need one more break, let’s just hang on until the clock runs out?
By my count, that would be 38 years.
Good teams win those games, and bad teams lose those games, all the time. Ignore the first three quarters the Saints played, and focus on the determined and mistake-free fourth.
Meanwhile, the Falcons choked because of failed leadership from their coaching staff. After utterly stoning us with an aggressive game plan, on the last three Saints drives, that started from our 25, 12, and 20 yard lines, the Falcons blitzed exactly once (sending only five rushers) and sat back in a Cover 2 zone and got absolutely shredded.
How many times did that happen to us before 2006?
I have said this over and over and over: “You promised you’d kill me last” is not a strategy.
Saints QB Jameis Winston had 40 designed pass plays called. He threw 34 passes, was sacked four times, and ran twice. Out of those 40, he had exactly one throw that was a semi-poor decision that was almost picked off, when he tried to hit Jarvis Landry on an intermediate route into the gap of a zone, but locked in on him and then waited a titch too long, and the CB peeled back and made a great leaping play to get two hands on it but couldn’t bring it in.
I am having trouble thinking one semi-bad pass out of 40 drop-backs is a fluke.
Since his arrival, Winston has slavishly imitated retired QB Drew Brees (especially his refusal late in his career to force throws), to the point where Winston is now Jennifer Jason Leigh in “Single White Female.”
Not to mention, for about 15 years Drew conditioned us that a game was never over until the Q4 clock was all zeros. Last Sunday, the only thing Winston didn’t do that Drew would have done was to have our defense let the Falcons steal an absurd the win in the 19 seconds they had left after we took the lead. And it took a FG block to do it, because you KNOW that 63-yard attempt would have been good otherwise.
Speaking of Drew and retired HC Sean Payton, how fast did this just become Winston’s and HC Dennis Allen’s team? One freaking win. As The GOAT said last week, we were all ready to move on.
I bet not a single one of you missed former DB, since-traded Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
New DB Justin Evans, playing the slot in CJGJ’s place, is the better player and showed it on Sunday. And he’ll be a lot cheaper next season.
Look, we got two picks for a former 4th round pick who would have been now our seventh DB. (Marshon, Adebo, Maye, Honey Badger, Roby, Evans). And maybe eighth behind rookie Alontae Taylor.
When they traded CJGJ, they said they really liked our DB room, they weren’t bullshitting us, they meant it. Again, they were right — we don’t miss the guy at all. In Loomis We Trust. Let it go.
And speaking of pronouns and identity, new King Charles III’s LinkedIn profile now identifies his gender as “Finally/About Fuckin’ Time/Fuck Outta My Way My Throne’s Over There.”
In retrospect, Winston spiking the ball and stopping the clock on third down on the last drive with about 25 seconds left right before the winning FG was not such a bad play.
If he takes the snap, he risks (1) a sack, (2) a pick, or (3) an offensive PI or a grounding penalty, pretty much any of which ends the game and we lose, or (4) throwing a pass that is short of the first down, so the clock is running on fourth down and we can’t spike it and have to run the FG team out there for a rushed FG attempt.
The only thing that works if we don’t spike it is that we get the first down and pick up a few yards, probably not more than about 5 or 10, and then spike it, or there’s a legit incomplete, in which case we did run off a few more seconds, but it’s still a long FG attempt. To me, it was actually the right play, even if he did it because he didn’t realize it was already third down.
Change my mind.
This has gone on long enough. On to Sunday.
We own Tampa QB Tom Brady because we are perfectly built to stop him: strong pass rush against a stationary QB (as opposed to run-pass option guys like Marcus Mariota and Jalen Hurts), for years one of the NFL’s best run defenses (again when we are not against an RPO offense), a secondary that loves playing man coverage on outside WRs and has the players to do it, and LBs (DeMario Davis, Pete Werner) and a slot corner (Justin Evans) that excel in covering TEs and limiting Brady’s favorite underneath crossing routes.
Last week against Dallas he was 18 for 27 for 212 yards and an 87 passer rating, completing all of two passes over 20 yards, and the Bucs scored exactly one TD.
Not to mention his OL is beat up and WR Chris Godwin, who usually kills us, is out.
The last four regular season games against us they are averaging 12 points a game. I don’t see why that changes now. We’re gonna curb-stomp these bastards.
Saints 27, Bucs 13.
GO SAINTS GO