Cowboys at Saints NFL Week Four Capsule



STREAKS   3 of past 4
COACHES VS. OPP. Jason Garrett: 1-3 Sean Payton: 3-2
LAST WEEK L 39-28 vs. Falcons L 27-22 at Panthers
LAST GAME 9/28/14: Saints 17 at Cowboys 38. Dallas RB DeMarco Murray rushes for 149 yards & 2 TDs. Cowboys QB Tony Romo passes for 262 yards & 3 TDs (137.4 rating).
LAST GAME AT SITE 11/10/13: Saints 49, Cowboys 17. New Orleans QB Drew Brees throws for 392 yards & 4 TDs (139.0 rating). Saints RB Mark Ingram rushes for 145 yards & TD.
REFEREE Brad Allen
BROADCAST NBC (7:30 PM CT): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton. SIRIUS: 83 (Dal.), 93 (NO). XM: 225 (Dal.), 226 (NO).


PASSING Weeden: 29-33-305-1-1-102.7 Brees: 54-86-610-2-2-82.0 OR

McCown: 31-38-310-0-1-89.7

RUSHING Randle: 48-203-4.2-3 (T3L) Ingram: 39-127-3.3-2 (T3C)
RECEIVING Dunbar (RB): 21-215-10.2-0 Cooks: 16-190-11.9-0
OFFENSE 380.7 (3C) 370.3
DEFENSE 317.7 397.0
SACKS 3 tied: 1 Kikaha (R): 2
INTs Wilcox, Lee: 1
PUNTING C. Jones: 48.4 (3C) Morstead: 43.8
KICKING Bailey: 21 (9/9 PAT; 4/4 FG) Hocker: 18 (3/4 PAT; 5/6 FG)


COWBOYS: QB BRANDON WEEDEN has completed 87.9 pct. (29 of 33) for 305 yards with 102.7 rating…RB JOSEPH RANDLE rushed for career-high 87 yards & 3 TDs last week. Had 3 rush TDs in 1st half, 1st Cowboy with 3 rush TDs in a half since EMMITT SMITH in 1998. RB LANCE DUNBAR had career-best 10 catches & 100 rec. yards in Week 3. Leads NFL RBs with 21 catches & 215 rec. yards. RB DARREN MC FADDEN had rush TD last week…TE JASON WITTEN ranks 2nd in NFL history among TEs in catches (964) & rec. yards (10,683). WR TERRANCE WILLIAMS had 2 TDs in last meeting & has 3 TDs in 2 career games vs. NO…LB SEAN LEE had 10 tackles & sack last week. Leads NFC with 33 tackles. Has 12 INTs since entering NFL in 2010, most by LB. LB ANTHONY HITCHENS & S BARRY CHURCH tie for 2nd on club with 20 tackles…SAINTS: Since joining NO in 2006, QB DREW BREES leads NFL with 44,295 yards & 318 TDs. Has 398 TD passes & needs 2 to become 5th QB in NFL history with 400. Has won 4 of past 6 starts vs. Dal. & has 16 TDs, 3 INTs & 111.3 rating. QB LUKE MC COWN completed 31 of 38 (81.6 pct.) last week for 310 yards…RB MARK INGRAM aims for 3rd in row vs. Dal. with TD. In his last game vs. Dal., rushed for 145 yards & TD. Aims for 3rd in row with rush TD. Has 16 catches, 2nd most by NFL RB. RB KHIRY ROBINSON had 105 scrimmage yards (87 rush, 18 rec.) in last meeting. Rookie PR-KR MARCUS MURPHY had 74-yard PR-TD last week…In past 4 vs. Dal., WR MARQUES COLSTON has 28 catches for 415 yards (103.8 per game) & TD. WR BRANDIN COOKS leads team with 190 rec. yards…S KENNY VACCARO had sack in last meeting. DE CAMERON JORDAN has 17 sacks in past 23 at home.

Saints at Panthers NFL Week 3 Inactives

Saints inactives: QB Drew Brees, CB Keenan Lewis, S Jairus Byrd, LB Dannell Ellerbe, G Jahri Evans, DE Obum Gwacham, DT Kaleb Eulls

Panthers inactives: WR Jerrico Cotchery, LB Luke Kuechly, RB Brandon Wegher, WR Kevin Norwood, OL Daryl Williams, DT Colin Cole, DB Dean Marlowe

Saints at Panthers Wednesday Injury Report

Practice Report
  Wednesday S Jairus Byrd (knee), WR Brandin Cooks (ankle), G Jahri Evans (knee), CB Keenan Lewis (hip)
  Wednesday QB Drew Brees (right shoulder), LB Dannell Ellerbe (toe)
Practice Report
  Wednesday WR Jerricho Cotchery (ankle), S Roman Harper (not injury related), DE Charles Johnson (hamstring), LB Luke Kuechly (concussion), DT Kyle Love (knee), RB Jonathan Stewart (knee), G Trai Turner (knee), T Daryl Williams (knee)
  Wednesday DE Wes Horton (shoulder), RB Fozzy Whittaker (shoulder)
  Wednesday TE Richie Brockel (shoulder), DT Star Lotulelei (ankle)

Saints 0-2 Yet Again; Can’t Find Answers in 26-19 Setback to Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints

Maybe it is finally time to admit the truth. The New Orleans Saints are not that good of a football team.

