Monday, October 26, 2015

Having fun yet, Saints fans?

Didn't we tell you it wouldn't be so horrible?  I mean, it ain't great or anything. But everything we've said about the process of watching a young defense slowly gain confidence is right on track.  Rob Ryan said a few weeks ago, the defense was "on the verge of a breakthrough." Yesterday, it even appeared a bit ahead of schedule.
The Saints defense completely controlled the game. They held the Colts to 3 of 13 on third down, sacked Luck 4 times, and limited the Colts to 75 rushing yards. Give the defensive line credit for dominating and pressuring Luck and Rob Ryan for having a great plan making sure Luck never seemed comfortable. Get this defense 2 more NFL quality defensive tackles and another pass rusher and this unit could be really good, but that's a 2016 topic and there is still plenty of 2015 to look forward to.
Remember, this whole year is pretty much a long 2016 pre-season, so Ralph is right on target there. If Delvin Breaux doesn't fall down twice the Colts probably don't climb back in it. 

Also it might have helped matters had the offense not totally sputtered into nothing during the second half. It sure was a good thing Thomas Morstead was back this week. The Saints needed him to punt 10 times. If Sean Payton ever walks over to yell at Ryan on the sidelines again, Ryan should deck him. 

Although it should be pointed out, the offense showed up in time to make two very big plays when it counted.  First, Drew Brees hit Brandin Cooks for a 47 yard conversion of 3rd and 8 from the Saints' own 3.  The Saints didn't score on that possession but the play helped them "flip the field" on the Colts and let some air out of the clock at an important time in the 4th quarter.  Later Marques Colston, finally, did an actual Marques Colston thing holding on to a 3rd down pass from Brees to put the game away.

But really the story of the Colts game was the three gift turnovers which the Saints were able to turn to their advantage.  This is also the story of the Falcons game, by the way, which is another way of saying the 2 of the Saints' 3 wins this year come with big assists from the opponent and/or the turn of Fortuna's wheel. (We can also ascribe the result of the Cowboys game to chance if you really want to talk about it... although not the sort that involves turnovers.)  But since we've endured so long frustration with a defense that seemed preternaturally incapable of catching the ball, we're not going to complain.

Anyway, we'll try and do some sort of mid-season summary after the Giants game. If the Saints climb back to 4-4 by then, they're already playing with house money.

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