The Saints’ scoring total in their first four games went 45, 48, 27, 24. And now, against what I figured was the NFL's most complete team, the New York Giants, another 48. The 48-27 vivisection was not a result most people anticipated.
The Saints’ offensive output is impressive. The teams they’ve destroyed — the Eagles, Giants and Jets — even more so. Against those three, New Orleans has scored 120 points. Right now, the Saints offense is playing at a level that conjures comparisons to the two other offensive juggernauts of the past 10 seasons — the Rams and the Patriots.
I didn’t think the Saints would be able to deal with a team as complete as the Giants. New York is solid in all facets, on offense and defense. But when one team starts scoring at will (New Orleans scored 34 in the first half), it prevents teams from focusing on their usual gameplan.
Brees is able to perform at this level because of the talent at every skill position, not just receiver. Early in the game, he threw off three-step drops with slants and short slings to receivers and running backs. And the Giants front, which is always so daunting, got gassed and had nothing to show for it. Except a 14-0 deficit.
Which leads to the next domino. You just don’t come in as an offensive coordinator saying, “We need to score 50.” When the equation changes mid-game, that adjustment can be difficult. And so it was for Eli Manning. He went a blah 14 for 31 for 171 yards with a TD and a pick.
New Orleans is going to get a different challenge next week — the Dolphins and the Wildcat on the road in Miami. If the Dolphins can control the ball on the ground and keep Brees on ice, we’ll see a side to the Saints they haven’t had to show. A resourceful one.
Bad move, big guy
The Giants’ karma went bad in New Orleans right about the time Brandon Jacobs broke off a long run, ran out of bounds then yakked in the face of a Saints cheerleader.
Almost time to turn to Vince
Expect to Vince Young sooner rather than later. Speaking before the Titans-Patriots game, Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt acknowledged that the $4 million roster bonus Young is set to receive next March means they have to “do something” with Young. The “something” could be appealing to Young to restructure his deal (probably unlikely) or deciding to part ways with him.
Before Tennessee does that, though, it wants to be sure with Young. Even though he’s practicing much better than he was in 2008 when he melted down, he still hasn’t been tearing it up during the week. But at this point, the Titans know that Young is a player who’s much more effective in games than he tends to be in practice. And they want to have as much fresh information on Young as they can before deciding to pay him that roster bonus and the $6 million salary they’ll owe him in 2008.
Tennessee has a bye next week. Count on seeing Young against the Jaguars on November 1.
Throw back the throwback jerseys
OK, enough with the throwbacks. In three out of six games the Patriots have worn their throwbacks. The novelty has burned off.
That's why they pay him the big bucks
Apparently, this passes for climbing out on a limb. In comments distributed by CBS’ PR department, Dan Marino, said of the Indianapolis Colts, “They have a chance to win every game because of Peyton Manning.” Bold.