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GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
5253 posts

There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints
LINK Decent read by Jeff Duncan...


LONDON - It would be difficult to say which was more refreshing on Sunday: The crisp 50-degree weather for the New Orleans Saints-Miami Dolphins game at Wembley Stadium or the manner in which the Saints dispatched the Dolphins during it.

Mark Ingram described it as "bloody."

Drew Brees called it "hard-fought."

A "four-quarter fight," Cam Jordan said.

The Saints' 20-0 shutout wasn't the prettiest win they've ever recorded, but it will look just as beautiful in the win column as some of those pinball shootouts they've won in years past.

Long-suffering Saints fans must have rubbed the sleep out of their eyes as they watched the Saints turn in a Dome Patrol-worthy defensive demonstration for the second consecutive week.

"Getting a shutout, of course, is significant," Saints head coach Sean Payton said. "It was obvious the game was being played a certain way. ... It was a good one to get."

For most of three quarters, this was a good, old-fashioned, bare-knuckle slugfest, and if there's one thing we've learned over the years about the Sean Payton-Drew Brees Saints it's that they don't win physical, four-quarter free-for-alls.

Like penguins at the equator, they usually find themselves out of their element in games like this.

But this Saints team has the makings of something different.

I've compared this Saints team to the 2006 squad, Payton's first in his 12-year tenure. That wasn't the most talented Saints team, but it might have been the toughest. And it certainly was one of the most balanced. The 2006 Saints weren't nearly as explosive offensively as the 2009 or 2011 teams, but they could run the ball and play sound defense. They won a lot of close games.

And the 2017 Saints appear to be of similar vintage. This team looks more solid and less spectacular. More complete and less Brees-centric.

These Saints look mentally and physically tougher than recent editions.

There was a time not long ago when the Saints would have lost a game like this. In fact, they might have been blown out.

For most of the past four or five years, the Saints have needed to score 30 points to win. They relied almost exclusively on Brees' passing prolificacy to prevail. If Brees wasn't brilliant, they rarely left victorious.

Against the Dolphins on Sunday, Brees was solid, but he was far from spectacular. He passed for 268 yard and two touchdowns, but by his lofty standards those are relatively pedestrian numbers.

Truth be told, Brees didn't need to dominate for the Saints to win this one. He just needed to play smart and manage the game, and that's exactly what he did.

For the fourth consecutive game, the Saints did not commit a turnover.

For the second consecutive game, they limited their penalties.

And for the second consecutive games, they didn't surrender any explosive plays on defense and produced more than their share of big plays themselves with four sacks and a huge red-zone interception by Ken Crawley.

"That's winning football, and that's complementary football," Brees said.

And that's a different experience than we're used to seeing from the Saints.

In the past, when the going got tough, the Saints tended to get going. They were the NFL's version of the Houston Rockets, a gridiron version of a run-and-gun offense.

But on Sunday the Saints found themselves in a slugfest and instead of flinching they steeled their eyes, rolled up their sleeves and slugged back.

They won a contest that more closely resembled a rugby scrum than a football game. It wasn't pretty. But it was just as satisfying to the Saints players and coaches as any 38-35 shootout.

"You've heard me say it before and Bill (Parcells) said it to me a number of times, it doesn't have to be aesthetically pleasing to be effective," Payton said of his former coaching mentor.

It's only two games. As Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro said so eloquently, "I don't want to gas anything up."

The Panthers and Dolphins are two of the league's most offensively-challenged clubs. In Payton parlance, don't eat the cheese just yet.

But progress is progress. And the numbers and performances speak for themselves.

The Saints recorded their first shutout in nearly five years.

They held their second consecutive opponent to fewer than 14 points and 300 total yards.

And they posted consecutive 20-point victories for the first time since 2013. That just happens to be the last time the Saints recorded a winning season and went to the playoffs.

If you believe in omens, that's not a bad place to start.

"We know there's going to be games where we need to pitch a shutout in order for us to win," Vaccaro said. "And we know there's going to be games where they need to score 28 or 30 points or 40 points or whatever for us to win. At the same time, we're sick and tired of being the side of the ball they're having to carry.

"Say what you want about these two offenses (we played), we haven't done that since I've been here. We haven't pitched shutouts. And we're the youngest defense in the league. If anything, we're going to get better. It's encouraging."

It's also refreshing.



htran90
New Orleans Saints Fan
BC
Member since Dec 2012
16745 posts

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints
We can grind out wins. We can actually play sound defense.

All we need is to be able to slow down teams and not let them go 300/3/130 rating on us every week and we have a chance.

Armstead and snead should be back post-bye which gives you the best starting OL available on our roster close to full strength.

You also get your #2 wr back which allows Thomas some more space but also another option to convert 3rd downs.

Offensively we should start churning out yards and points like no tomorrow.


BengalShark
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2017
432 posts
 Online 

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints


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80
mindbreaker
New Orleans Saints Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Dec 2011
2740 posts

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints
I've got chills

and they are multiplying

It's almost, how do you say it, Electrifying


partywiththelombardi
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since May 2012
5827 posts

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints


whodatfan
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Mar 2008
19565 posts

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints
That gif.


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jptiger2009
Southeastern LA Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2009
4433 posts

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints
As the lady that sits in front of my friend's season tickets would say (every single 3rd down like a tick), "Go Saints, Let's go Saaaaaiiiints!".


Bayou
LSU Fan
Arizona Desert
Member since Feb 2005
26869 posts

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints
quote:

There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints

They voice themselves politically


Mr. Hangover
New Orleans Saints Fan
I Can't Believe I've Been a
Member since Sep 2003
19974 posts

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints
I’ve always said that CSP and drew needed to learn to win games in other ways... yesterday was refreshing and hopefully we can build on it going forward...

I think the pieces are in place, we have some talent on the outside in lattimore and crawley...


breauxmosexual
New Orleans, LA
Member since Aug 2016
2391 posts

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints
That's quite the change of tune


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22
bonethug0108
New Orleans Saints Fan
Avondale
Member since Mar 2013
10847 posts

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints


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50
SportsGuyNOLA
LSU Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since May 2014
3938 posts

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints
There's nothing different.

They still suck.


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16
Champagne
USA Fan
The Neutral Zone
Member since Oct 2007
25700 posts

re: There's something different about the 2017 New Orleans Saints
Let's keep it simple -- this team is improving.


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