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Saints Thoughts: The Line Dominates, Glazer Gives His Thoughts, Getting Ready for Tom Terrific

Sitting at 4-2 the Saints are coming off a hard fought win at home Sunday over the Panthers, a divisional win that came down to the wire when the Panthers tried what would have been a NFL record 65-yard field goal with 11 seconds left.

The win keeps the Saints on track with the Bucs, who were winners Sunday in Vegas against the Raiders, and it doesn’t appear that Tampa is going away anytime soon.

This week is another tough test as the Saints are on the road, traveling to the Windy City of Chicago to take on the Bears, who were losers Monday night to the Rams.

Here’s a few tidbits on the Saints as they get ready to get back on the practice field Wednesday.

* Controlling the Line

Sunday against the Panthers there were a couple stats that stood out, but one that usually will win you games is stopping the run, and running the ball yourself.

Led by Alvin Kamara, who ran for 83 yards, putting up 5.9 yards per carry, the Saints as a whole rushed for 138 yards, putting up 4.8 yards per rush.

That will win you plenty of games when you can dominate the line like that.

On the other side, the team stopped the Panthers on the ground all day, allowing them to run for just 37 yards (2.6 yards per rush).

It might have been the best game thus far in 2020 for the line, and one that they will need to duplicate this week against the Bears and their pass rush.

* Glazer Weighs In

Michael Thomas’ health and his return to the team has been the biggest storyline for the Saints thus far in 2020, and again this week his hamstring “injury” may keep him out of action.

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer spoke on the subject on Monday, giving his take on the injury and when we all might see Thomas again take the field.

“Here’s the situation: even when he had a hamstring injury, people looked at it a little bit sideways. The truth is, the Saints [performed an MRI], and it did come back with a Grade 1 strain of that hamstring. Which means it’s like a one- or two-week injury,” Glazer said.

It’s been a tough season for Thomas and the Saints when it comes to getting him on the field. From an ankle injury to a fight with a teammate, to now a hamstring injury, who knows when the team might get Thomas back.

For now, it’s all wait and see.

* Bracing for Brady

The game of the year in the NFC South is a week away, as on Sunday, November 8th the Saints will travel to Tampa to take on the Bucs and Tom Brady.

The Saints held Brady in the opener in the dome to 23-for-36 passing for 239 yards with a pair of TD’s and a pair of picks.

Overall the Saints defense was the story in the opener, and the team walked away with a 34-23 win.

This time around will be even harder, as Brady is playing at a high level, and it seems now that he and tight end Rob Gronkowski are on the same page, the Bucs are even more dangerous.

Many think the Bucs will be the NFC team in the Super Bowl (which oddly enough will be in Tampa), but if the Saints can hand Tampa another loss, they will have the upper hand in the division with about half the season left.

Brees Says He Feels Good, Confident Team Will Get Back on Track

After Monday night’s performance, it’s fair to wonder if Drew Brees might finally be descending in terms of ability.

Brees posted a solid line by league-wide standards, completing 26 of 38 passes for 312 yards, one touchdown and a passer rating of 91.1.

But there was that ugly interception on a pass Brees later admitted he forced, and there’s also the air yards per attempt mark that landed below 5.5 (per Next Gen Stats) and makes some wonder whether Brees might be devolving into 2015 Peyton Manning, Nick Shook of NFL.com reports.

Unsurprisingly, he downplayed any potential effects of aging.

“I feel good, I feel good,” Brees said Wednesday during a video conference call with reporters. “Borderline great.”

… “You know one of the statistics that was thrown out after the game was the yards per attempt or something like that. There are many statistics I do not pay one bit of attention to — and that would be one of them. At the end of the day, I am focused on putting us in position to succeed, making great decisions, both in the run game or pass game, whatever is predicated on my ability to get us in the best play. And our ability to take care of the football and go and score points, put us in the best position to win.

“Those are the things I’m focused on, and I don’t care how we do it. I honestly don’t. I just want to win football games.”

“I’m confident with the guys we have and the system we have that we’re gonna get back on track,” Brees said. “I think we have always been one of the best teams in the league, probably in history, at the precision of the passing game. And I think we are on our way to being back there very soon.”

