This game felt like one of the worst games I’ve witnessed as a Saints fan, of course that’s not true. Unfortunately there have been more stinkers than this one throughout the years but as the game unfolded it just felt rotten and really I’m just being honest – you can’t put lipstick on this pig.

As bad as it seemed while it was playing out there were a few bright spots in this game, namely the defense forcing back to back fumbles in the 4th quarter, the first one by Hau’oli Kikaha and the second one by Kevin Williams.

But really the story of the game was, as we all know, Drew Brees injuring his throwing shoulder in the 2nd quarter – he was never the same after that.

Okay lets get down to it, the first play I’m going to show was before his injury on the Saints opening drive.

The Saints have the ball 2nd and 5 at the Bucs 35 yard line with 11:25 to go in the 1st quarter

The Saints are in a run heavy two tight end, two back set. I love this play call because it completely caught Tampa Bay off guard. This play illustrates just how much teams are tracking Brandin Cooks and even then he gets open but Drew Brees didn’t pull the trigger and opted for fullback Austin Johnson. I really can’t blame Brees on this because Johnson was open also, below is a  pre snap screen shot of the key personnel and the route ran.

Johnson 2Brandin Cooks speed is in full display here, he blows by the defensive back finding a seam down the middle of the field (notice how many defenders react to Cooks) at the same time fullback Austin Johnson runs a wheel route up the left sideline and he too beats the linebacker covering him. Josh Hill is also open at the 1st down marker and he would have had plenty of room to run because the inside linebacker dropped back into coverage also is following Cooks, below is a screen shot of the play unfolding – notice Brees is looking at Cooks but decides to throw the Johnson (my guess is he looking down the free safety)

Johnson 3Every thing was executed perfectly except for one tiny detail – Austin Johnson dropped the ball that was placed perfectly by Drew Brees, you have to catch that. Mistakes like this have plagued this team throughout the 1st two games, we are already in for a tough haul here but if the mental mistakes aren’t cleared up starting this week, what you thought was the bottom of the barrel is just the tip of the iceberg – it can get much worse.

Johnson 1The Saints have the ball 2nd and 7 on their own 33 yard line with 11:54 to go in the 3rd quarter

This next play is the deep ball to Brandin Cooks that was woefully under thrown resulting in a Buccaneers interception. There’s really not much to say about it because it was obvious Brees arm was shot at this point, I decided to do a quick take on it because it was a perfect call against what the Bucs were doing defensively.

The Saints are in another run heavy set with two tight ends, two backs and a lone wide out (Cooks) split far right. Tampa Bay has nine in the box with a cover one safety and a corner playing off man on Cooks. Josh Hill will run a medium crossing route while Brandin Cooks runs a straight line go route, below is a per snap screen shot of the defense and offensive routes ran.

Cooks 1This is really disappointing because Cooks burns his man and the free safety is late coming over because he’s eyeballing Josh Hill coming across the middle – what should have been an easy 67 yard touchdown turned into an easy Tampa Bay interception, below is a screen shot of how wide open Cooks was.

Cooks 2Tampa Bay has the ball 1st and 10 on their 40 yard line with 4:04 left in the 3rd quarter

This is the Delvin Breaux “lost in space” play….if it was for any other team it would be down right funny. Coming off the heals of the Willie Snead fumble this play wasn’t designed to go 54 yards but the play broke down, Winston scrambled extending the play and the receiver Louis Murphy slipped behind the coverage of Breaux and Kenny Phillips. Below is a screen shot of the play with the key defensive players and routes ran.

Murphy 1In these next two screen shots you can see that Winston wants to go left but everybody is covered and then Tyeler Davison sheds his man causing Winston to buy time and scramble to his right.

Murphy 3Murphy 2This actually a pretty good play by Winston, as his protection breaks down and he rolled to his right and then he points to Murphy to break it long which he does and then the Breaux comedy hour starts as seen in these two screen shots.

Murphy 4Murphy 5I really shouldn’t be hard on Breaux because he played extremely well in the game, it was just one play that was there for all the world to see….and see it they did as the GIF’s and video’s went viral on social media. Breaux even chimed in with a bit of a sense of humor.

Well that’s a wrap for this weeks edition of the Grind Factor, hopefully this week the film study will be a little more fun. I’m not giving up on this season yet but this team has to turn it around, I’m not so sure how effective Brees will be if he does play this week so hopefully the ball bounces our way and the breaks go against Carolina.

We bleed black and gold here at WDW so good or bad I’ll be here every week bring the breakdown and with that I say, as always….WHO DAT!