Oct 13, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) sacks New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Saints 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Did the Patriots Write the Blueprint for Stopping the Saints?

As fans are probably aware, the New Orleans Saints were handed their first loss of the season on Sunday at the hands of the England Patriots.

Star tight end Jimmy Graham was shut down, and the rest of the offnese led by Drew Brees did not look like itself. Here’s an interesting take from ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, who suggests the Patriots have given the rest of the NFL a way to keep the Saints’ offense in check:

“The New England Patriots did what you’ve been asking for forever with a high-powered offense. They got hands on receivers,” Dilfer said to fellow analyst Tom Jackson during a postgame breakdown on SportsCenter. “And a lot’s going to be talked about Jimmy Graham, and him not having a productive day. But they did it to all of them. They disrupted this high-flying offense of the New Orleans Saints by disrupting them at the line of scrimmage. And challenging the rules, quite frankly. I mean, some of these were five, six, seven, eight yards deep. But that’s alright. They’re only going to throw [penalty flags] so many times. Let’s see what the refs are calling today, let’s play aggressive.

“And they really were able to get in the Saints’ head in the passing game. Now, to the Saints’ credit, they get back in the game because they were able to run the football well in the second half. Then terrific Tom [Brady] at the end pulls one out of his hat and wins the football game.”

Dilfer may be on to something. Much of the credit goes to corner Aqib Talib, but the Patriots did find a way to shut down the Saints offense for most of the game, and fans better believe other teams will be watching the film in order to learn how to do the same.

Will it work? Perhaps. Defenses just as good as New England will certainly have a chance, but no two defenses are the same. The groundwork to stopping the Saints has been laid, but the beauty of the cat and mouse game in the NFL is the Saints can just as easily change up what they do to counter.

Enjoy the show.


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  • Rod

    I agree. the pats secondary did a superb job against my saints…as a former college DB I feel like it wasn’t just their bending of the rules (which I would be a hypocrite for complaining about because I did it too until I got called for it…twice in a game)…what was masterful of them (which clearly comes from coaching) is how they quickly ascertain the field of play and locate the ball while maintaining coverage and preventing separation (albeit by holding but hey it happens…refs should call it, if not…oh well)…but every pass break up I saw a patriot db turn his head and locate the ball seemingly as soon as drew was about to throw…that shows me film study and timing development…I think they are hands down the best secondary in the NFL (that’s right Seattle and Kansas city)…New Orleans recievers need to learn how to play with a mean streak…Graham and the rest of the crew need to learn how to force separation by other means than just pure speed…sometimes you need to channel your inner bully…but the refs did screw up many other aspects of the game…

  • Arlene Schneider

    Pats would NOT have won the game if the refs would called the game correctly. No way.

  • octavia a henry

    I agree that game was stolen from us. I give them credit they got us but lost the following week.