Drew Brees isn’t taking sacks, Life without Jimmy Graham, and is the NFC South the worst division in football?


Oct 5, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Travaris Cadet (39), left, is congratulated for a third quarter touchdown by quarterback Drew Brees (9) during their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints won in overtime, 37-31. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Gumbo Gazette searches the mass reaches of the interwebs to bring you New Orleans Saints news and notes that are sure to pique your interest right in one centralized location! Why The Gumbo Gazette? Because it’s N’awlins after all!

Here are today’s stories:

Gillian Van Stratt | Michigan Live | New Orleans, by the numbers: Apparently Drew Brees doesn’t get sacked this year

"The number of times Drew Brees has been sacked in five games this season. That’s the second-fewest of any quarterback who has started every game this year (Derek Carr has been sacked three times). Robert Griffin III has also been sacked four times, but has started only two games. Michael Vick (zero starts) and Carson Palmer (two starts) have been sacked three times. Last year Brees was sacked 37 times. To put Brees’ clean jersey in perspective here in Detroit, his four sacks are just half a sack more than the average number of times Matthew Stafford is taken down per game. Stafford has been sacked a league-high 21 times this season."

On one hand, we can be thankful that Brees hasn’t been sacked at the rate he was last season. On the other hand, we have a golden opportunity to get after Matthew Stafford. The Saints are at the bottom of the barrel in the NFL with only six sacks this season, tied for 27th with Atlanta, Dallas, and Arizona. Here’s to hoping.

Nick Underhill | The Advocate | Saints offense could get a chance to experience life without tight end Jimmy Graham

"It will take a team effort to fill those voids. It likely won’t fall squarely on the receivers or the tight ends. The Saints are smart enough to know that one player can’t be plugged into Graham’s role and asked to do his job.“I don’t think it affects the receivers, Jimmy being out, other than it gives them more opportunities. I mean, Jimmy’s balls have to go somewhere,” Brees said. “Listen, it’s Ben Watson, that’s Josh Hill, the tight ends as a whole. And those guys are certainly capable and will do a great job, I’ve got so much confidence in them.”"

We’ve been in this situation before, and it will be interesting to see who the Saints turn to for answers. Missing Jimmy Graham is not an automatic death sentence by any means, but Graham is the leading receiver for the black and gold. Look for the Saints to carry an additional receiver on Sunday. Might it be Joe Morgan time?

AP | USA Today | Ingram eager to return to Saints No. 2 offense

"Ingram said he could play with “a little pad” on the hand he broke in Week 2 at Cleveland. The running back needed surgery and missed three games before New Orleans had last weekend off.“I’m ready to go, full-go, 100 percent full-tilt,” Ingram said. “They haven’t babied me or eased me into practice, so I’ve been doing everything — catching, running blocking.”“It was disappointing, frustrating to have an injury,” Ingram said. “There wasn’t much I could do about it. I had to get the surgery, just try and be positive and it wasn’t a long term injury.”"

Ingram could be the shot in the arm that this team needs to pull off a win in Detroit. We know that the Lions rushing defense is stellar and the Saints rushing offense is potent. It may just boil down to the abilities of Ingram more than the offensive line.

Don Banks | Sports Illustrated | The worst division in NFL? Defensively inept NFC South has no rival

"The Saints on defense have been underachieving, underwhelming and often just flat out terrible in terms of tackling and covering. The loss of high-priced free-agent safety Jarius Bryd to a recent season-ending knee injury doesn’t help, but in reality Bryd wasn’t playing worth a Fleur-de-lis even before he got hurt.  It’s not pretty on defense, but upon closer inspection, the Saints at 2-3 aren’t in terrible position in a division with no superpower. It boils down to New Orleans being able to take care of business at home from here on out, as it has usually done in the Sean Payton/Drew Brees era. The numbers don’t lie: The Saints defense ranks 23rd overall in yards allowed at 379.6 per game. But at home, where New Orleans is 2-0, that number drops to a very strong 280.5 yards per game, which would rank No. 2 in the league if the Saints could duplicate that number on the road. New Orleans is 0-3 on the road, giving up 445.7 yards per game."

The NFC South is having a down year, and that is probably a bit of an understatement. The good news for the Saints is that means the division is still up for grabs. Things change, and power can shift easily. Remember when the NFC East was called the NFC ‘Least’ for all of those years? They used to be the dominate powerhouse in the NFL, but suffered a fate similar to what the NFC South is going through at the moment. There’s a lot of football left, but as of now, the NFC South is the worst division in football.

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