What a week….stand, kneel, lock arms, boycott, burn and oh yea, the Saints won a very impressive ballgame in Charlotte!
Like most of you I have felt many emotions this week, but I choose not to get into a political, patriotic measuring, pro or con about the current HOT issue. I have rough drafted several opinions and all have fallen victim to my personal 24 hour rule. (Hold your thoughts and comments for 24 hours, then release). But now….
What a game! We talked about the defense having to step up and allow our offense to play with a lead. That first series was pretty scary … until Cam made a tremendous sack on the other Cam! The offense came out, delivered seven and thanks to much needed take-a-ways, played aggressive with the lead. That is what we look for.
Others have done a great job of analyzing the strategy and the execution, I want us to think for a moment how much more enjoyable the plane ride to London was for our men of the Black and Gold.
I like to think the travel plan this week has been played very smart by Coach. Letting the team enjoy and adjust should prove to be a factor. Knowing the following week is a bye, allowed the team to think about Miami. The team we face is hard to quantify. Injuries and identity problems continue to plague the Dolphins. They are embarrassed and angry. The Dolphins were forced into an early “bye”, have dealt with the aftermath of Irma, and lost an ugly game to the Jets last weekend. The defense remains a strength, but the offense is a mystery – do they run with Ajayi or do they rely on Mr. Cutler. It is up to the Saints to dictate the flow of the game from the very start.
Keys to the Game:
Distraction Subtraction: In a week the Saints should have been locked in on getting back to 500 ball in the first quarter of the schedule – they were spending too much time deciding how they would act as a team. This team must put this behind them and play football. I do hope that on foreign soil, where Old Glory saved a culture from a savage dictator, we can all stand in respect for the flag.
Offensive Line Execution: Armstead is limited, Strief is practicing…..STOP! The Saints patchwork line really looked good against the number 1 defense in the league. Protection for Brees has been solid and the run game appeared. If the same group can be just as effective against the Dolphin defense – scoring should be plentiful!
Avoid death by papercuts: Bend don’t break plays havoc on my blood pressure. I love the fact we hold them to 3 – but this dink and dunk, misdirection, dozen play drive is maddening. This fits the Dolphins offense to a “T”. Cutler is having a great year of completion percentage, but his passes average less than 5 yards per catch. We can’t allow the short game to move the chain!
This week we will see some old friends – Stills and Anthony. We need to make certain they do not play a significant part of the game. You know I am optimistic and after last week it is almost unbearable (for those around me). I see the Saint offense being as effective as last week and I think the defense will keep winnable control over Cutler and team. Saints 38….Dolphins 16.
Game Note: My wife, son of Comncnts, his wife and I will be meeting in London early Saturday morning. We will be at the game, not certain how effective I will be during the trip, but I look forward to sharing some winning memories upon the return. I have joined several WhoDat groups on social media ……. WhoDat Nation is going to be well represented.