Falcons at Saints NFL Week Three Capsule



STREAKS   4 of past 6
COACHES VS. OPP. Dan Quinn: 0-2 Sean Payton: 14-4
LAST WEEK W 35-28 at Oakland L 16-13 at New York Giants
LAST GAME 1/3/16: Saints 20 at Falcons 17. New Orleans QB Drew Brees throws for 323 yards & TD. Saints K Kai Forbath converts GW 30-yard FG as time expires.
LAST GAME AT SITE 10/15/15: Saints 31, Falcons 21. New Orleans QB Drew Brees throws for 312 yards & TD. Saints TE Benjamin Watson has 10 receptions for 127 yards & TD.
REFEREE Pete Morelli
BROADCAST ESPN (8:30 PM ET): Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Brady Poppinga (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 83 (Atl), 81 (NO). XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Atl), 225 (NO).


PASSING Matt Ryan: 53-73-730 (2L)-5 (T2L)-1-121.4 (1L) Drew Brees: 57-86-686-5 (T2L)-0-109.9
RUSHING Devonta Freeman: 28-113-4.0-0 Mark Ingram: 21-88-4.2-0
RECEIVING Jacob Tamme (TE): 11-126-11.5-1 Willie Snead: 14 (T3L)-226 (2L)-16.1-2
OFFENSE 451.0 (1L) 397.5
DEFENSE 412.5 451.5
SACKS Vic Beasley: 1 Cameron Jordan, Michael Mauti: 1
INTs Desmond Trufant: 1
PUNTING Matt Bosher: 40.6 Thomas Morstead: 53.1 (3L)
KICKING Matt Bryant: 19 (4/4 PAT; 5/5 FG Will Lutz (R): 17 (5/5 PAT; 4/7 FG)


SAINTS: QB DREW BREES has 61,589 career pass yards & surpassed HOFer DAN MARINO (61,361) for 3rd-most all-time. Aims for 5th in row vs. Atl with 300+ pass yards. Has 300+ pass yards & 3+ TDs in 4 of past 5 on Monday night…RB MARK INGRAM had 2 rush TDs in last home meeting…WR BRANDIN COOKS aims for 7th in row at home with TD catch. Averaging 123.5 rec. yards per game in past 4 at home. WR WILLIE SNEAD leads team with 226 rec. yards. Aims for 3rd in row with 100+ rec. yards or TD…DE CAMERON JORDAN has 4 sacks & FF in past 2 meetings. Had sack last week. LB CRAIG ROBERTSON led team with 13 tackles in Week 2. Has 10+ tackles in both games in 2016. LB MICHAEL MAUTI had sack & FF vs. NYG. S KENNY VACCARO recorded 9 tackles & FF last week. Aims for 4th in row with 6+ tackles…FALCONS: QB MATT RYAN passed for 334 yards & 2 TDs for 103.2 rating in last meeting. Aims for 5th in row vs. NO with 100+ rating. Threw for 396 yards & 3 TDs last week…RB DEVONTA FREEMAN rushed for 100 yards & TD with 8 receptions for 56 yards & TD in last meeting at NO. RB TEVIN COLEMAN had rush TD in Week 2.…WR JULIO JONES had 9 catches for 149 yards in last meeting. Has 100+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4 meetings. Has 499 rec. yards (166.3 per game) & 3 TDs in past 3 on Monday night. WR JUSTIN HARDY had TD catch last week. WR ERIC WEEMS had 73-yard PR in Week 2. TE JACOB TAMME had 75 rec. yards & TD in Week 2…DE ADRIAN CLAYBORN had sack in last meeting at NO. LB VIC BEASLEY had sack last week. S DASHON GOLDSON had 35-yard INT-TD in last game vs. NO (11/15/15 with Was). S KEMAL ISHMAEL led team with 15 tackles in Week 2.

Saints Can’t Stop Cruz and Manning Late; Fall to 0-2 with 16-13 Loss to Giants

New Orleans Saints v New York Giants

If you missed Victor Cruz’s clutch return to the NFL last week after missing more than a season, the 29-year-old New York Giants receiver offered an encore in Week 2.

Cruz, who had a winning fourth-quarter touchdown catch against Dallas last week, hauled in a 34-yard third-down pass from Eli Manning to set up Josh Brown’s winning 23-yard field goal as time expired and the Giants got off to their first 2-0 start since 2009 with a 16-13 win over New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

“I just wanted to work my way in, catch things that are in front of me, make the plays that are presented to me,” said Cruz, who had four catches for 91 yards. “To make the game-winning catch a week ago and today to make a pretty decisive catch on the sideline to seal the game, I couldn’t draw it up any other way. I just go out and play the game and I think I’m getting better as the weeks go on.”

Brown’s third field goal capped an 11-play, 70-yard drive that featured two key third-down passes by Manning and a pass interference call on a pass to Odell Beckham Jr.

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Big Day for Brees Spoiled as Raiders Stun Saints 35-34 in Opening Day Setback

Oakland Raiders v New Orleans Saints

For Oakland coach Jack Del Rio, calling for a do-or-die, 2-point conversion was less a gamble than a philosophical declaration.

Del Rio had no interest in a conservative point-after kick, and let his offense know it well before the decision had to be made.

So when Derek Carr hit Seth Roberts for a 10-yard touchdown to cut New Orleans lead to a single point with 47 seconds left, kicker Sebastian Janikowski stood far from the action, helmet at his side, watching as Carr delivered a decisive fade pass to Michael Crabtree for a 35-34, season opening victory Sunday.

“Everyone knew about our strategy,” said Del Rio, now in his second season with Oakland. “I didn’t really ask for any feedback there. I said, `When we score here, we are going to go for 2 and win it right here.”