Saints to Look to Overcome the Loss of Thomas as they Take on the Raiders

When the New Orleans Saints take the field Monday night in Las Vegas against the shiny new Las Vegas Raiders, they will do it short-handed.

The best wide out in the NFL, Michael Thomas, will be watching the game instead of playing in it making his usual huge plays, as he is out for the next couple of games with an ankle injury.

The argument can be made that Thomas didn’t need to be in the game when he was hurt late against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Saints season opener, but he was and those are the chances you take with star players.

Even without Thomas the Saints are four-point favorites to take care of business against a young Raiders team that despite being 1-0 is still very much trying to find their way under Jon Gruden.

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One key for the Saints will be to make sure they keep Drew Brees upright, and if week one is any indication, that should not be that much of an issue against the Raiders.

Last week in Oakland’s road win over the Carolina Panthers, they managed just one sack against Teddy Bridgewater, and overall just four quarterback pressures.

That means even with Thomas not playing, Brees should have plenty of time to look downfield, as well as get the ball to the running backs out of the backfield.

If there’s one player that could have a big night against the Raiders it’s the Saints number two receiver, that being veteran Emmanuel Sanders.

Brees likes what Sanders brings to the table, and the veteran has a knack for getting the ball and breaking tackles.

Another player who could have a big night making grabs is that of running back Alvin Kamara.

Last week the Bucs held Kamara to just 16 yards rushing on 12 carries, just 1.3 yards per carry.

He did score twice though, once on the ground and once through the air, and had a third TD in the final seconds taken away on a review after it had been ruled a touchdown.

Overall Kamara had five grabs in the win over the Bucs for 51 yards, and Brees looked his way eight times.

Look for Taysom Hill to be a third potential target for Brees as they love to get creative with him and use him early and often.

Thomas’ High Ankle Sprain Likely to Force Him to Sit a Few Games

The Saints paid for their trying to go in for one last score on Sunday against the Buccaneers, as the team lost their best (and the NFL’s best) wide out in Michael Thomas with a high ankle injury.

The wide out was injured in the Saints final drive when he was clipped from behind. He had to be helped off the field, but he still was able to walk on the sidelines under his own power.

The receiver as of now is not going to play in Monday’s road opener at Las Vegas against the Las Vegas Raiders, who are coming off a win over the Saints rival, the Panthers in Carolina.

When you check Online Casino Snoop you can see that the Saints are still a favorite to win the game against the Raiders, but it will be up to Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton to find ways to get the ball in other players hands.

While it’s a super longshot, Thomas spent the week hopeful that he was going to be able to find a way to take the field in Las Vegas.

Now that seems to be nothing more than a pipe dream.

Normally it takes a few weeks for a high ankle sprain to recover, but Thomas is not a normal athlete, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get back on the field after just one week of having to watch the game in street clothes.

The Saints did chat this week about putting the receiver on injured reserve, but Thomas wasn’t happy about the plan because of the fact that it would keep him out of action longer.

After the game against the Raiders in Las Vegas the Saints will turn around and have a big game at home against the Green Bay Packers.

In most cases, you wouldn’t be able to count on Thomas being available for that game, but again we’re not talking about any normal player.

Thomas has been a rock for the Saints in his time with the team, missing only one game due to injury in his career.

That game he missed came as a rookie in 2016. His absence would leave a huge void in New Orleans’ offense; Thomas just set the NFL record with 149 catches last season for 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns.

Against the Bucs the Saints had their issues moving the ball, and now without Thomas the Raiders have a great chance of pulling off a week two upset.

Look for creativity on offense for the Saints, and look for the team to continue to work with Thomas to get him back sooner than later.

Video – Record Year: The Story of the 2019 New Orleans Saints

The 2019 season was the New Orleans Saints’ 52nd in the National Football League, their 45th playing their home games at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and their 15th under head coach Sean Payton.

Saints Announce No Fans for the 2020 Season Opener at the Superdome Vs Tampa

There’s no doubt that the Saints home opener in 2020 would have had a special feel as the team takes on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

Problem is – it will be done without fans.

