Did You Notice…Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
By Keith Null
Did you notice the Saints looked about as interested in winning this game as a mime is to taking voice lessons.
Simply put there was no desire or drive to do anything but lay down and let the Buccaneers run away with the game as clearly head coach Sean Payton had one eye on the score of the Falcons/Panthers game and one eye on his playbook
Analysts are already beginning to question the Saints drive and will to win and their current situation is allot like how they ended the 2009 season when losing three games in a row.
They haven’t lost three in row this go around but have dropped two out of their last three heading into the playoffs.
Safety Malcolm Jenkins, tight end Jimmy Graham and running back Chris Ivory all got banged up in the first half, and while Jenkins may not have even returned if it was an important game, Ivory and Graham most likely could have returned to action but were held out considering how little was on the line.
Did you notice how Reggie Bush put together a pretty nice game from himself rushing for a season high 70 yards , catching five balls for 55 yards and returning a punt for seven yards.
While it’s not eye popping numbers is was by far his best statistical performance of the season.
He was a big time security blanket for Drew Brees and picked up more than a few first downs that helped the Saints move the chains.
Bush looked like he surprised himself on a few of his rush attempts as he clearly was zig-zagging up the field with no defenders close as if he was expecting to get blasted by Tampa defenders, who jawed with him back and forth for most of the game.
Did you notice that Brees threw his 22nd interception of the season which is a new career high for the normally deadly accurate quarterback. Maybe there is something to the Madden curse after all.
Unfortunately he has struggled for most of the season and the Saints problems early on, and in general this entire season, have allot to do with him and his turnover problem.
On the flip side it’s also his play that has brought the team back from the brink of defeat several times.
Heading into the playoffs Brees ans the Saints will have to limit the mistakes to be successful, so hopefully he can find way to limit the turnovers and convert into scoring drives.
Did you notice that wide receiver Adrian Arrington made the most of his first career regular season start catching seven passes for 79 yards, which was nearly every pass thrown his direction.
Arrington was promoted from the practice squad Tuesday after the Saints decided to place wide receiver/kick return specialist Courtney Roby on injured reserve after he suffered a concussion in week 14.
Since being drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 draft Arrington has shined in several of the Saints preseason games but seems to always suffer some sort of injury the results in him being relegated to the practice squad.
His play definatley warrants some consideraton from the Saints to remain a staple on the active roster so maybe the 2011 season will finally become the year he breaks through.
Did you notice the Saints second ranked pass defense made second year quarterback Josh Freeman look like Tom Brady after he connected on 21 of 26 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns.
Corner Jabari Greer was beaten for both touchdowns, no more analysis needed.
He repeatedly was able to scramble out of pressure and find huge holes in the Saints secondary.
Tampa’s receivers were able to get behind the coverage most of the night that it began to bring back memories of the Saints secondary of old and not so elite corner Jason David.
Last time the two teams played the Saints secondary dominated the game so their poor performance yesterday has to be chocked up to a fluke, let the preparations begin for the Seattle Seahawks.
Check out Keith Null’s weekly article about the Saints on NFL.com by clicking here.
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