His Raiders had already demonstrated considerable resolve just to get to that point.

Oakland had to overcome a 14-point, second-half deficit and a 424-yard, four-touchdown performance by Drew Brees.

“The belief and trust that coach has in us gives us so much confidence,” Carr said.

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Raiders at Saints NFL Week One Inactives

The Raiders and Saints Inactives are out for week one:

Raiders Inactives

Mychal Rivera (TE)
Dexter McDonald (CB)
Connor Cook (QB)
Antonio Hamilton (S)

Saints Actives

C.J. Spiller (RB)
Dannell Ellerbe (LB)
Sterling Moore (CB)
Chris Manhertz (TE)
Obum Gwacham (DE)
Tommylee Lewis (WR)

Raiders vs Saints: Laissez les bons temps rouler

Is it me or does it seem like it has been an eternity since the Saints suited up for a regular season game? With this being the Saints 50th year, lets take a brief look at the record book.


Seasons: 50 (1967 to 2016)

Record (W-L-T): 331-418-5

Playoff Record: 7-9

Super Bowls Won: 1 (1 Appearance)

Championships Won: 1

All-time Passing Leader: Drew Brees 4,240/6,276 – 48,555 yards – 348 TD

All-time Rushing Leader: Deuce McAllister – 1,429 attempts, 6,096 yards, 49 TD

All-time Receiving Leader: Marques Colston 711 receptions, 9,759 yards, 72 TD

All-time Scoring Leader: Morten Anderson 1,318 points

Winningest Coach: Jim Mora 93-74-0


First Up – the Raiders

The Saints and Raiders haven’t played each other in the regular season since 2012 with the Saints holding the all time edge with 6 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie.

This is not your Mother’s Raiders

This is year two of a massive rebuilding effort by the Raiders, with Carr and Mack the respective leaders of the Raiders offense and defense the Raiders are an up and coming team that has a chance of challenging for an AFC Playoff spot this year.

But what about the Saints:

While the Raiders have been going through a complete makeover the past couple of years, the Saints have been doing it with injections. Gone are the Colston’s and Graham’s replaced by Cook’s, Snead and Ingram to name a few.

On Offense the big question mark is how well will the offensive line hold up? With Evans leaving because the Saints couldn’t afford him the Saints went through pre-season experimenting with different guard combinations that left many wondering if Brees would be able to make it through the season intact. With the re-signing of Evans hopefully the offensive line can retain some sort of stability and give Brees the time he needs to produce as he usually does.

Time to see if these guys still have some WhoDat in them.

Time to see if these guys still have some WhoDat in them.


On Defense the big question after last season was if the Saints would be able to stop anybody. From the first step of  solidifying the leadership by naming Allen as the defensive coordinator, getting rid of a penalty machine (Browner) and bringing in new blood to the line-backing and defensive line groups plus bringing back Harper to provide depth and leadership to the defensive backfield, the Saints defense is ready to take a giant step forward.

Are there still questions, you bet. Will the Saints start winning the turnover battle, can the defense start getting off the field on 3rd down instead of giving up long, time chewing drives to the opponents? These are just a couple of legitimate questions that need to be answered on the field in the regular season.


So how about it WhoDat’s? Personally I think Payton and the Saints give us a win against the Raiders, it should be a close game but I’m picking the Saints 31-24.



Bill Stephens, SaintsGab writer, Follow Saints Gab on twitter @SaintsGab

Saints Deal with QB Drew Brees Expected to Be Done By the End of the Day

Drew Brees

It’s sounding like by the end of the day, the Saints deal with QB Drew Brees will become official.

When it becomes official, it will be the third deal that the QB has inked with the Saints. He signed with the Saints in 2006, and after his first six-year, $60 million contract ran out, the team gave him the franchise tag and then that became a five-year, $100 million contract. Brees has played four of the five years of that deal.

Reports Say QB Brees and Saints Getting Close to a New Deal

Pro Bowl

It sounds like the Saints and quarterback Drew Brees are working hard on trying to get a new deal done for the quarterback before Sunday’s season opener.

Reports say the sides are close, and reports are Brees wants the deal done before the season starts, so he doesn’t have it as a distraction for the Saints as they get into the season.

Here’s what Pro Football Rumors had to say about the situation:

The Saints are close to reaching an extension with quarterback Drew Brees, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Brees has indicated that he doesn’t want negotiations lasting into the regular season, so if the two sides are going to strike a deal, the time is now.

A report yesterday indicated that Brees is seeking a four-year deal worth $100MM, numbers that jibe with previous reports about Brees’ contract status. Brees’ asking price is a lofty one for a 37-year-old, especially considering no other NFLer averages $25MM per annum. However, the future Pro Football Hall of Famer hasn’t shown serious signs of aging to this point. Brees, a 16th-year man, is coming off his eighth straight season with at least 30 touchdown passes. He also eclipsed the 4,800-yard mark for the fifth consecutive year.

Saints Ink Former Ravens and Browns LB Paul Kruger


The Saints have added a linebacker to their roster, as the team has inked former Ravens and Browns LB Paul Kruger, a player the Saints have had interest in prior to him inking with the Browns.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Twitter Wednesday the former Brown is signing with the Saints just days after the 2013 big-ticket addition ripped the Browns’ organization in a statement following his release in Cleveland after three seasons.

Kruger signed a five-year, $40 million contract in the 2013 offseason on the heels of a nine sack campaign in Baltimore. In three seasons, the 30-year-old former Utah standout started 46 of 48 games and amassed 127 tackles with 18 sacks.

Last season Kruger had a down season for the Browns, putting up just 2.5 sacks, and amassing 27 tackles.