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New Orleans Saints 2018 Season: Quarter pole review

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Overview

Drew Brees
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 30: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints in action against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on September 30, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

So, the Saints fell short of my prediction for this point in the season by one game. The loss to the Buccaneers was completely unexpected. The Bucs also beat the Eagles to give us at least a slightly better feel. They were demoralized this week by Chicago for loss number two, so we have to wonder if they were just a flash in the pan and we got caught in that flash.

Either way, the Saints have, in three weeks, found different ways to win games and that’s a good thing. Right now, we are not firing on all cylinders defensively. Our rush defense has been good, and our pass rush has been improving. Our defensive backfield play has to improve, but the improved pass rush will help the defensive backs tremendously.

Offensively, we seem to be hitting our stride, but in fits and starts. Our rushing game has been poor, so the return of Mark Ingram this week couldn’t be more welcome. We need to share the passing game around a bit more.

The hallmark of the most impressive Saints offenses were the days of seven to nine different people receiving passes. Brees targeted nine receivers against the Falcons and 10 against the Giants. However, four guys (Ginn, Watson, Smith, and Line) were targets on 10 occasions and they only came up with one catch between them. Watson dropped a TD pass (to his credit, it was a fine defensive play). Some passes were purposely uncatchable. But that’s a lot of targets with only one catch. We must get beyond the Brees/Kamara/Thomas offense and diversify it a bit more. It was good to see Josh Hill make a few plays.

We can’t have gaffes in special teams play like the Ginn muffed kickoff. It’s fun and interesting that the team has chosen to include Taysom Hill so much in the offense and on special teams. Let’s hope its not just a novelty and can be considered a real option throughout the year. Having a Swiss Army knife like him could be great.

Here’s a gem of a stat I’m stealing, heard from the mouth of Zach Strief, former Saints right tackle, now the play-by-play broadcaster for the Saints Radio Network. The Saints have not scored less than 14 points in the 4th quarter of any game so far this season. That is finishing strong. Hopefully, we don’t need those late game pushes for wins very often.

Next. Demario Davis, Marcus Davenport starting to show up. dark

My prediction for the second quarter of the season is 3-1. That is supposed to start with a win over the Redskins on Monday night, before we get the bye. While I’d hoped for 5-0 going into the break, 4-1 would be a solid achievement. This team is currently a work in progress. Fortunately, they are winning in the process.

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