No, they are not the Saints of old, a team called by many the ‘Aint’s,’ but they also are not the high powered offensive team that for the better part of the last six seasons was a serious contender on any given year in the NFC.

Now they seem to be trailing towards the back of the pack, and that fact was never more evident on Sunday at the SuperDome, as the Saints lost a mind boggling game to the usually very beatable Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26-19.

Call it whatever you want, but the Bucs were one team the Saints always seemed to know how to handle. They had won 7 straight against them going into Sunday, yet at one point trailed 23-7 with 2:20 to play in the third quarter.

Sure they scrambled back to make it a game, and even had a chance to tie the game late, only to yet again fail when the game was on the line.

No matter how you look at it, the Saints are 0-2, and the answers to getting better have to come from somewhere. Where that is is truly anyone’s guess.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a big level of concern, mainly just disappointment that we have put ourselves in a little bit of a hole,” Saints QB Drew Brees said.

The QB was at his lowest point Sunday. He gave a number of short answers during his post game press conference, and the look in his eyes tells you he’s just not sure anymore this team can contend.

To make matters worse, the Saints have dropped six straight at home. They haven’t won a game at the SuperDome since a win over the Packers last October.

“Looking around the league, teams want to play well at home, but this is a unique environment,” said Saints coach Sean Payton. “We have great fans and it’s disappointing not to play well for them.”

Bucs rookie QB Jamies Winston was 14-for-21 for 207 yards with a touchdown. He also ran in a TD and rushed for 23 yards. Unlike last week, he didn’t make the normal rookie mistakes that cost games.

Brees was 24-for-38, 255 yards with one TD and a pick. For the Saints, it’s their third 0-2 start in the past four seasons.

“We’ve won around here, and we’ve had many, many years where we’ve had good records,” Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro said.

“I don’t think that’s the mindset (of losing becoming an epidemic) around here. I think we still have a great tradition. Two years ago we were a playoff team. I don’t think that’s the mindset yet. We’ve got to enjoy the process, keep it the same and then we’re going to win some.”

When that will be is anyone’s guess.

Buccaneers at Saints Wednesday Injury Report


Practice Report



DE T.J. Fatinikun (shoulder), LB Danny Lansanah (ankle), S Major Wright (abdomen)



LB Bruce Carter (ribs), WR Mike Evans (hamstring), CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring)


Practice Report



S Jairus Byrd (knee), LB Dannell Ellerbe (toe), CB Keenan Lewis (hip)



RB C.J. Spiller (knee)

Buccaneers vs Saints NFL Week Two Capsule



STREAKS   Past 7
COACHES VS. OPP. Lovie Smith: 4-5 Sean Payton: 10-6
LAST WEEK L 42-14 vs. Titans L 31-19 at Cardinals
LAST GAME 12/28/14: Saints 23 at Buccaneers 20. New Orleans QB Drew Brees throws for 281 yards & TD. Saints RBs Mark Ingram & Khiry Robinson each score TDs.
LAST GAME AT SITE 10/5/14: Saints 37, Buccaneers 31 (OT). New Orleans QB Drew Brees throws for 371 yards & 2 TDs. Saints RB Robinson rushes for GW 18-yard TD in OT.
REFEREE Carl Cheffers
BROADCAST FOX (12:00 PM CT): Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale (field reporter). SIRIUS: 134 (TB), 121 (NO). XM: 231 (NO).


PASSING Winston (R): 16-33-210-2-2-64.0 Brees: 30-48-355 (3L)-1-1-83.2
RUSHING Martin: 11-52-4.7-0 Ingram: 9-24-2.7-0
RECEIVING Seferian-Jenkins (TE): 5-110 (2C)-22.0-2 (T1C) Ingram (RB): 8 (T3C)-98-12.3-0
OFFENSE 273.0 408.0 (3C)
DEFENSE 309.0 427.0
SACKS McCoy, J. Smith: 1
PUNTING Schum: 47.0 Morstead: 42.8
KICKING Brindza (R): 2 (2/2 PAT; 0/0 FG) Hocker: 13 (T3L) (1/1 PAT; 4/4 FG)


