Meanwhile, it's a short week for the Saints. Reid already has a re-cap article up underneath this great big HARBAUGH FACE. Here's the key takeaway:
The Saints have a real defense.
Not the genial, pliant, milquetoasty Gibbsian unit. Not the unsustainable, zero blitz-addled freakshow. Nor the fossilized, obstinate, inordinately complex, red-carpet-to-the-end-zone circus of pain.
No. None of that shit.
In 2013, we're talking about the real deal. Finally.
Courtesy of the shaggy, itinerant Rob Ryan--finding himself long-last at home in New Orleans, Rolling Rocks and 4-2-5's, and on a revenge tour of his own--this Saints' defense is now the differentiating factor in the hazy competitive landscape of the 2013 NFL.
Here's Ralph Malbrough's column He points out the other big deal about yesterday's game.
The Saints showed the revitalized running game against Dallas wasn't a fluke as they ground out 93 yards on 22 carries against the 49ers top 10 rated rush defense. It wasn't so much the amount of yards or attempts that mattered as much as it made the 49ers respect the Saints running game. The Saints won the battle of the line of scrimmage on offense and defense. In the two previous 49ers match-ups that wasn't the case. The offensive line played its best game of the year and if they can show this consistency on the road I give you permission to start looking for flights to New York on Expedia for February.Following the Jets loss, the prevailing attitude among Saints observers was the offensive line was shitty and the only way for it to become less shitty would involve personnel changes next offseason. When they gashed a not very good Dallas defense, we took it as a pleasant aberration. But seeing them handle the physical 49ers the way they did is another thing altogether. It's the most encouraging development of the season.
Because we are living in the post-literate age of webpaging, here are some cute pictures that tell the story quite well on their own.
Shut up, Ahmad Brooks.
Just be thankful that the NFL's overprotective of the QB rules benefited the Saints. This means there's no way the league will do anything to strengthen those rules now.