08 October 2006

THANKS HOUSTON! Saints 24 Buccaneers 21

Reggie Bush saves the day for the first time as a Saint
with a 4th quarter punt return for a touchdown.

The sign of a winnner.

You're facing the defending division champ, and they need the win more than you. If they don't win, they're screwed. So what if they're starting a rookie quarterback? They've always won with mediocre quarterbacks. They play a good game. You are in control, but they fight back. They outplay you in the last 20-plus minutes of the game and take control and the lead.

And yet, you find a way to win a game you probably shouldn't have won.

To put it in other terms: how many times have we been on the other side of that game?

THE GOOD
  • In case you missed it, Reggie Bush returned a punt for a game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Big props to what looked like Aaron Stecker for blowing up a Bucs defender on the sideline.
  • Bush also caught 11 passes for 63 yards.
  • Deuce had 2 big runs. Overall he was 15-123-1.
  • Drew Brees still hadn't made any big mistakes since the first quarter of the Packers game. And he's completing like 70 percent of his passes since then.
  • Ernie Conwell gets his first touchdown of the season.
  • Zero turnovers for the offense.
  • The defense forced its first turnover since Green Bay, and it led to 7 very important points.
  • Rodney Leisle recovered the fumble, and made his first serious contributions as a Saint.
  • Same for Danny Clark, minus the fumble recovery.
  • The starting linebackers combined for 14 tackles.
  • The Saints stopped Mike Alstott on a key 3rd and 1 on the first play of the second quarter. Big tackle by Scott Fujita
  • The defense didn't give up a late game-winning touchdown.
THE BAD
  • For the second week in a row, the defensive line got no pressure on the quarterback.
  • The Saints were facing a rookie quarterback and makeshift offensive line, and gave up 406 yards of offense.
  • The secondary let Joey Galloway get free too often.
  • The Saints gave up too much yardage on the ground right up the middle. They gave up a 100-yard rushing game (Cadillac Williams) for the second week in a row.
  • Too many tackles in the secondary. The safeties combined for 17.
  • Joe Horn dropped a couple of passes and had a pass interference penalty called on him.
  • Ernie Conwell dropped what could have been a second touchdown pass, and the Saints settled for a field goal.
  • The first three drives of the game were two three-and-outs for the Saints and a Bucs touchdown.
  • The Saints blew a 10-point lead with 20 minutes left in the game.
  • Reggie Bush was held to under 3 yards a carry again, although it was due to a 4-yard loss on his final carry (which was an outstanding defensive play).
THE UGLY
  • That offsetting pass interference call was a horsesh*t cop-out call.
  • And then they have the balls to call a picky offensive pass interference penalty on Joe Horn a few minutes later?
  • The Bucs had a big pass to Ike Hilliard late in the game called back for offensive pass interference. This one actually looked like it happened. See a theme here?
  • If Reggie Bush doesn't bail the team out, the Saints lose for the second week in a row when they had a lead in the 4th quarter. Is the team starting to run out of gas in the 4th quarter? Let's hope that this is a temporary trend.

Next week, the Eagles come to town. Let's hope for a post-T.O. hangover and more hamstring problems for Donte' Stallworth. 5-1 at the break would be nothing short of a miracle.

WEEK 4 RECAP: Panthers 21 Saints 18.

TAGS: NFL, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Drew Brees, Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush

6 Comments:

At October 09, 2006 1:21 PM, Blogger HammHawk said...

Superb analysis! I love reading from people who care about the "really" important stuff of the city while still loving the lagniappe like the Saints. I happen to think they're more than that, but I have trouble when I get into arguments with people who point out where those resources could go. Nevertheless, I've had tix for 6 years and, even in dismal years, the games are an absolute blast. Yesterday the mood seemed to me to be even more elated afterward than after Monday night's. Probably because we didn't have as much time to get used to the win.

You astutely point out so many of the factors that make us winners so far this year. We're clearly not with the elite or anything, but as my seating neighbor (who's had tix for 20 years) said, we should be thrilled with 8-8 after last year. Although I'm more optimistic than he is, I'm shocked that we're already halfway there.

Granted, we haven't played many good teams yet, but what I keep telling people is that we're playing like a bona fide professional team. To me, that's the difference. So many fewer stupid mistakes, so many more capitalizations on other teams' mistakes. I defended Brooks as long as I could because he did have flashes of greatness. But although Brees will never have the arm strength or scrambling ability of Brooks, he also isn't an idiot, and he won't lose us the game.

Even if they don't win another game this season, I love what these Saints are all about. I'll look forward to continuing to read your balanced posts on the games.

 
At October 09, 2006 4:26 PM, Blogger Roux said...

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers....absolutely no turnovers.

It makes a huge difference. Cudos to Deuce and OL. Also to Reggie and the special teams in a great punt return. He really only had to get past one man.

Lastly they managed the clock at the end of the game very well. The Saints of ole would have left them with over a minute to work with.

Geaux Saints!

 
At October 10, 2006 11:13 AM, Anonymous ashley said...

A victory this Sunday will FINALLY shut up the critics...maybe. Or else, they'll talk about the post-TO letdown, blah blah blah.

To Payton, it is just another game in a series of games. We will be well prepared, we will not make stupid mistakes. We may just win.

Oh, and breakout games for Colston and Devery.

 
At October 10, 2006 11:43 AM, Blogger jeffrey said...

The schedule becomes extra difficult over the next few weeks. If they compete well with Philly, Baltimore, and Cinncinatti, I'll be impressed. That defense just doesn't have the horses I'm afraid.

 
At October 11, 2006 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved that they won if for no other reason that it shut Ron Pitts the fuck up. Fox's "story" of the game was about the TB QB's unlikely path to an NFL starter. The announcers had so much of his man juice on their faces it was incredible. Fox and Ron Pitts can bite my ass and please, finally, give NO the respect they deserve. Even that fat ass Berhman over at ESPN is giving the Saints the props they deserve.

 
At October 12, 2006 4:52 AM, Blogger dillyberto said...

Philly - paper tiger - hadn't played anybody of note. To beat us you must run successfully like Jake and his team did. Eagles can't run.

Ravens - please! - scrappy, not very solid at all. suspect record. Can't run. McNair, though I like him and root for him, ain't no Drew Brees.

Cincy & Pittsburgh - these teams will challenge Our New Orleans Saints.

 

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