20 minutes til the saints kick off in Dallas
is y’all ready for motherfucking football?
NEW ORLEANS — After three puzzling performances, I am completely baffled by the 2014 New Orleans Saints, even more so after their uninspiring 20-9 home victory against the bottom-tier Minnesota Vikings.
My reaction to the Saints’ 1-2 start is “aw-shucks” and not “shock and awe.”
If not for a brain fart by Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, the Black and Gold might well be 0-3 going into Sunday night’s nationally televised game against the rejuvenated Dallas Cowboys at Jerry World, a k a AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. After that untimely and game-changing 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty at the end of the third quarter, Munnerlyn should have been demoted to Lieutenant or Corporal.
Yes, Munnerlyn was correctly flagged for his WWF-type take down of quarterback Drew Brees. But I also agree with Munnerlyn. Brees should have been penalized as well for going after Vikings safety Robert Blanton, who happened to be an unwitting accomplice in the dastardly deed. That said, two wrongs don’t make a right.
So who are these Saints?
I’m not sure but I feel relatively confident that they are not the Super Bowl contenders I had predicted at the start of the regular season. Not even close.
It is a nomadic football team, wandering aimlessly in search of an oasis in the NFL desert.
The team has no real identity. In fact, it is not a team yet. It is merely a roster comprised of 53 players who share a common goal but seem unsure what it’s going to take to get there.
Yes, Brees can still throw the ball around the yard but the most consistent element on offense seems to be the running game with Pierre Thomas, Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram before his injury. Tight end Jimmy Graham and rookie wide receiver/punt returner Brandin Cooks are a solid one-two punch in the passing game but where’s the consistent deep threat?
Marques Colston? Kenny Stills? Joe Morgan? Robert Meachem? Nick Toon? All complementary receivers but none would necessarily influence my game plan as an opposing defensive coordinator.
Defensively, I’m unimpressed with Rob Ryan’s unit holding the punchless Vikings to three field goals. C’mon, they played without Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson, and rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater made his NFL debut as an in-game replacement for injured starter Matt Cassel.
A week earlier, the Cleveland Browns beat the Saints without their top three offensive weapons — wide receiver Josh Gordon, tight end Jordan Cameron and running back Ben Tate. And we know what kind of whoopin’ the Atlanta Falcons administered in Week 1.
Heck, Saints special teams are anything but. Question: When was the last time the Saints made a meaningful kick- or punt-return to impact a game and influence a victory? If you have to stop and think, then I’ve proved my point. It’s been a while.
And getting an extra point attempt blocked is unacceptable. Fortunately, it didn’t come back to haunt kicker Shayne Graham and holder Luke McCown.
If I sound negative, it’s because this team which aspires to greatness is not playing up to its potential under coach Sean Payton. And while beating Dallas on the road and Tampa Bay at home the next two weeks would get them above .500 for the season going into the open week, the real litmus test comes down the road.
Speaking of the road, the Saints have lost their last five regular-season games away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome dating to last season and seven of their last eight.
Maybe this team will find itself at Jerry World. The sooner, the better.
-PANTHERS at RAVENS-
Keith: 31-17 (BAL)
Victor: 24-20 (BAL)
Jackie: 27-24 (CAR)
Zac: 17-10 (BAL)
-PACKERS at BEARS-
Keith: 26-21 (GB)
Victor: 31-17 (CHI)
Jackie : 27-17 (CHI)
Zac: 27-14 (CHI)
-BILLS at TEXANS-
Keith: 21-20 (HOU)
Victor: 24-20 (HOU)
Jackie: 17-14 (BUF)
Zac: 24-21 (BUF)
-TITANS at COLTS-
Keith: 36-21 (IND)
Victor: 34-27 (IND)
Jackie: 24-10 (IND)
Zac: 41-17 (IND)
-LIONS at JETS-
Keith: 24-17 (DET)
Victor: 27-24 (DET)
Jackie: 21-16 (DET)
Zac: 33-24 (DET)
-DOLPHINS at RAIDERS-
Keith: 17-13 (OAK)
Victor: 25-14 (MIA)
Jackie: 23-13 (MIA)
Zac: 23-10 (MIA)
-BUCCANEERS at STEELERS-
Keith: 30-19 (PIT)
Victor: 31-24 (PIT)
Jackie: 34-6 (PIT)
Zac: 35-13 (PIT)
-JAGUARS at CHARGERS-
Keith: 33-21 (SD)
Victor: 37-24 (SD)
Jackie: 41-10 (SD)
Zac: 21-20 (JAX)
-FALCONS at VIKINGS-
Keith: 29-20 (ATL)
Victor: 24-22 (ATL)
Jackie: 34-23 (ATL)
Zac: 31-21 (ATL)
-EAGLES at 49ERS-
Keith: 27-23 (SF)
Victor: 34-28 (PHI)
Jackie: 34-31 (PHI)
-SAINTS at COWBOYS-
Keith: 35-33 (DAL)
Victor: 27-24 (NO)
Jackie: 27-24 (NO)
Zac: 34-31 (DAL)
-PATRIOTS at CHIEFS-
Keith: 34-28 (NE)
Victor: 30-31 (KC)
Jackie: 31-24 (KC)
Zac: 24-17 (KC)
September 25th, 2006.