The team announced on Wednesday the season opener at the Superdome will be minus fans, a blow to the team that badly wanted to see Brady in his new uniform go up against the Saints.

“While we have put together a comprehensive plan that will allow us to safely host fans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, that plan has always been dependent on how effectively we, as a community and region, are battling Covid-19,” Saints president Dennis Lauscha said in a statement released by the team.

“We have given this situation as much time as possible to see the type of improvement necessary to welcome fans into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but unfortunately, medical experts indicate that trends are not improving rapidly enough for us to begin the season with fan attendance.

“As we have noted, while we are not allowing fans in the first home game, we remain cautiously optimistic that fans may be able to attend our September 27 game vs. Green Bay, but stress that fans need to remain flexible and adaptable in case we cannot. We are keenly aware of the outstanding home field advantage that our fans provide our team, and we are as eager as anyone to welcome them back.”

Don’t Tell Cameron Jordan the Saints Are Not a Contender in 2020

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There’s been an underlying tone that the Saints are just not going to be as good this season as even last season, this despite the team getting back just about all the roster from last year.

One player who doesn’t want to hear it is veteran sack man Cam Jordan, who seems to feel just the opposite, that being the Saints are going to be a major player when it comes to deciding the NFC South and what team comes out of the NFC.

Jordan appeared on NFL Radio and was gushing about his team:

“Absolutely, I’m heading into year 10. I love it,” Jordan told hosts Brady Quinn and Kirk Morrison. “I’m super excited about it. You know, there’s nothing in me that is telling me that our team isn’t close to a championship or being a championship-caliber team if you look at the last three years. You know, playoffs, playoffs, playoffs. Playoffs, NFC Championship, playoffs. This is something that we have to capitalize on.

“You talk about Drew [Brees] coming back, our addition of Jameis Winston. You talk about, you know, we lose Vonn Bell, we bring in Malcolm Jenkins. We go draft an outside linebacker in this Zack Baun kid. You know, Alex Anzalone going to be healthy. There’s so many positives on paper, I just want to get back to the field and really see what we have.”

Another thing that has Jordan excited is the quarterback depth the team has. Last season they had to lean on Teddy Bridgewater after Drew Brees went down against the Rams.

Now the team has former 1st overall pick Jamies Winston, who comes to the Saints from the rival Buccaneers.

“So if Drew goes down, now we have Jameis, who you know can throw for over 4,000 yards. You know, can score touchdowns, who has the arm, and now is under, I would say, direct tutelage of one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. So, you know, now, I’m believing the hype. When Jameis said, ‘Hey, you know, if I correct a couple interceptions, I’m going to be the greatest quarterback.’ Now, we have the exact tutelage to get him in that realm.”

How “Complete” Are the Saints as They Enter the 2020 Season?

The Saints once again in 2019 fell short of their goal of a Super Bowl, as they lost in the Wild Card round of the postseason to the Minnesota Vikings at home.

Many fans still think that the Saints are going to take home the NFC South in 2020, but with Tom Brady joining the division along with Rob Gronkowski it’s not a for sure that the Saints are going to just breeze by and win it running away.

With that said, NFL.com today has a piece out about the most “complete” teams in the NFL, and the Saints come in on their list at number four after going 13-3 a season ago.

Here’s what the piece had to say:

4. New Orleans Saints

New Orleans is locked and loaded once again. GM Mickey Loomis had a superb offseason in free agency and the draft. On the open market, the Saints astutely added Emmanuel Sanders, the perfect complement to Michael Thomas, and re-acquired old friend Malcolm Jenkins, who brings valuable experience and leadership to the secondary. In the draft, New Orleans made one of the game’s best offensive lines even better with the addition of Cesar Ruiz, before grabbing a potential steal in third-round linebacker Zack Baun.

Drew Brees still has gas in the tank at age 41, especially when he’s throwing to the best receiver in the game. And a return to health for Alvin Kamara cannot be understated; when he’s right, the Saints back is an electric playmaker running and receiving. In a related vein, the defense should be healthier than it was down the stretch last season. Third-year DE Marcus Davenport could be poised for a breakout campaign.