Did you guys know that Jimmy Graham used to play basketball? If you didn’t before this game, you probably still don’t because the Saints defense only allowed 34 yards to their former superstar tight end in his return to the Super dome. The Saints defense was at its bend, but don’t break best throughout the game. You simply CANNOT expect them to play any better than they did. The Saints allowed the Seahawks to rack up some chunk plays on the ground throughout the second half, but never gave up the kind of back breaking ‘big’ play that would shift the momentum and Cameron Jordan had a HUGE impact on the Seahawks run game throughout. The Saints gave up one huge play on a WR pass, and had a lot of ‘almost’ plays, but the two biggest plays of the game in the Saints favor were Mark Ingram’s fumble (more on that in a minute) and Nate Stupar’s interception.
The Saints had just gotten down big to SEA after they scored on Mark’s fumble and then scored again as the Saints offense failed to score. They DESPERATELY needed a turnover to get some field position and to bring the crowd back into it. Stupar played his zone perfectly, read Wilson’s eyes and made a diving interception that MIGHT have saved the Saints season. It got them points, got the crowd back into the game, and helped prevent SEA from building momentum. It was a HUGE play for the Saints.
The biggest play though was Ingram’s fumble that was returned for a TD. That’s the second week in a row where Mark has failed to secure the football in a scrum, and in both cases he’s fumbled. That alone wouldn’t be enough to get him benched, but when you add the fact he’s been mediocre at best this year, Sean Payton had seen enough and decided to play his more explosive backs. I don’t know what Mark’s future will be in NO, and I don’t know if he’s hurt or anything, but his play has been tremendously disappointing. It was his replacement Tim Hightower who helped the Saints wear down Seattle’s defense and allowed them to dominate time of possession preventing the defense from giving the game away.
The Saints likely aren’t going to make the playoffs, but if ATL loses today they are a game out of 1st place with a bad SF team coming up next week. The Saints should be getting Rankins and Breaux back to help the defense, and if the offensive line can be solid like they were today this team has a chance to maybe make a little bit of noise.
This was an IMMENSELY satisfying win not only because of the Saints struggles in close games recently, but also because of their recent history against Seattle. Add Graham’s return on top of that, and Pete Carrol making sad face two weeks in a row and it just can’t be beat. Speaking of Pete Carrol, I know he doesn’t believe jet fuel can melt steel beams, but guess what Pete….PICK PLAYS MELT YOUR DEFENSE!!! That moron truther throwing fits on the sideline will never not make me happy. With Harbaugh back where he belongs in the NCAA Pete is the most obnoxious human roaming the sidelines. God this is a GREAT DAY!
- Sadly I’m a prophet and Mark Ingram simply doesn’t have it anymore. He didn’t just get benched because of the fumble, he also was benched because he doesn’t bring enough else to make up for it.
- Lasco is going to be the future of this team at RB imo. The dude blocked 2 blitzers on one play and looks shifty, strong, and explosive.
- Ken Crawley is Corey White with corner skills, just has zero awareness out there, but at least he can play the position.
- Terron Armstead is hobbled, but at even 60% he’s the best lineman we have and such a major asset.
- Tim Hightower is more than just a great story, he runs SOOO hard, and shows balance and burst.
- Brandin Cooks (for the billionth time is more than just a 9-route deep threat guy.
- Snead is the perfect complement to Cooks and Thomas with his combination of routes, toughness, and hands.
- Speaking of Michael Thomas, some might be tired of hearing it but I’m not tired of saying it…kids a flat out STUD!! Michael Thomas out physical’d the Seattle defenders all day showing great hands, strength, toughness, and just enough of a nasty streak (in a good way) to force them to respect him. BEAST.
- Cameron Jordan’s impact is more than stats, and while he desperately needs a true rusher opposite him, he was huge in this game. Late in the game he had a key TFL, and also a huge pass deflection that were instrumental in the Saints winning this game.
- Dannel Ellerbe is made of paper mache
- The Saints DO have young talent, and it’s starting to show itself slowly but surely.
- Sean Payton and Dennis Allen deserve an incredible amount of props for just how hard and together they have this team playing. When you look at the amount of injuries and some of the heartbreaking losses so far this year. To have these guys fighting this hard, improving, and playing together is a testament to their leadership. THAT is how you improve a defense and rebuild a culture. How you approach the game, the attitude you have, and the trust you have are all huge components of success.