Offense Can’t Help Out Defense
Well, this is going to seem like a repetitive theme here, but this is the absolute worst offensive showing we’ve seen from the Saints under Sean Payton. Yes, they flashed the Brees stat from 2007 against the Bucs, but that was nearly six years ago. In that game, the Saints would lose 27-23, and Brees would get 179 yards passing & 2TD, and the Saints finished with 246 Total Yards in that game.
Now there’s a new record that the Saints don’t wish to have anything to do with, as they finished with only 188 total yards of offense against the Seahawks. Brees went 23/38 for 147 yards (3.9 average, that’s not a typo) and the game’s only TD to Jimmy Graham. Brees was sacked once, but the momentum changer happened when Brees was hit & fumbled into the hands of Michael Bennett, who ran it in from 22 yards for a Seahawks touchdown. This put the Seahawks up 10-0, and they’d never even have a thought of looking back afterwards.
While Brees threw it 38 times, the Saints ran the ball just under half of that number, finishing with 17 attempts for 44 yards. It was just downright ugly for the Saints to get anything going on the ground, and through the air, Jimmy Graham was targeted 9 times, but only caught 3 balls for 42 yards, including the 2-yard touchdown.
I seriously hate being right about things like this, but when you look back on my Keys to the Game, the X-Factor in this game was the Saints offense.
Drew Brees is all about dissecting the defense, and one of the key things he loves to do is audible out of the play when he detects that the defense has keyed in on the play call, or sees something else he would love to capitalize on.
None of this happens unless Drew & the rest of the offense can pick up the audible with the loud crowd in everyone’s ear. Not to mention, the tempo is going to be what dictates a lot of this. The Saints can’t be sloppy on offense, and getting to the line quickly, potentially having a few plays called already, will be a huge point of emphasis.
The Saints are tied for third in the league (San Francisco) when it comes to delay of game penalties with seven, only one behind Oakland & Tampa Bay with eight. On the road, they’ve had four, and Brees has been called for five. Furthermore, the Saints have nine false start penalties this season (league average is nearly twelve), but six of those have come on the road.
On an encouraging note, the Saints offensive line has allowed 23 sacks on Drew Brees this season, which is actually 28th most in the league. That’s not a stat you want to be at the top for. Let’s just say 5th best in the NFL.
Do you see where I’m going? The offense has to fire on all cylinders, and this is why they are my X-Factor. They’ll dictate whether this game as a win versus a loss.