BUCCANEERS: Rookie QB JAMEIS WINSTON threw 1st 2 TDs of NFL career last week in debut…RB DOUG MARTIN has 326 scrimmage yards (108.7 per game) & 297 rush yards (99 per game) in past 3 meetings. Rushed for 108 yards in last game vs. NO…TE AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS had career-best 110 rec. yards (5 catches, 22 avg.) & 2 TDs last week. WR MIKE EVANS had TD catch in last meeting. Has 12 TDs in his past 12. WR VINCENT JACKSON had 8 catches for 144 yards in last game at NO. Had career-best 216 rec. yards vs. NO (10/21/12)…Since 2013, LB LAVONTE DAVID is only NFL player with 250+ tackles (295), 8+ sacks (8) & 5+ INTs (5). Had 14 tackles in last game at NO. DT GERALD MC COY & DE JACQUIES SMITH each had sack last week. Smith has 7.5 sacks in past 10. CB ALTERRAUN VERNER had INT in last game at NO. LB DANNY LANSANAH had 33-yard INT-TD in last meeting at NO. S BRADLEY MC DOUGALD had INT in last meeting…SAINTS: Have won 7 in row vs. TB…Since joining NO in 2006, QB DREW BREES leads NFL with 44,040 yards & 317 TDs. Has 397 career TD passes & needs 3 to become 4th QB in NFL history with 400. Has won past 7 starts vs. TB & has 97.7 rating (4-0 with 107.3 rating at home)…RB MARK INGRAM had rush TD in last meeting. Had career-high 8 catches & 98 rec. yards last week. RB KHIRY ROBINSON had career-best 5 catches & 51 rec. yards in Week 1. RB C.J. SPILLER has scored 20 career TDs (12 rush, 6 rec., 2 KR)…WR MARQUES COLSTON had 36-yard TD catch in last meeting. WR BRANDIN COOKS had career-high 9 catches vs. TB (10/5/14). WR BRANDON COLEMAN scored 1st career TD last week…DE CAMERON JORDAN has 4.5 sacks, 3 FFs & FR in past 6 vs. TB. Since 2009, S JAIRUS BYRD ranks 2nd among NFL S with 22 INTs. CB KEENAN LEWIS had INT in last meeting & has INT in 2 of past 3 vs. TB. Rookie CB DAMIAN SWANN led team with 6 tackles in NFL debut last week.

Saints at Cardinals NFL Week One Inactives

Saints inactives: LB Dannell Ellerbe, RB C.J. Spiller, DB Keenan Lewis, S Jairus Byrd, QB Garrett Grayson, LB Kaleb Eulls

Cardinals inactives: QB Matt Barkley, WR Brittan Golden, LB Shaq Riddick, T D.J. Humphries, G Mike Iupati, TE Joseph Fauria, NT Xavier Williams

Will This Season Mirror the Saints 2009 Season? It Could!

Jairus Byrd looked as advertised in his first appearance for the Black and Gold.

Jairus Byrd, slated to return at some point

To see how the Saints 2015 might be like the Superbowl winning season of 2009, we have to look back a bit. Let’s go back to 2008. It was a forgettable season as the black and gold went 8-8, finished at the bottom of the NFC South, and missed the playoffs (this after having gone 7-9 in 2007). Our offense, of course, was ranked 1st in the league and our defense 26th. Out go Offensive Coordinator, Doug Marrone and Defensive Coordinator, Gary Gibbs and enter Pete Carmichael and Gregg Williams. Fan favorite, Deuce McCallister became a victim of the salary cap. And having traded the year before with the Jets for Jonathan Vilma and the Giants for Jeremy Shockey, the Saints only had 2 picks in the first five rounds to try to fill the voids. With a new OC and DC coming in, their leading rusher now gone, and a shaky defense (to say the least), no one knew what to expect from the Saints. There were doubters galore. But we here in Saints Nation believed.

Enter preseason 2009. The Saints went 2-2, winning both games on the road and losing the two in the dome. The naysayers were screaming loudly now. They still didn’t know what to make of the new look Saints. None of us did. But we here in Saints Nation believed still.

The Saints started the regular season on fire, crushing every team in their wake and battling their way to a 13-0 record before losing to Dallas! Did y’all know that with that, the Saints set the longest undefeated season opening by an NFC team since the AFL-NFL merger? Who Dat! The offense was stellar as usual, ranking 1st in points and yards. But it was the defense that shocked the world. While still ranked at the bottom of the pack when it came to points and yards (20th and 25th respectively), the group was in the top of the league in takeaways and scoring off takeaways. They were an opportunistic bunch that played aggressive, ball-hawking every down type football. But perhaps just as important, they had a swagger about them as a unit that made other teams around the league take notice. For the first time to my knowledge, people were calling the Saints arrogant and cocky. We here in Saints Nation called them confident. And by the end of the 2009 season, the world called them champions!

The thing is, like now, no one knew what to expect from our team after all the shaking up done in the offseason. Sure, we all expected the offense to be tops, but the defense was often lost in their dust. With a few changes in the secondary, the defense became a force to be reckoned with. Those guys were on a mission and they played with a lot of attitude. When it was over, they’d accumulated 39 takeaways in the regular season and 8 in the playoffs! Before the season started though, who knew? At last, the defense complemented the offense, creating a recipe for a championship year!

Now we’re here at the point of uncertainty again. There are a lot of new faces. Nobody knows what to expect as a result. As many fans hope for the best, others prepare for the worst as this Saints team full of young, untested players prepare to start the season. And in situations like this, there will be plenty of doubt until performance shows otherwise. But who knows? Perhaps some of the new faces will be just the spark the Saints need to get them back to the postseason.  The thing is, you just never know.