2009 NFL Season: Holding the Saints Close, Part I

In games where the New Orleans have thrown the ball with success, they have blown out their opponent.

Marques Colston Doing His Thing

New Orleans 45, Detroit 27.  Drew Brees — 26-34, 358, 6 touchdowns.

New Orleans 48, Philadelphia 22.  Drew Brees — 25-34, 311, 3 touchdowns.

New Orleans 48, New York Giants 27.  Drew Brees — 23-30, 369, 4 touchdowns.

If you want to beat this team, you have to focus on stopping the pass first — and then the run.

Exhibit A:  Buffalo Bills.

New Orleans 27, Buffalo 7.  The Bills get mauled on the ground for 222 yards, but this was a 10-7 until the 4th quarter.  If the Bills had a viable offense, they could have handed the Saints their first loss of the season.  Drew Brees was a pedestrian 16 of 29 for 172 yards with no touchdown passes.

Exhibit B: New York Jets.

New Orleans 24, New York Jets 10.  The Jets were within a touchdown until the 4th quarter.  One of the Saints touchdowns was scored by Darren Sharper.  Only 3 interceptions from Mark Sanchez prevented the Jets from pulling off this upset.  Brees was held in check again.  His stat line: 20 of 32, 190 yards with no touchdowns.

Can Pierre Continue to Elude the Defense?

The pattern, to date, is clear.  If you take a conventional approach against the Saints and focus your efforts on reigning in Pierre Thomas (above), Mike Bell, and Reggie Bush, you will get torched.  Focus on the passing game and you have a chance.

As talented as Brees and his “skill position” players are, life is made much easier by the work of these men in the trenches:

Mike Bell Drives Down Main Street

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