csc.com

2

Grammarly, in collaboration with The Wall Street Journal’s “The Count” columnist Geoff Foster, studied the writing (er, commenting) skills of all 32 NFL fan bases on the news sections of each team’s respective website. Specifically, the top 150 fan comments (10,000+ words) were analyzed for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

Feel free to judge my use of the Oxford comma - I could care less!

Comments on the official Saints site ranked 2nd worst at 12.4 errors per 100 words. Bucs commenters were tied with the Rams for 5th worst (11.5), Falcons 10th worst (8), and the Panthers were most good in the NFC South at only 6.6 errors per 100 words.

It ain't over till....

External image

Listen, I get it. You’re disappointed and feeling gut punched right now. But, it really isn’t over yet. So, here’s a little something to wrap your heads and spirits around. Since the beginning of the 21st century only two #1 seeds have won the Super Bowl. The 2003Patriots and and YOUR 2009 Saints. Six of the past thirteen Super Bowl champions have been a 4th seed or lower. Including the last 3 consecutive Super Bowl winners

 The 2010 Packers, 2011 Giants, and 2012 Ravens were no better than the 2013 Saints during the regular season. Don’t let yourselves get caught up in some false idea of what a championship caliber team looks like. Instead, try a little good old fashioned “I believe”like our very own vjdancer.

Until all the games are played and the Saints aren’t Super Bowl champs - I will believe it’s possible.

You never know. You might get surprised. Just like the fans of some of the teams above.

Saints’ Revamped Defense on Display for First Time

From Mike Triplett at ESPN.com: We won’t get to see everything unveiled all at once. But the evolution of the New Orleans Saints defense will be one of the most compelling things to watch over these next four weeks of organized team activities and minicamp. The media will get its first glimpse of the revamped defense on the practice field today. Although the Saints began practicing Tuesday, only one OTA session per week is open to the media.

Latest draft

2014 Draft Class

 1 20 Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver

2 58 Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Cornerback

4 126 Khairi Fortt, Linebacker

5 167 Vinnie Sunseri, Safety

5 169 Ronald Powell, Linebacker

6 202 Tavon Rooks, Offensive Tackle

Analysis: With their first pick in the 2014 draft, New Orleans picked up where it left off in 2013: Brandin Cooks is going to fit beautifully in Payton’s offense and is likely to be a starter from day one, alongside Marques Colston and Kenny Stills. Cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste is likely going to be a backup for most of the season, barring any injuries in the secondary. If history repeats itself - and Saints fans hope it doesn’t - one or two of the draftees will not play in a single game this season. My money would be on linebacker Ronald Powell, who has a history of knee injuries and was a bit of a gamble in this draft.

The Gem: The explosive, multitalented Brandin Cooks will quickly make Saints fans forget about the lethargic offense of 2013.

Ugh: With the great success they’ve had with Mark Ingram and Roman Harper, the Saints decided they needed another Bama player in Vinnie Sunseri. All joking aside, this was a baffling pick: safety wasn’t a position of need for New Orleans. The Saints can only hope to have somehow gotten a steal.

Grade:The jury is obviously still out, but this group of draftees has its work cut out for it if they’re going to match the early production of the 2013 class.

Saints Will Have to Rebuild the Superdome Mystique from Scratch

The full schedule for the 2015 NFL season was just released this week, and of course, the biggest news for Who Dat Nation is the schedule for the New Orleans Saints.  It was just a year ago that many looked at the Saints’ home schedule and wondered who even stood a chance to hang with one of the NFL’s premier home franchises since 2011.  A year later, this perception has changed quite dramatically.

Since October 30th, the Saints have unexpectedly won their last four road games and lost their last five home games.  It was once the road schedule that caused the most hand-wringing within the fanbase, but now nothing on the Saints’ schedule can be taken for granted.

Here is the Saints’ 2015 home schedule:

External image
External image
External image
External image
External image
External image
External image
External image

Allow me to paraphrase from a post I wrote after the streak ended against San Francisco last November:

It was the Saints’ impressive home win streak that had been the NFL’s most daunting to conquer.  The Saints’ streak proper stood at 11 consecutive home wins, but if you consider the “Payton Streak”, the Saints had won 20 consecutive home games with Sean Payton on the sidelines.

