Saints Vs Browns NFL Week Two Inactives

New Orleans – S Marcus Ball, DE Glenn Foster, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, G Senio Kelemete, FB Erik Lorig, WR Joseph Morgan, WR Nick Toon

Cleveland – WR LaRon Byrd, TE Jordan Cameron, CB Pierre Desir, DT John Hughes, DL Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, LB Barkevious Mingo, RB Ben Tate

Week 2 Preview – Saints vs Browns

After all that was said and done after last weeks spirit crushing loss to the Falcons, the thing that the Saints need to remember is that they do have a game, on the road, against the Browns. It’s tempting to say ” but it’s the Browns we should annihilate them no matter where the game is”. That kind of thinking is part of the reason for the loss in Atlanta, the Saints would be well served to get into a one week/one game at a time attitude and keep it for the rest of the season. 
Saints Offense vs Browns Defense
In week one the Saints offense had the third most yards from scrimmage while only one team gave up more yards from scrimmage than Cleveland’s defense (yep it was the Saints). Cleveland’s defense gave up 127 yards on the ground and 363 passing yards against the Steelers last week. 
The Saints offense rolled up 139 yards on the ground and 333 yards through the air.The Saints were able to get production with their running game which usually bodes well. Add in the passing game clicking and it’s easy to see how they put up 34 points and probably should have had more.
Cleveland’s defense did not look good in the 1st half, but after making adjustments were very competitive in the 2nd half. That’s the defense I expect the Saints to face, especially with Cleveland playing at home. 
Saints Defense vs Browns Offense.
Time to see if we have the 2012 defense or the 2013 defense.

Time to see if we have the 2012 defense or the 2013 defense.

I think most Saints fans have a pretty good idea of where the Saints defense ranks after the Atlanta game, so let’s see how Cleveland’s offense did against the Steelers. The Browns had 183 yards rushing and 206 yard passing, they also didn’t turn the ball over and after falling behind by 24 points they came back and almost pulled off what would have been the stunner of the weekend in only losing by a last second field goal to the Steelers in Pittsburgh. 
So this is not a gimme game for the Saints defense, with the Browns showing a strong running game and being able to pass the ball enough to keep the safeties honest, the Saints defense needs to use this game to get their and the team’s season turned around. 
The running game of the Browns will slow down the front 4, but there can be no excuses for not putting pressure on Hoyer. If it takes the coaches dialing up more pressure from the linebackers, then that’s what needs to be done. The whole league has talked about how the Browns are hurting at wide receiver without their star Gordon and now there are questions about the Browns second best receiver being injured as well (Jordan Cameron – TE) 
In my mind this is a no excuses game, the Browns offense will come ready to play and the Saints defense needs to man up and show some pride. 
The loss last week wasn’t all about the players, Ryan and his assistant’s were out coached and out schemed and it made a lot of Saints fans wonder if last year’s defense was real or an aberration.
The Time is NOW!!
Either way, this week it’s time for the Saints to get their season started, then we can write off last week as just one of those things. But if the defense doesn’t get it together this week it might be the beginning of a long season. My money is on the Saints, 27-10 against the Browns on Sunday.
Bill Stephens, SaintsGab writer, Follow Saints Gab on twitter @SaintsGab
Also check out Gridiron Chatter at , great place to keep up on your favorite team and the news from Fans of all the NFL Teams.

Poll: Saints Vs Falcons Week One – Who Wins?


New Orleans At Atlanta Thursday Injury Report

Practice Report
  Wednesday S Marcus Ball (hamstring), RB Erik Lorig (ankle)
  Thursday S Marcus Ball (hamstring), RB Erik Lorig (ankle), WR Kenny Stills (quadricep)
  Wednesday WR Kenny Stills (quadricep)
Practice Report
  Wednesday DT Corey Peters (achilles), S Dezmen Southward (concussion)
  Thursday DT Corey Peters (achilles), S Dezmen Southward (concussion)

WhoDats VS Dirty Birds…Wait, Can I say that?

Week 1: Saints vs Falcons
Finally, the practice games are over, the cuts have been made and now it’s time to get down to the real games and the Saints quest for another Super Bowl ring. This week it’s the Falcons (Dirty Birds for those down on the bayou), in another game one match up. 
Beaux says it's about time for Black and Gold Football!!!

Beaux says it’s about time for Black and Gold Football!!!

