With the Saints playing tomorrow we're left to passively watch football and root for other outcomes. The two main games of interest, of course, are in the NFC South. I wanted to look at these games specifically and see what the spreads are. It's just two games, mind you, because the Carolina Panthers are already settled into their bye week. I do think that's a good think as it throws them on ice after a huge win over the Giants to rebound their record to 1-2. Side note, don't forget to make your predictions on the Monday night game HERE if you haven't already. Here's what we've got to keep an eye on:no comments
For the second week in a row my wife Eliza18s, last year's champ, owned all of you winning the guru competition. And me too. Clearly knowing little about the ins and outs of the roster is a massive advantage, something I'd never considered. She is now firmly in the lead with two weekly wins, with MarijnPessers in second with one win. But as much as I'd love to save the $50 again this year can you guys step up your game a little bit? I'm getting sick of seeing a picture of my face on the blog each week.
Make your predictions for the Dolphins game and try to win a $50 gift card to NFL.com at the end of the season. Here's how it works: answer each of the five questions below (5th question is the score prediction, the tiebreaker) in the comment section. If you win, you automatically go into the standings as a weekly winner for the season. The person with the most weekly wins at the end of the season will win the $50 gift card. Good luck, here are the questions:no comments
We saw how much having Jahri Evans healthy meant to this team last week as undrafted rookie Tim Lelito started his first game and struggled mightily going up against Darnell Dockett. Evans was active and dressed in that game, mind you, because Tim Lelito is their only backup interior lineman. The Saints also have Bryce Harris and Terron Armstead as reserve linemen, but both are tackles and Armstead is too lean to even double as a guard in a pinch. So while Evans' hamstring issue was too serious to play last week, he was needed as active in case one of the three starting interior linemen went down because quite simply WE HAVE NO ONE ELSE. Evans is back to practice on a limited basis this week, so hopefully he's feeling better. But the concern is he's practicing with a compromised hamstring because Tim Lelito is NOT practicing with a compromised calf. Yikes! Where does this leave us?no comments
I had the opportunity this week to catch up with a terrific Dolphins site right here on the Bloguin Network called Phins Phocus. Michael Serrania was kind enough to take the time to drop some knowledge on the Dolphins current state, the matchup, and some other fun facts. Many thanks to Michael for stopping by, and please check him out on twitter. Here's my 10 questions to him:no comments
Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider stops by to break down the Dolphins 3-0 start. Kevin explains why Jeff Ireland got his contract extended, if Ryan Tannehill is a franchise QB, why the Miami run defense completely fell apart with out Paul Soliai, and if the offensive line can hold up on the road. Do the Dolphins miss Reggie Bush and do most Miami fans hate Nick Saban as much as Ralph's wife? Kevin wraps up with a funny Drew Brees story and a game pick.
Kevin, Andrew, and Dave then join Ralph to recap the Saints 31-7 win over Arizona. Once Dave gets his audio fixed, Kevin explains why Cameron Jordan changes everything about the Saints defense and Andrew explains why the perfect storm has hit to help the Saints defense. Dave has broken up with Mark Ingram and is dating Khiry Robinson. Kevin crushes Ralph's theory the Saints are playing it safe with Jahri Evans and what is up with Lance Moore?
The guys break down Sean Payton's first round picks as coach and wrap up previewing the Dolphin game.
Seriously, how is it possible that this defense is so much better now? What a difference a year makes. The Saints told us that Steve Spagnuolo was the lone problem, and I was skeptical. But how can I not drink the Kool-Aid now after three straight games of giving up less than 20 points? I'm not ready to say this defense is "good". But at this point I'd settle for vastly improved and that is without question the case. The pass rush is immeasurably better, and the run defense is better than the numbers suggest. Yet another outstanding performance, arguably their best yet for Rob Ryan. And to think they gave up 80 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive before shutting out the Cardinals the rest of the way. On to the games...no comments
Quite a strange performance by the offense in this one, which turned in negative yards rushing in the first half before finishing with 104 yards on 24 carries thanks to finding some lanes late. Luckily the passing attack was mostly effective despite Brees being under constant duress. It was clear the only way to move the ball was going to be to spread things out. I will say, the way things played out in the first half is completely unsustainable long term. Yes the defense is playing out of their minds but it won't be like this every single week, and if the offense is going to be able to carry the team one of these weeks more balance is a must. That, and Brees can't repeatedly take this many blows each week and stay healthy. On to the grades...no comments
Now that's what I like to see! Not to say that there wasn't some struggles involved in this win, but a 31-7 drubbing is about as much as you could ask for as the Saints move to 3-0, comfortably atop the NFC South. The story of these first three weeks continues to be the shocking and incredibly unexpected performance by the defense. For the third straight week the Saints have held a team under 20 points. The defense has played so well it's allowed the offensive line to sleepwalk through three weeks and maintain an unblemished record. Thanks for the birthday present Saints! Below are my thoughts on the game:no comments
The Saints host the Arizona Cardinals in the Dome for a chance to move their record to 3-0 to start the season today. How fun would that be? Despite not playing their best football, a 3-0 start would be a godsend when you consider how last year played out. And let's call a space a spade: whatever Colston is doing to the Cardinal defender in this picture, we want more of that. Here's five things I'm looking for in this game:no comments
The Saints carry seven defensive linemen on their 53 man roster and last week the snaps went almost entirely to three players: Akiem Hicks, John Jenkins and Cam Jordan. That wasn't by design, mind you, because when Tom Johnson went down early in the first quarter, that made him the fourth injured lineman out of seven on the roster. Missing time along with Johnson are Brodrick Bunkley and Tyrunn Walker, both injured in the opener, and Glenn Foster who badly sprained his ankle in the preseason. So the Saints had three players left for three positions and frankly that was a major problem. As much as I like Hicks and Jenkins, both are not every down players. Not now, and maybe not ever. In Jenkins' case he's a rookie with a very high weight and playing a full four quarters when he's never played a 16 game season before is far less than ideal. Hicks at least has a tad more experience, but he spent last year as a reserve that played sparingly. That's a major change in his role and you'd prefer to bring a guy along more slowly. Those three will remain the starters against the Cardinals, but the good news is depth is coming back to spell them. I was pleasantly tipped to some news last night with the following tweet by Glenn Foster:no comments