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Saints –Bears Post Game Thoughts

Thursday night’s loss to the Chicago Bears demonstrated both good and bad aspects of the Saints game – unfortunately, most of what the team will be able to take from it will go towards building next year’s hopes. Here are some of my thoughts after watching the game:

· Brees is the best quarterback that the Saints could hope for. He makes good decisions most of the time, sees the field better than most, and makes plays when you think that they are done for. Even if he does not break any records this season, signing him was one of the smartest decisions the team ever made.

· It looks like Payton doesn’t have confidence in the running game, even though Pierre Thomas was able to break out a 42 yarder for a touchdown. On third down and short yardage situations, we passed the ball and the result was usually incomplete. First quarter on third and four after Pierre Thomas had rushed twice, Brees threw incomplete to Colston. We did it again on third and four after Reggie Bush had rushed twice. Second quarter, after an incomplete pass to Shockey and a seven yard gain on a pass to Lance Moore, Brees throws incomplete to Colston on third and three. We ran only once on third down the entire game and that was a third and one where we ran Mike Karney midway through the fourth quarter.

· Payton is more emotional than he should be. Payton came to the team with a reputation as a strategist – someone who thought beyond just what was happening now. Why then for the last two weeks are we without challenges going into the fourth quarter? Why would we put ourselves in situations where we don’t have any timeouts?

· Our rushing defense is pretty good. We have held another great running back to minimal yards – Matt Forte averages 4.0 yards per carry but could only average 3.1 yards per carry and a total of 34 rushing yards against us. In total, Chicago could only manage 55 rushing yards in the game. The Saints have played against six of the top 10 running backs this season, none of which were able to gain 100 yards on us.

· I hope that the Saints can keep Jonathan Vilma. He is sixth in the league in tackles. You may think that we don’t have a good defense but I would hate to see where we would be without him.

· Two plays that changed the game – pass interference calls on deep passes thrown to Devin Hester. One set Chicago up for a touchdown and the other for the winning field goal. Neither ball was really catchable. I think that if either one had not happened, the Saints would have won.

Let’s hear from you. What did you think about the game?

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One Response to “Saints –Bears Post Game Thoughts”

  1. mgz says:

    the two pass interference calls were clearly game-changers. the second one could (And should) have been picked off. The refs clearly blew a pass interference call on the bears final drive in regulation that would have put the ball on the 1-yard line — in a league with a history of allowing the refs to decide games on pass interference calls, it was uncharacteristic for that not to be called. I was impressed with the interceptions we picked up but dumbfounded by certain calls by Payton — like the 4th and short where they decided to go wide instead of up the middle (the commentators were quick to point out that they tried the exact same play unsuccessfully twice against the bucs). Another season ends in Chicago — thankfully, it will be difficult for us to end up with a game there next year unless the standings line up that way in 3 weeks.

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