O. M. G. Who Dats. We, apparently, are nigh invincible. Sean Payton is a coaching god because the 2019 F U Tour is REAL!! Latavius Marray had a coming out party, and crossed the Bears D line all day like he had a toll pass. Did our eyes deceive us?? Did we just go into Chicago, put the Bears over our knee, and spank them like they deserved it?? Apparently we did, and there’s no amount of high fives and jaw-dropped popcorn moments to explain it. We need to pay Seth Green to come to the Atlanta home game. CHA-CHING is back!!!! Dome Patrol 2.0 is REAL!! Seriously, where is Seth Green, how much does he cost, and can he come????????
Is it me, or are the 2019 New Orleans Saints getting scarier by the week? I am like most of you, and I thought this would be defensive struggle. I have been 100% correct on the 6-1 outcomes to date, but roughly 0% on how the scores and outcomes would play out. We are all shocked on the 6-1 record, and like last week, WHO CARES!?!?!? Just sit back and enjoy whatever ride this is, and don’t worry about where it’s going. The greatest moments are right now. Savor them. Have any of you ever been out in the woods and there’s a fun looking creek or watering hole, but you think that it’s a bad idea to get near that water? Well, either way, y’all say “Fuck it” and jump in that water, leeches or not, YOLO!!! Let’s GEAUX!!
Before this game started, it was setting up to be a seemingly defensive battle, but by the time the final 2 minute warning popped up, it was a “Sure go ahead score, Chicago, we’re not monsters”, kind of finale. We owned this game from the safety (saved from being a touchdown), to the bullshit touchdown at the end of the game. The Bears were a top 10 defense going into this game, and we moved the ball almost effortlessly WITHOUT BREES, KAMARA, or COOK!! Teddy Bridgewater went 23-38, throwing for 281 yards, 131 of which were to Michael Thomas. You really can’t guard Mike!
Teddy threw two TDs to guys named Hill: one to a wide open Josh and one to some guy named Taysom. And Latavius Murray…why have we barely been playing him?? Last week against the Jags he looked like he was ready to break out. Last Sunday against the Bears, Murray scorched 119 yards of earth and punched it in the endzone twice. Ted Ginn had a huge catch for 45 yards. New Orleans’ offensive line handled the Bears defensive front like door knobs, and dropped a welcome mat in front of their nose tackle to boot. The Bears defense had no answer for the Saints’ demolition crew that wrecked them all day.
The special teams guys were a different story, and it had an up and down day. Will Lutz was the biggest surprise, missing two of four field goals on the day. Very un-Lutz like. Morestead had a solid outing, putting 2 of 4 punts inside the 20, and sent one booming for 58 yards. Some games like this one leaves Morestead consistently punting on short fields. If he’s punting from the 50 yard line, he’s not going to be averaging high net punts. He’s fine. On the flip side, New Orleans blocked a punt that was almost a touchdown until the Bears’ kicker swatted the ball out of the endzone for a safety. The Saints almost blocked a second punt later, getting a hand on the ball before falling into the Bears’ punter. After both Patrick Robinson and J.T. Grey left the game with injuries, the Bears ran back a 102 yard kickoff return. The Bears’ also recovered an onside kick and almost a second. Those mistakes could cost us down the line. You can bet they’ll work to clean those things up.
And then there’s the Saints defense. They’re firing on all cylinders. That run defense is the real deal. Chicago’s run game was absent on Sunday, with Tarik Cohen leading the Bears rushing with 10 yards. 10 yards?!? No that’s not a typo, Who Dats. That’s just how sick this rush defense is. Chicago only ran the ball 7 times for 17 yards. Now we have 33 consecutive games and counting without a 100 yard rusher against the Saints. Eli Apple got injured toward the end of the game, and so it will be interesting to see what the Saints decide to do until he’s back. Early reports are that he hyperextended his knee, but it could have been worse. That’s probably a 2 week minimum that he’s out. Chicago was able to put up 15 points in the last 2 minutes, against Saints backups in a prevent D, and it didn’t even matter.
As soon as we blocked the punt on the Bears’ opening drive and got a safety, I knew the game was over. I wasn’t nervous or worried after that. Even after a few back and forth series ending in punts, I still wasn’t worried. And then, it opened up. The rest of the game was exciting and delicious, and I demand that for lunch every Sunday (well game day) until the end of time.
Latavius Murray should be playing as a “1B” to Kamara moving forward. Sunday was his coming out party for sure. Payton has no reason to doubt him, and he is hungry. The thing I’m realizing about Latavius is that when he was the starter in Oakland and Minnesota, he never really had a great offensive line. So we shouldn’t be all too shocked that he’s started running this well. Oh and the Saints already cut Zach Zenner, so that’s a good sign to Kamara’s return as well.
New Orleans is beating anything that is being thrown at them, and they’re doing it in new ways and getting stronger by the week. The Arizona game at home and then the bye week after will be a good time to help some of our banged up guys get back to 100%. You could even argue that the Falcons game at home after the bye is still a rest time for some of our more banged up players. Now the million dollar question: If Brees can go, do you play Brees or Bridgewater?
The 3-3-1 Arizona Cardinals come into town to face our 6-1 New Orleans Saints. The Cardinals are on a 3 game win streak, while we are, of course, on our 5 game Teddy Train. The fact that they started 0-3-1 and have turned things around should be enough to raise an eyebrow. And rightly so. They’ve been finding ways to win. Their defense has definitely been their weakness, but they’re scrappy. Kyler Murray has been scrappy. This game could come down to a tale of two Murrays, and I’m ok with that. How a 100 year old Larry Fitzgerald is leading their team in passes is mind boggling to how good that guy is. Let’s hope Mike Thomas is the same for us one day. But still, Lattimore should be able to shut that down. What is far more curious is the other side since Eli Apple will be out. CGJ played very well in the second half last week and was tested often. He may get thrown out there again. I could talk about the run game, but c’mon…33 game streak is feeling good right now. Is this a good spot to mention that the 3 teams they beat are Cincinnati, Atlanta, and the New York Football Giants?
The short answer on this matchup is that their streak ends in New Orleans. They match up to us terribly. The way we’ve been playing in all three phases, the depth we’ve shown, the team’s mentality, and the fact that it’s a home game, all signs point to this being a Saints victory. A dominate victory? Who knows? I’ve been wrong almost every week.
Drew Brees is already making it known that he’s ready to return to his post. Teddy and this team are on a 5 game hot streak. That right there makes it hard to call an outcome. To me, the smartest play is to let Bridgewater have this game, and Brees takes the reigns back for the Falcons game at home after the bye. You get several things with that play:
- Let the current momentum carry you into the bye
- Give Drew maximum time to heal
- Drew returns as the healthiest and freshest QB in the league
- Team is respectful about the switchover. No need to push Drew back in
- Teddy completes his resume at home
We all know that Brees is a freak and probably truly is ready to go, but why force things just because he’s champing at the bit? There’s absolutely no need to rush since we’ve been playing so well. I feel like he knows that too. Sean Payton has already won Coach of the Year in my book, but how he handles this transistion back to Brees and how the team moves forward will tell if he’s truly a god amongst coaches. All that said, Brees will probably play Sunday anyway.
Saints 34 – Cardinals 10
**Like my blog? Hate my blog? Got questions? Hit me up with your questions and comments on Twitter @saintsrecline or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org**