Saints Offense vs Falcons Defense
Saints look to have all weapons available and at 100% except for Kenny Stills who is still down with a quad injury that has been bothering him all summer. With the depth the Saints have at the receiver position I don’t think this will hurt them. I’ll be watching the running game to see not only how much it is used but how effective it is. If the Saints are to go turn around their road record and go deep in the playoffs, the running game needs to be more of an equal partner with the passing game. 
I have no idea what to expect from the Falcons defense and I don’t know that anyone else does either, they have brought in several players and from scouting reports that I’ve read they are going to use both the 3-4 and 4-3 for their front seven. The good news for the Saints is that both Payton and Brees are usually quick to pick up what the other team is trying to do. 
The key for the Saints is to play their ball game and let Atlanta make the adjustments. If the Saints get the running game going and then mix in Cooks, Graham, Colston and company the results should be overwhelming.
Saints Defense vs Falcons Offense.
The premier matchup on this side of the ball is going to be how the defensive backs match up with Atlanta’s wide receivers. White and Jones have been billed as one of the premier wide receiver duo’s in the NFL, in my mind what has put them there was that teams always had to account for Tony Gonzalez. Now that he’s retired unless the Falcons can replace his contribution at tight end the Saints defensive backs will be able to concentrate even more on White and Jones.
The other problem the Falcons will have is the Saints pass rush, if the interior of the line shuts down the run and Jordan and Galette are able to cut loose and go after Ryan, the Falcons could be in for a long afternoon. 
The final thing to watch for will be if the Saints can get some turnovers. The focus this off season has been for the defense to come up with turnovers, that’s one of the main reasons the push for a ball hawk like Byrd was made.
Shoud be an interesting game, even though most of the NFL world has the Saints picked to win on Sunday, the thing to remember is that this is still and NFC South game between bitter rivals and the game is being played in Atlanta. Should be interesting but I’m going with the Saints 31-17
Bill Stephens, SaintsGab writer, Follow Saints Gab on twitter @SaintsGab
Also check out Gridiron Chatter at , great place to keep up on your favorite team and the news from Fans of all the NFL Teams.


NO Saints at Atlanta Falcons NFL Week One Capsule




STREAKS 13 of past 16
COACHES VS. OPP. Payton: 12-2 Smith: 3-9
LAST GAME 11/21/13: Saints 17 at Falcons 13. New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham has 5 receptions for 100 yards, including 44-yard TD. Saints QB Drew Brees throws for 278 yards & 2 TDs.
BROADCAST FOX (1:00 PM ET): Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 108 (NO), 134 (Atl.). XM: 227 (Atl.).

2013 STATS

PASSING Brees: 446-650-5,162 (1C)-39 (1C)-12-104.7 Ryan: 439-651-4,515 (3C)-26-17-89.6
RUSHING Thomas: 147-549-3.7-2 Jackson: 157-543-3.5-6
RECEIVING J. Graham (TE): 86-1,215-14.1-16 (1L) Douglas: 85-1,067-12.6-2
OFFENSE 399.4 (3C) 343.1
DEFENSE 305.7 (3C) 379.4
SACKS Jordan: 12.5 (3C) Umenyiora: 7.5
INTs Lewis: 4 Moore: 3
PUNTING Morstead: 46.9 Bosher: 46.6
KICKING TBD Bryant: 111 (39/39 PAT; 24/27 FG)


SAINTS: Ranked 2nd in NFL in pass offense (307.4) & pass defense (194.1)…Pro Bowl QB DREW BREES was 2nd in NFL in pass yards (5,162), TDs (39), comp. (446) & comp. pct. (68.6) last year. Had 104.7 passer rating, his 4th season with 100+ rating. Has 3 consecutive 5,000-yard seasons & 4 overall, most in NFL history…NO is 8-1 (.889) when RB MARK INGRAM has 14+ att…Pro Bowl TE JIMMY GRAHAM had 86 catches for 1,215 yards & 16 TDs last year, 1st TE in NFL history with 1,200+ yards & 10+ TDs in 2 different seasons. His 16 TDs are 2nd most by TE in season. Had 6 100-yard games, tied for most ever in season by TE. Since 2011 (incl. playoffs), leads NFL TEs with 286 catches, 3,717 yards & 39 TDs. WR MARQUES COLSTON had 75 catches for 943 yards last year, his 7th season with 70+ catches & 900+ yards. WR KENNY STILLS led NFL with 20.0 avg. (32 catches for 641 yards)…Pro Bowl DE CAMERON JORDAN (12.5) & LB JUNIOR GALETTE (12) each set career-highs in sacks. LB CURTIS LOFTON led team with 125 tackles & LB DAVID HAWTHORNE was 2nd on club with 89 tackles. CB KEENAN LEWIS led team with career-best 4 INTs… FALCONS: QB MATT RYAN had 4,515 yards last year, his 3rd consecutive 4,000-yard season. Is 36-10 (.783) at home in career & 60-34 (.638) overall. Has 153 pass TDs & needs 1 to tie for franchise record…Since entering NFL in 2004, RB STEVEN JACKSON leads league with 10,681 rush yards…WR JULIO JONES is 1st in NFL history with 80+ rec. TD in each of 1st 3 seasons. Since 2007, WR RODDY WHITE ranks 4th in NFL with 626 rec. & 8,484 rec. yards. Has 6 1,000-yard seasons in past 7 years. Last year, WR HARRY DOUGLAS set career-highs with 85 catches & 1,067 rec. yards…T JAKE MATTHEWS is 4th son with HOF father (BRUCE MATTHEWS) to be drafted in 1st round (No. 6 overall)…LB PAUL WORRILOW led team with 127 tackles last year. CB DESMOND TRUFANT had team-high 17 PD in 2013 as rookie. Trufant & CB ROBERT ALFORD each had 2 INTs. S WILLIAM MOORE had team-high 3 INTs. Since 2010, Moore is only S in NFL with 3+ sacks (3.5) & 14+ INTs (14). DE OSI UMENYIORA had team-best 7.5 sacks last season.

