Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fully Analyzing the Saints' NFCCG Victory

With the Super Bowl left then two weeks away I felt like it was appropriate to bombard my readers with articles daily. Earlier this week I touched on the aspect that indeed this Saints' season has been fairy tale-like and that I was curious as to how this team would go down on history. Tuesday I posted a letter from the devil detailing how Hell is freezing. Go figure. But for once let's breakdown the game.


Minnesota got New Orleans to play their game. The Vikings succeeded at slowing the game down and giving Drew Brees limited opportunities. Despite this, New Orleans did an excellent job on forcing turnovers. As oppose to most defenses, Gregg William's defense deals uniquely with putting a lot of emphasis on forcing the turnover. There's two sides to the story. One side states, "we gave you the ball," while the other states, "we just made a play."

At the end of the day this game was won by the defense. Drew Brees, honestly, looked like he had jitters most of the game. He was overthrowing wide receivers. I am sure a lot of this had to do with a constant pass rush, but still it was very unBrees. Yet with that said you have to say that the Saints kept the Vikings defensive line in check most of the game. Jared Allen did not have near the impact I thought he would. I was expecting him to have a couple sacks and a forced fumble.

I am sometimes blown away at Reggie Bush's decision making. He wants to score a touchdown so bad that he's willing to make an extremely stupid decision. The fumble before halftime highlighted my biggest issue with Bush. At times he shows a very low football IQ. He has to have more sense than to catch a punt with a guy right in front of him. You are quick Reggie, but not that quick.

One thing that aggravated me more than anything during the game was the Saints' inability to get 3rd and 1s. ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC. It must of happened three times during the course of the game. At times this team seems like it does better on 3rd and 10s than 3rd and 1s.

When the Vikings got the ball with 2:37 and the score tied at 28 I began to dread the worst. Ironically the Vikings let the clock run down for a couple plays, but regardless they still kept moving the ball. (I remember thinking to myself during this drive, "Is Childress hoping for overtime?") To no one's surprise the Saints gave up a huge third down. I hate to say it but the defense on third down reminded me a little too much of John Chavis's LSU defense. The team needs to do a much better job of ceasing the moment and stopping the opponent on critical third downs. That 3rd and 7 was brutal to watch. If the Saints made the stop there they would get the ball back with just under two minutes and the ball around midfield. As the drive continued my worries increased. What surprised the most was the fact that on 1st and 10 at the Saints' 33 yard line Brad Childress ran back to back running plays. When you look back at those plays it makes you think two things a)Childress had no confidence in Favre fearing an interception was coming or b) he felt a field goal around 50 yards was a sure thing. I remember texting my dad on first down, "Saints' need a miracle." On 3rd and 10 Minnesota only needed seven yards to really make the field goal a gimme. After all the kicker, Ryan Longwell, made a 52 yarder last year in the Superdome. The 12 man penalty was a huge blow for the Vikings because it really got the Saints' crowd back into it. Still, with Favre at quarterback everyone was uneasy. I remember watching the play and thinking Favre was going to scramble for several yards and Longwell would then follow up with a 50 yard field goal. The thing that is interesting was what my dad said after the game. My dad told me how throughout the game Favre was threading the needle and becoming extremely close to throwing interceptions. Basically things were going his way if he only had one interception on this night.

As we all know Tracy Porter read Favre's eyes and saved the season for the Saints. The overtime drive was as gut-wrenching as it comes. The 4th and 1 dive by Pierre Thomas was as close as it gets. And the field goal could not have been anymore perfect. Just when it seemed all hope was lost the Saints, yet again, gave us reason to still believe.


The atmosphere in New Orleans was beyond anything I have ever experienced. LSU has won 2 National Championships in New Orleans, but this was more over the top. Why you ask? The answer is that the entire city was behind the Saints. Everyone. Every culture, every race was behind the New Orleans Saints. Even as I type this I get goosebumps because I have never seen a city 100 percent behind a team. The Superdome was electric the entire game. It reminded me of Tiger Stadium. When the Saints did win the game I will never forget the people around me crying. From an outsider's perspective it might be difficult to understand why some men where inclined to cry. In all, it's a combination of things. The Saints became a franchise on All Saints Day November 1, 1967. (Now you know why they are called the Saints). Despite the city's high hopes, lousy general managing caused years of frustration for the fan base. As I have stated before it took the Saints 13 years before they had a non-losing season, 20 years before they went to the playoffs, and 33 before they won a playoff game. Pretty grim. Now I do remember Jim Mora and how he put together some special teams, but at the end of the day their seasons all ended disappointingly. It was routine. We all became accustomed to losing.

The other key element as to why so many people where crying deals with Hurricane Katrina. Only five years ago 70 percent of that city was underwater. I distinctively remembering the very real possibility of the Saints moving. Even more remarkable is how the Superdome, the home of the Saints, was the epicenter of some of Hurricane Katrina's worst moments. Six people died in that stadium, four from natural causes, one from an overdose, and one from suicide. Things got so bad for one man during Hurricane Katrina, so unbearable, that he took his own life by jumping from the rafters. The city was in so much pain. You put that all together - the years of losing, plus the horror of Hurricane Katrina - and you have the reason why people broke down and cried after the Saints' win.


Nathan said...

You wuss, real men don't cry!

The Real Deal said...

I'm sorry Nate but I have to do it...

Real men don't wear a pony tail.