For a little perspective, the last decade plus has seen some impressive home winning streaks, here are the top five:

New England Patriots - 20 consecutive home wins (2008-2011)

New England Patriots - 18 consecutive home wins (2002-2005)

St. Louis Rams - 15 consecutive home wins (2002-2004) *ended by the Saints*

Baltimore Ravens - 15 consecutive home wins (2010-2012)

Seattle Seahawks - 14 consecutive home wins (2012-2013)

Although an 11 game home win streak isn’t long enough to crack the top five, the “Payton Streak” is long enough to to tie the longest such streak in recent history.  That’s quite an impressive feat and I applaud the Saints for achieving such an effort.  Also, I applaud Who Dat Nation and all of the fans who have stood in attendance over the course of the streak, who created an atmosphere that is nearly unparalleled in recent memory.  All this being said, just because this streak is over doesn’t mean the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is any less imposing of a building for the opponents who enter its snare.

That sentiment still rings true despite the Saints failing to win another home game since that post was written after Week 10 in 2014.  The fact that the Saints failed so spectacularly to conclude the 2014 was jarring, but in hindsight should not have been a complete shock.  To be fair, since the OT San Francisco loss to end the streak, three of the last four losses came to 2014 playoff teams, and the Saints continued to field one of the most atrocious defenses in the NFL each and every week.

The streak, as it was, came to an end against the Niners, and it perplexingly continued against Cincinnati, but it wasn’t until the crushing combination of losses against Baltimore and Carolina that the aura and mystique of the Saints’ homefield advantage was completely shattered.  The once mighty “Superdome Saints” had astonishingly become a more dangerous road team than they were a home team.  In the matter of roughly six weeks, the notion of the Saints’ home strengths and road weaknesses had been turned on its head.

As cliche as it sounds, the Saints will need to focus on one game at a time.  Talk of any winning streaks at home would be foolish and premature.  Rebuilding a mystique around the Saints’ homefield advantage will have to come organically and naturally, just as it did before.  Just winning the next game on the schedule needs to be enough.  After the crushing blows leveled last season, it will take time for opponents to feel that pressure of walking into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at gametime, even in primetime, where the Saints have excelled the most.  But the aura can be repaired, much like it was following the unfortunate 2012 season.

The majority of the work will come down to the team on the field and the coaches on the sidelines, but a significant portion of effort will need to come from the fans in the stands.  Saints fans in attendance can’t afford to stay quiet while waiting for the Saints to just obliterate their opponents like they did in 2011 and 2013.  There may be an old school type blowout like the one against Green Bay in 2014, but that may be the exception rather than the rule.  The fans will have to keep the noise and energy up, especially in the toughest contests.  That can really make the difference in rebuilding one of the great homefield advantages in the league.

Things may not come as easily at home as they once did, and hopefully not go as poorly as they did the second half of 2014, but it would be foolish to overlook the Saints in New Orleans.  The failings of 2014 can be easily pinpointed to an ailing roster, an atrocious defense, and a team not mentally equipped to deal with those deficiencies.  The work being put in this offseason will go a long way with what happens in the Superdome on gameday, but it’s also the passion and energy of Who Dat Nation that will rehabilitate the aura and mystique of the Saints at home.

One win at a time.  Tampa at New Orleans, September 20, 2015.  Let’s go.

2015 NFL Draft: A Look at the Saints’ Consensus First Round Picks

The 2015 offseason has been like no other for the New Orleans Saints since head coach Sean Payton took the job in 2006. Wait, actually it has been somewhat similar to 2006. Back then, Payton as a rookie NFL head coach cleaned house, making shocking moves like trading established wide receiver Donte Stallworth and replacing him with a seventh-round draft selection from Hofstra University called Marques Colston. The rest like they say is history, as Colston has gone on to become the Saints franchise leader in touchdown (68) and in receptions (666).

In 2015, Payton has gone the same route, accumulating draft picks by trading tight endJimmy Graham, left guard Ben Grubbs and wide receiver Kenny Stills, all players that were significant contributors to the New Orleans Saints for the past two years. As it stands, the Saints have nine draft picks this year. Interestingly, that is the most they’ve had since they selected eight players in the 2006 season, a class that produced the core group that won Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.

The most important of the nine picks in 2015 however, are the ones at 13 and 31. Not just simply because they’re first round picks, that goes without saying. The main reason why these two picks are so crucial is the fact under Payton, the Saints have been unbelievably good at drafting late, yet they’ve been downright awful at drafting in the first round.

