Sports

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Here's how bad you should expect the New Orleans Saints' defense to play on Sunday against Washington

Posted By on Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 2:23 PM

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The Saints' defense performs terribly on the road against Washington in 2008. The more things change...
WIKI/CREATIVE COMMONS

This has been the week sportswriters have caught up with how bad the New Orleans Saints' defense has been all year — yes, even back when there were happy delusions that things might be getting better.

Today, the always sensible Mike Triplett over at ESPN added more helpful context to the discussion.
The Saints (4-5) are on pace to allow the highest opponents' passer rating of all-time (112.0), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The current record of 110.9 was set by the 0-16 Detroit Lions in 2008.
The Saints are near .500 even though they have the defense of an 0-16 team, basically. You can thank Drew Brees for that, as I wrote the other day

Another excellent way to evaluate the quality of a defense is to look at how many yards it gives up per pass on average. The Saints are historically bad in that number, too — currently they are giving up 8.5 yards per pass. What makes that number even more damning is they've managed it against a slate of offenses that aren't exactly scary.

So buckle your metaphorical chin strap and let's take a look at what horrors the team with the worst passing offense by yards per attempt, Washington, will unleash on the Saints this weekend.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Y@ Speak: forgetting

Posted By on Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 12:40 PM

As the Bard wrote... I have almost forgot the taste of fears.

There was once a time I'd shiver at the thought of a losing season. Now I've seen true horror: a winless Pelicans, a tortured Saints, and king cake in November. Also: Alabama rolls out the welcome wagon and Mayor Mitch Landrieu rides a bike.

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Thanks to yet another terrible defense, the New Orleans Saints are wasting Drew Brees' resurgence

Posted By on Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 12:37 PM

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Drew Brees takes aim during a 2010 USO tour visit with the US Marines.
DEFENSE IMAGERY/CREATIVE COMMONS

Back at the start of the 2013 season, weighted down by rumors that his ability had declined and by his team's lack of talent at receiver, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was struggling. Through the first three weeks of that season, he completed just 57 percent of his passes and had a passer rating of just 79.4, one of the worst in the NFL. The Patriots averaged just 19.6 points per game.

They won all three.

In the past two weeks, after a slow start to his season, Drew Brees has completed 75 percent of his passes for 894 yards with 10 touchdowns, compiling a stunning passer rating of 130.4.  Over the past two weeks, Brees has averaged over 10 yards per pass attempt — the Saints average a first down every time he throws the football. They have averaged 40 points per game.

Despite all this, they are 1-1, with their lone win coming only after Brees threw a game-tying seventh touchdown late in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants — the only time in NFL history a quarterback had to throw a seventh touchdown to avoid losing.

Brees is in the middle of a career resurgence, much like the one Brady has enjoyed over the past year or so, but while the Patriots parlayed Brady's resurgence into a Super Bowl title, the Saints are wasting Brees'.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

A round of applause for Mark Ingram

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 5:19 PM

I don't dislike Mark Ingram. I think he's OK. Aside from the handful of preternatural running backs out there, and from the really bad ones who can't do anything right, most NFL backs are interchangeable; their success depends on the offensive line in front of them. Mark Ingram was, I figured, just one of those guys.

Halfway through 2015, I've realized he might be something more.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Y@ Speak: All Saints, All Day

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 1:00 PM


This Y@ Speak is full of ghouls 'n' goblins, from Voodoo Fest's Halloween mud monsters to presidential debates and a spooky tale of a team that scores more than 40 points... and loses. Also: The New Orleans Pelicans are off to a rough start, despite the power of candy corn.

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Catch your breath: Here's how good Drew Brees actually was yesterday

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 12:40 PM

While you catch your breath and recover from a hangover you have regardless of whether you drank yesterday, let's talk about two particular Saints players.

You know what they say: There's good news and there's bad news.

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dispatch from salary cap hell: How the Saints will rebuild without any money

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 2:38 PM

New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis. - DERICK HINGLE
  • DERICK HINGLE
  • New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis.


It all would have worked out brilliantly if not for Junior Galette.

The Saints' need to cut the controversial (and, for fans like me, hated) pass rusher before this season resulted in a "dead money" charge of over $12 million against New Orleans' 2016 salary cap. That charge alone took the Saints from a manageable $8 million under the projected 2016 salary cap of around $150 million to $4 million over

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Maybe Sean Payton has had this all under control the whole time

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2015 at 3:35 PM

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CREATIVE COMMONS/DEREK BRIDGES

So the Saints aren't dead after all. Their ongoing reboot attempt has been encapsulated by events on the field twice in the past two games, first with Michael Mauti's punt block against the Atlanta Falcons and then, yesterday, with a two-play sequence that was both current and vintage Sean Payton.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Where the Saints rank so far in 2015

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 1:48 PM

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Six games, almost half a season, is plenty enough time in football to build a sample large enough from which to drawn conclusions. On the other hand, there's still a lot of football left to play, and things may change as the Saints get healthier or as their young defense gets more experienced.

Still, the statistical picture of the year so far is, as you probably expect, pretty, uh, mixed.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What if the 2015 Saints don't suck?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2015 at 11:47 AM

DERICK HINGLE
  • DERICK HINGLE

You know the cliche. It was produced by Sean Payton mentor Bill Parcells: "You are what your record says you are."

The Saints are 2-4 and sit beneath every other team in the NFC South. Even with last Thursday's satisfying win over the Atlanta Falcons, these Saints are bad.

But the line between bad and good is thin. In the case of the Saints, the difference between being bad at 2-4 and being good at 4-2 is thin too.

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