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  1. Take the win. Last week the Saints won a game I think most would have expected us to lose after Kenny Stills' last minute TD. However, due to some classic Brees game winning drive, here we are going to LA with 1 win in our back pockets. We face a team who went to the superbowl last season. They are lead by Sean McVay at HC. A gifted and creative HC, he's developed their talented young QB in Goff to be a franchise QB. On defense, they are anchored in the D-line by a future HOF and perennial DPOY candidate in Aaron Donald. This game should have a little more meaning to the Saints, as its likely to bring up old wounds on how last season ended. Week 1 standout: There are a few players we could point towards. MT with 100+ yards and being Mr. Reliable. Kamara at being a freak or Lutz for having massive....guts. Even Brees for manufacturing a a magical game winning drive. However, I am going to point out the play of the O-line. When your RT makes JJ Watt not register a sack or a QB hit in 100+ games, you know your O-line had a special game. However, it wasn't Ram alone. Every member of that O-line stood out. They gave Brees time, opened up holes for Kamara and even blocked proficiently on the second level. Week 1 lowlight: This is less 'blame it on player X' and more 'player Y can improve in areas such as A, B and C'. Some may disagree with my pick, but I'm going to say Marcus Williams. There are a few players who could've been here, but MW is my pick. On the Texans last drive, Williams was in cover two, and drifted towards Bell's side which allowed Hopkins to have his completion. On Still's TD, Payton mentioned PJ Williams should have had safety help over the top. I love MW, but he really needs to keep his assignments. I don't expect us to be the legion of boom, however we have to be better than this. How much of this is DA and his scheme? Who knows. Last season if you remember, players in the secondary complained DA's scheme was to complicated to start, and once he simplified, we improved. Maybe that's the case again? We will see. Coaches corner: On defense, stopping the run is really going to set the tone on how our day goes in LA. Gurley/Brown eating up the clock and getting yards on the ground to set up Goff is our worst case scenario. Luckily we'll be getting Onyemata back, so our ability at DT should be improved this week. If we stop the run, I think we'll have much better chance at stopping Goff. Rams also have Cooper Kupp back this season, and he played really well last year before his injury. We also need to get to the QB this season. Unlike Watson, Goff can't evade pressure with his legs as well. Now don't get me wrong, he's no a statue, but I think we can handle him better. On offense, it's going to be controlling the play clock and drowning out the noise. Rams lost Suh in the offseason, and while their D-line is no joke, I think it'll be imperative we establish the run early. I also suspect we'll see a heavy dose of Kamara in the screen game. Rookie C McCoy has possibly the hardest assignment game of his life. On the road, in a short week against the best player in the NFL. Jared Cook too should play a big factor. His ability to be a safety valve if MT and Kamara are covered is going to really take pressure off Brees. Especially if he's under pressure. Prediction: I think we sneak one out here. Rams are a great team, and likely superbowl contender, but I think losing Suh was a bigger loss than anything we lost in the offseason. A short week and being on the road are factors against us, but I believe in our quality. 34-31 Saints
  2. Week 1 GDT: Texans (0-0) @ Saints (0-0)

    I guess my concern is similar to what happened last season. Prevent defense. Dennis Allen isn't perfect, but I'm not sure there is any other team that feels less confidence in 3rd and long situations. The pass rush was fine, 6 sacks without the big boys you mentioned. Also, as you said, coverage wasn't horrible (barring PJ Williams...god he sucks). My concern is the downs where we need to get off the field. DA's defense seems to give up lots of yardage with prevent defense. His schemes in those scenarios rarely workout for us. I'm not sure if its an NFL wide thing, but I don't know many D's that can have more confidence being in man-to-man than in zone. It's incredibly frustrating.
  3. Week 1 GDT: Texans (0-0) @ Saints (0-0)

    This D has been underwhelming thus far.
  4. Week 1 GDT: Texans (0-0) @ Saints (0-0)