What? Do you need proof? Ok: 2006: Reggie Bush (meh). 2007: Robert Meachem (meh). 2008: Sedrick Ellis (Ugh). 2009: Malcolm Jenkins (Okay). 2010: Patrick “Where’s the Ball” Robinson (Uuuuugh). 2011: Cam Jordan (Good), Mark Ingram (Good). 2013: Kenny Vaccaro (Good, but jury is still out). 2014: Brandin Cooks (Good, but jury is still out).

The sad truth here is that pretty much all of Payton’s first round picks have been either average-to-good players or flat out bad players. That’s not good, when you’re supposedly picking blue-chippers that are supposed to be the cornerstone of your franchise.

So will we see a different story in 2015? Only time will tell. All we can do in the meantime is look at who most of the pundits have the Saints selecting at 13 and 31 in their recent mock drafts, and hope that these players, if they end up actually being picked by the Saints, will fare better than the ones New Orleans selected in first rounds before them.

Consensus Pick at 13: Randy Gregory.

It seems that despite his failed marijuana test, most draft experts expect the former Nebraska defensive end to fall to 13 and get selected by the New Orleans Saints. Personally, I’d be elated if Gregory fell to New Orleans. He’s an excellent pass rusher in the mold of an Aldon Smith or a Barkevious Mingo and could strongly revitalize a Saints’ pass rush that regressed in 2014.

***

Consensus Pick at 31: Dorial Green-Beckham.

The projections for the 31st pick are much more scattered. Interestingly, it’s another player with character issues in college that narrowly takes the cake, in Missouri’s former wide receiver. Tied with Green-Beckham is Central Florida wide receiver Breshad Perriman. What seems certain in any case is that most draft prognosticators expect the Saints to pick up a skill position offensive player at 31. Either DGB or Perriman would definitely be a welcome boost for New Orleans’ depleted wide receiving corps.

***

Consensus “WTF” Pick at 13: Jaelen Strong.

If the Saints pick a wide receiver at 13, it better be Amari Cooper from Alabama. Other than Cooper, New Orleans would be making a big mistake picking up anything other than a pass rusher or an offensive lineman at this spot. I don’t believe in the hype surrounding wide receiver Kevin White, for the simple reason that he hasn’t been highly productive on a consistent basis throughout his college career. Jaelen Strong has had a good receiving career at Arizona State, but in my opinion, he’d be a massive reach at 13.

***

Consensus “WTF” Pick at 31: Kevin Johnson.

With all due respect to Todd McShay, the Saints have enough cornerbacks on their roster not to gamble on one in the first round of the draft, even if it’s near the bottom of the round. Johnson was a stud at Wake Forest, but New Orleans could find good value for a cornerback from round three and later, while addressing more pressing needs at 31, most notably a pass catcher or an offensive lineman in case they select a pass rusher at 13.

New Orleans Saints are an Elite Franchise
External image
Kevin C. Cox

“Shook Ones” 
Yeah, they’re scared to death, scared to look, they shook…. 
Cause ain’t no such thing as halfway crooks Who Dats!

By BewareofDog

After all the bed-wetting and diaper-crapping that went on after the loss to the Seahawks, you’d think the Saints had lost their 8th straight game and were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Might as well trade Brees while we can still get some value for that effin’ midget and get ready for the #2 pick in the draft behind Atlanta or Houston. Damn, Saints. They couldn’t even get that right. Letting the Falcons have the #1 pick.

Wait….oh, the emergency is over? They crushed the Panthers and all is well? Okey dokey.

Don’t understand it though. I NEVER worry about a Saints loss. EVAH. I can’t. It’s impossible. Mainly because I understand that I’m lucky enough to be the fan of a football that is one of the VERY BEST in the NFL and has been for quite a while. A bad loss here and there during the regular season is not going to change that or shake my confidence in this team.

I don’t subscribe to the whole victimology/underdog status that some Saints fans readily embrace. It’s a huge part of the reason why some fans can’t really enjoy what is in factThe Golden Era of The New Orleans Saints. I’m not going to tell someone else how to be a fan of the team, but I sure don’t roll with that line of thinking. It’s too tiresome. You’re WAY UP after a victory and then way down in the dumps and ready to be fitted for a straightjacket after a loss.

And you’re scared ALL the time. Before EVERY game.

