Nov 21, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is tackled from behind by Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (95) during the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
A game as important as this, there are so many to choose as the impact player(s). However, I believe the entire offense is your X-Factor. Sure, it’s a vague statement, but here’s why I say that.
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.