    As per injury report: DT Rankins - out DE/DT MEJ - out LB Robertson - questionable and keep in mind DT Onyemata is suspended.
  5. The climb to the top of the mountain starts with a single step. Here we are at the start of a new season. The start of the season has many hopes for teams and different goals. For many teams is a respectable record. For others playoff contention. Playoffs for even fewer. For the Saints, the goal is simple. Superbowl or bust. There are many factors that come into play for a season, roster make up, execution, coaching and even luck. For the Saints, the addition of heartbreak is something that needs to be dealt with. The last 2 playoff appearances ended in heartbreak. The Minneapolis Miracle and the non-call. Both of those were a dagger for an entire city. Yet we entire the new season still with superbowl expectations. The first obstacle in our path lay the Houston Texans. They are led by a Bill Belichek disciple in Bill O'Brien. An offensive minded head coach/GM who like our head coach, is stubborn and his way of doing things. Their QB is Desaun Watson, a talented franchise QB who has improved every season. Their D is led by perennial DPOY candidate and future HOF JJ Watt who can blow up an offensive game plan in any given night. Their offseason was tumultuous. From GM changes, then failed GM hirings, to Clowney holding out, then Clowney trade and finally, trading for Tunsil and Stills. Coaches corner: On offense, the goal I suspect would be neutralize Watt and their D-line and target their LBers. Their LBers, while a talent group lack a true coverage LBer (I believe, though I may be wrong). Quick passes and getting players to the second level will serve this team well. Jared Cook and Alvin Kamara I suspect will be instrumental in tonight's game. On defense is where this game will be decided. The Texans may not have a top O-line, but Watson can evade pressure and throw on the run. Moreso, his WR group has the one of the best WR in Deandre Hopkins, and skilled 2nd and 3rd options in Will Fuller and Kenny Stills. They make up the best WR group in the NFL. The test for Dennis Allen starts here. With Miller going down with an ACL, their running game is less of a threat. If we can contain their passing game, I believe we can win this. Now this is no sure thing, we struggled in coverage, despite our talent, early on last season. I suspect we'll play Nuke how we play Julio Jones. Apple + safety help on Nuke, Lattimore + rest on Fuller and Stills. I think we'll be in nickle a lot this game too. Saints also have to get over a bad habit of starting slow. Each of the last few seasons we've had slow starts, Payton and Brees will be cognizant of this and I'm sure we'll try get off to a fast start. Prediction: I think Dome field advantage will play a factor in this game. 34-17 Saints.
  6. So I thought we could have a thread to talk about the team before the official start of the season? Basically what do you see on the roster and how you see the season playing out? Defense: In the Sean Payton era, the defense has always lagged behind the offense. It's also not a surprise. We're talking about one of the best HC and QB duos in NFL history. I may be drinking the kool-aid, but this D for me has the personnel to be top-10 and maybe even top-5. Overall I look at this unit and I see a deep and well rounded D. The D-line is anchored by Cameron Jordan with a fresh contract extension. I think the addition of Malcolm Brown will play a big role, a top notch NT can really hurt opposing offenses, and Brown has been a consistent force in the middle. What I love about the D-line is depth. Jordan, Onyemata, Brown and Davenport should be starters, but behind them you have guys like MEJ, Stallworth, Hendrickson and the return of Rankins. The big guys in the trenches should have enough rest, and we should have packages for most situations The LB corps, with the addition of Alonso, has some pretty nice depth to it. Anzalone, Davis and Klein should be starters, but I suspect due to injury/packages, Alonso and Robertson see decent time. The secondary to me is a little ridiculous. The sheer amount of talent we have top to bottom is absurd in my opinion. Our starters should be Lattimore and Apple. Safetys Marcus Williams and Vonn Bell return looking to take another step in their development. Where we really shine is the depth and flexibility of this unit. Our NB's should be Patrick Robinson and PJ Williams. We have Crawley to back up one of our outside CBs. CGJ and Hampton both back up Williams and Bell. It should give DA a ton of weapons to make this secondary pretty good. Prediction: I think we'll see a top 10 unit under DA this season. I think our run D will be top 5. I think our pass D will be top 15. Player to watch: Lattimore. I think this past offseason will make a difference. Lattimore started slow last season which he credited to a subpar offseason. I don't think is the case this offseason. I think he'll take a step in development and really solidify himself a top CB in the NFC. Needs to step up: Davenport. We can talk about costs, positional analysis, tools whatever until the cows come home. At the end of the day production matters. Before his injury last season, Davenport looked great. Constant pressure, good against the run and produced sacks. This preseason he has looked less than stellar. He looked timid and a little sluggish. He was outshined by Hendrickson(whom I love). For this D to reach its potential, he needs to find his game. I think he has the ability, I just wish he had a more confidence inspiring preseason. Surprise: I think there are a few players that can do this, but one I'll go for is LB Kaden Elliss. I thought he showed good ability in coverage as a rookie, which is difficult. Now do I think he's a starter right away? No. Probably not this season. However, I wouldn't be surprised by the end of the season he's out there in passing downs. He's got the tools and the mental ability to do so. Offense: The offense is less of a question mark as a whole. Which shouldn't be a surprise. Under Payton and Brees, 9/10 we'll have a top 5 offense. It will be interesting to see how McCoy integrates with NFL D's, but I have faith. Payton is pretty hard on rookie O-linemen, and he never keeps one in if they can't perform. I think the biggest addition to this offense with be TE Jared Cook. His ability to stretch the field and run routes is going to be open things up quite a bit. After Thomas and Kamara, we were missing that 3rd consistent target on offense and I think Cook does that. He'll warrant attention and leave opposing D's with a pick your poison scenario. It should really give guys like Hill, Ginn, Kirkwood etc. opportunities to make plays (granted they blanket MT and Kamara which is no sure thing. The limiting factor for this offense is health. And specifically, O-line health. I love Armstead. When healthy is a top 10 LT in the NFL, which is no easy feat. Problem is, his health. He's going to miss games. There will be 4-6 games he'll be out with a muscle injury. Our back up OT is Omameh. It's either he plays RT while Ram switches to LT, or move Peat to LT and put Easton at LG. It's a question we'll have answered this season. Regardless, I think while we won't see a more explosive offense, I think we see a far more efficient one. Less needing 3rd and 9 and more short yardage situations. I wouldn't be shocked to see Brees break his completion % again. Player to watch: Kamara. Stud. One of the best in the league. Without Ingram, Kamara gets to be the lead back. He gets to take the majority of plays and I suspect won't leave the field too often. He's also playing for a contract extension. I think he does really well this season and puts up some ridiculous numbers. Needs to step up: Smith/Carr/Kirkwood. The other WRs. With the weapons we have on the field, when they get in plays, they needs to execute. This means not dropping catchable passes. Don't blow assignments. Don't run the wrong route. These guys have a chance to put up some really nice numbers, they need to help our offense when they get a chance. Surprise: McCoy. Kind of a cop out answer I guess. I think he'll show some good things. I don't think he'll be a like for like replacement for Unger, and the C in a Payton offense is quite important (see pre-Unger few years), but I also know Payton doesn't tolerate subpar line play. So for him to win the C position early in camp is impressive. Prediction: Probably the most boring prediction, this is a top 3 offense in the NFL. Top 5 in both rushing and passing. Kamara > 1000 yards rushing. MT > 1200 yards receiving. Cook > 800 yards receiving. Brees > 43 TD 8 INT. Overall: To me this is a super bowl winning team. Top to bottom I think we have the roster that can get us there. We have the head coach to get us there. I look at the starters and I don't see a gaping hole. For example, last season we had a legitimate ? in the TE spot. Throughout the roster, I see at worst average starters. I think we have depth up and down the roster. As long as we execute and stay healthy, I think we will go deep into the post season. The part about health is important. Our biggest weakness is if we get hurt. Barring that, I think we're in for an awesome season. Prediction: 13-3 (L: Atlanta, Carolina and Seattle) and a superbowl berth.
  7. Saints trade for LB Kiko Alonso