Saints Gumbo

Yes we still have another preseason game to go through and yes there is another round of cuts to do this weekend. But after the game Thursday night against the Ravens it’s time for Saints fans to start getting their game faces on.
Jairus Byrd looked as advertised in his first appearance for the Black and Gold.

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




To date the preseason has gone very well for the Saints. Even the fact that Brees sat out the first two preseason games with an injury worked in the Saints favor as Griffin and McCown were able to get some extra reps and give Payton what he needs in order to decide on Brees’s backup. Then in the game against the Colts, Brees made his first appearance and looked like he had never missed a step.




The running game has shown splashes of dominance, especially in the 1 and 3rd games of the preseason. At this point I think it’s obvious to all that Ingram has had a better camp than Robinson and looks to be the starter going into week 1 against the Falcons.


Thomas played in his first game of the pre-season and served notice that he is not on the Saints roster to fill a spot. As the season goes on, even though Ingram and Robinson will get the majority of the carries, teams would be foolish to forget about Thomas.


The receiving core looks solid, Cooks not playing against the Colts was probably the only thing that didn’t go right for the Saints starters during the whole evening. The big battle in my mind revolves around Meachum and Toon for the final wide out spot. That is assuming the Saints keep 6 wide receivers.




On defense the Saints looked solid against the Colts. I particularly enjoyed getting to see Byrd for the first time. After seeing him along with Kenny V.,Lewis and the rest of the defensive back (even Bailey) I can’t remember a time in recent history when the Saints have had this much quality and depth in their defensive backfield.



Overall the starting defense, with the exception of the broken assignment that let Luck throw a TD pass to a wide open tight end, shut down the Colts offense. The thing I kept telling myself was this is preseason this is preseason, but at the same time it was impossible not to come away impressed.


The Real Season


Outside of Stills (quad injury) and assuming the starters that actually play in the final preseason game against the Ravens come out healthy. The Saints look like they’ll go to Atlanta in full force for the opener.


Make no mistake, this is more than just your typical Saints/Falcons slugfest coming up. There’s a lot to prove for both teams. For the Saints it’s that yes, they can win on the road, and the Falcons desperately need a win to start the season after last season’s disaster and a ho hum training camp this summer.


Wow… we still have 12 days before the Saints season starts….


PS. Congrats to the Brees’s on the birth of their newest child.




Bill Stephens, SaintsGab writer, Follow Saints Gab on twitter @SaintsGab
Also check out Gridiron Chatter at , great place to keep up on your favorite team and the news from Fans of all the NFL Teams.

Midpoint Review of Saints Preseason

Now that the first two preseason games are out of the way, we have a preseason game against a quality opponent where the starters will probably play until the 3rd quarter. While the game still doesn’t count, it will give us the closest look we’ve seen during training camp as to what the Saints can\will look like once the games start counting.



Brees is on schedule to start and while you would think that he’s the one player that doesn’t need a practice game to be ready for the regular season, the timing and live game speed will help in getting him back in the saddle. Injury aside, I thought it was smart on Payton’s part to keep him on the sideline in the games against the Rams and Titans. Although Brees was coming back from an injury I wonder if in the future teams won’t do the same to keep the risk of season ending injuries to valuable players down.




The receiving corp has seen a good mix of playing time. Colston and Graham have put in their time to get ready but we’ve also been able to get a look at Cooks, Morgan, Toon and others. In my mind Colston and Stills are locks to start but Cooks will see just as much time on the field. Morgan showed his ability to take the top off a defense during the game against the Titans thus in my opinion giving him a legitimate shot at making the cut and see significant playing time. The only other receiving spot open will come down to Meachum and Toon, I give the advantage to Meachum based mainly on his experience.


Running Game


Ingram, Robinson and Cadet were impressive in the game against the Rams. Not so much against the Titans, not sure if that was part of the game plan, but for the Saints to be where they want to be at the end of the year the running game needs to be front and center. Thomas hasn’t played to this point, but it’s nice to have him there if and when Ingram or Robinson stumble.




The big story for the upcoming game against the Colts for me will be how the defense performs, especially the defensive backfield. While the starting front seven have looked good so far, we haven’t had the chance to check out the new and improved DB unit. Bailey and Byrd are due back and it will be interested to see them along with Vaccaro and Lewis for the first time. The fact that they are going against Luck and the Colts offense is a plus.


Getting Close!!!


We’re getting close, I don’t know about anyone else but I’m ready for the games to start counting. Bring on the Dirty Birds!!!!




Bill Stephens, SaintsGab writer, Follow Saints Gab on twitter @SaintsGab
Also check out Gridiron Chatter at , great place to keep up on your favorite team and the news from Fans of all the NFL Teams.