8 years ago, the New Orleans Saints had their return to the Superdome after Katrina. What a game. What a day.
At the coin toss: Joe Horn #87, Drew Brees #9, Deuce McAllister #26.
METAIRIE, La. — The message at New Orleans Saints camp Wednesday was clear, because it was repeated often by coach Sean Payton, Drew Brees and several players: Don’t take theDallas Cowboys lightly because the Saints just trounced them 49-17 last season in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, setting an NFL record with 40 first downs in the process.
That message was also unnecessary.Brees
At 1-2, the Saints are hardly in danger of overconfidence, especially considering this is a road game.
Yes, Brees insisted, the Saints are feeling good after finally getting their first win of the season last week over the Minnesota Vikings. But, no, they’re not letting off the gas pedal.
"For us, we got tripped up the first two weeks of the season. Then we came back with a nice win at home, so we feel like we got that first win under our belt and we broke the seal," Brees said. "We’d really like to build on that and come out and play better this week than last week. That’s what we’re really focused on.
"These are different teams now at different places in the season — even though it’s only a year apart, it’s a different game. And listen, we have a lot of respect for the Dallas Cowboys. They are very talented. And this is our the next game, it’s the most important game.
"It’s Sunday Night Football in Cowboys [AT&T] Stadium. It doesn’t really get any better than this at this point in the season."
The Cowboys (2-1) come into this game as the hotter team after a rally at the St. Louis Ramsgave them their second straight victory last week.
Just like New Orleans, Dallas’ offense has been off to a strong start with more reliance on the run game than in the past. And just like New Orleans, Dallas’ defense has been up and down.
The Saints have outscored opponents 26-24 this year. The Cowboys have outscored opponents 26-23.
"Both teams are early in the season looking to get another win here. This will be [the Cowboys’] second game home now after losing their home opener. I’m sure they’re looking to play better at home. We’re looking to play better on the road," Payton said of a Saints team that is 0-2 on the road this year and 2-8 over the last 10 games, including the playoffs.
"I think this will be a real good challenge for us. This is a team coming off of two [straight] wins. They obviously came from behind last week and got the turnovers they needed and won on the road. Both of their wins have been on the road which is tough to do, so you see them playing with confidence. What they’re doing offensively with their commitment to run the football has benefited their defense."
Devon Still’s daughter, Leah undergoes successful cancer surgery
It seems the Bengals’ feel-good story of 2014 is one step closer to having a good ending.
Devon Still announced via Instagram his daughter, Leah, underwent successful surgery Thursday.
“After a 5hr 50min surgery the surgeon was able to remove ALL of her tumor and all of her lymph nodes and her right adrenal gland where it all started from,” Still posted on Instagram.
“Best news I’ve received in a long time.”
While he’s putting on a brave face on for his daughter, Still admitted to being “nervous and scared beyond words.”
“But I’ll never let her see it…let’s get this done,” Still said in another Instagram message.
Prior to the surgery, Still posted an awesome video of the pep talk he gave to his daughter in the car.
“Let’s get this done!” he posted.
And get it done they did, as Leah successfully underwent the surgery.
LOOK AT HIM
Eren jeager plays football
He’s a wee little puppet man!