    This move is nothing but a positive. Alonso at worst is an improved Te’O in terms of ability. At his best he challenges Klein for his spot. It also gives us some really nice depth in the LB corps with 5 guys who are NFL caliber to rotate in. With Anzalone and Robertson banged up, this was very much needed. Gotta day our depth throughout the D is really impressive. I hope DA has been doing his homework, this D has top 10 ability imo.
  8. Preseason Thread

    The one area of the team I'm legitimately concerned about is O-line depth. Ola released, Tom on IR. I love Armstead but that guy is a near lock to miss 3-4 games this season. What's the plan then? Peat to LT, Easton to LG? Also a little surprised Arnold was cut. Don't me wrong, I'm not fan of phallus fingers, but this we only have Cook and Hill for TE options. Also if you've ever wondered what impact position coaches can have, look no further than our LBs. A decade of Vitt left our LB talent a barren wasteland for the most part. Nolan comes in and we've had Anzalone develop into a starter. Improved Davis's overall play. Now 7th rounder Kaden Ellis looks like a guy who can contribute down the road (if he fixes his issues that is).
  9. 2018/2019 EPL Thread

    Man Spurs have not started the year well. They've looked unconvincing to me in 3 games. I don't completely understand why Eriksen is on the bench. Real interesting to see how they respond at Emirates next week. Maybe its fatigue?
  10. Official 2018-2019 NHL Thread

    Clearing space for Aho. They offered him $6M/yr for 8 years (which is embarrassing). It's a crap trade for Carolina and a good one for Chicago.
  11. Official 2018-2019 NHL Thread

  12. Official 2018-2019 NHL Thread

    This really should be set before the draft.
  13. 2019 NHL Draft Thread

    So here is my out there guess for how the top 10 shakes out: 1. Hughes 2. Kakko 3. Turcotte 4. Dach 5 Byram 6 Zegras 7 Caufield 8 Cozens (vomit) 9 Boldy 10 Krebs
  14. Official 2018-2019 NHL Thread

    Vegas. Sharks. Lightning. Leafs. Bolts. Jets too maybe. Any team with decent cap space is going to get some real value if they weaponize it. I also think we'll see a fair few buyouts that weren't expected too.
  15. Official 2018-2019 NHL Thread