“Ooooh, this team scares me.”

“I’m so worried about this game.”

“It’s a trap!”

I’ve seen Cowboys and Falcons fans who show more intestinal fortitude toward their respective teams than some Saints fans. Of course, being a Cowboys/Falcons fan is an exercise in futility and are also textbook examples of a delusional mind in action. But, whatever gets them by right?

Pardon me, but, I’m a fan of the New Orleans Saints. One of the top franchises in the NFL and an Elite football team for almost a decade. They have also been a winning franchise for the last three decades.

That’s right, I said DECADES.

It’s weird how some fans spend so much time yapping about losing seasons, paper bags, and the pain of horrible, debilitating, losses to certain franchises which have left them scarred for life and those things are nothing more than distant ghosts from the past. Ghosts that some folks just can’t seem to let go and make it a constant part of their present day lives as Saints fans. And they’re so busy being full of angst that they haven’t noticed how good the Saints have been for quite a while now.

Did you know that the Saints are a WINNING franchise since Tom Benson took over from John Mecom?

Read rest of this interesting article: http://www.canalstreetchronicles.com/2013/12/15/5211606/new-orleans-saints-elite-franchise

Saints status

External image
 New Orleans Saints (6-1):

Despite their 35-17 rout of the Buffalo Bills in Week 8, the Saints were not pleased with their own performance, which included nine penalties, timeouts wasted due to personnel issues, two missed field goals, and four sacks allowed. By the end of the week, the Saints had fallen slightly in the rankings for Defense, Passing, and Rushing; though they maintained their position in regards to overall offense. The BroncosPackersLions,Chargers and Eagles remain ahead of the Saints in the rankings for total offensive yards; with a huge game by Calvin Johnson pushing the Lions up the ranks, and past the Saints for the second-most passing yards in the league. In the NFC, the Seahawks, Panthers,Jets, 49ers, and Packers currently rank ahead of New Orleans defensively. In the conference standings, only Seattle (7-1) has managed – after scraping a win from the Rams – to hold on to a better record than New Orleans (6-1).

The Saints have only lost the ball seven times this year, which is the second-least number of turnovers given away by any team in the NFL thus far (Indy is at 6). Having taken the ball away from other teams sixteen times, New Orleans is ranked No.6 in the league on take-aways. Overall, these numbers result in a +8 turnover differential for the Saints, which is No.4 in the league, behind only Kansas City (+12), Seattle (+9) and Dallas (+9).

As far as punting goes: despite New Orleans being ranked No.8 in yards allowed after a punt, Thomas Morstead has the third-best average net yards-per-punt in the NFL. Had one of his punts been stopped at the one yard line – as it should have been, were it not for a failure on the part of Corey White – he would have maintained his No.2 ranking, and been closing in on the top spot in the NFL. Garret Hartley, on the other hand, dropped to a 78% success rate on field goals this year, after going 0/2 in the Superdome this past Sunday. This ties him as the 25th most accurate kicker (of 33) in the NFL for the 2013 season.

This Sunday, the Saints head to New Jersey to take on the Jets, who are coached by Rex Ryan, brother of New Orleans Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan. Although the Jets offense is only slightly better than Buffalo’s, the men in green have had a much more dominant defense this year. This will be the first time New Orleans faces a defense which is ranked higher than our own, which will only be magnified by temperatures in the upper 40’s at the Jets’ home stadium. However, if they remain focused, the Saints should be able to provide Rob Ryan with his first NFL win over his fraternal twin.

[Current Jets Rankings: Offense - 17th; Defense - 6th; Passing - 22nd; Rushing - 13th]

Kenny Vaccaro Has Personal Vendetta Against Cowboys
External image
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saints safety and Texas native Kenny Vaccaro remembers how the Cowboys expressed some interest in drafting him last year and then later decided to pass on him. Vaccaro describes what happened during the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, “My agent was like, ‘Hey, the Saints about to take Kenny, y'all gonna make a move?’” To which Vaccaro said the Cowboys replied, “'Nah, we don’t move up for safeties.’”

Graham Negotiations...

Jimmy Graham’s Agent Flies To New Orleans To Negotiate With Saints

By David “Satch” Kelly on Jun 17 2014, 2:44p 14

External image
Jonathan Ferrey

Graham’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, flew to New Orleans from Memphis on Tuesday to negotiate with the Saints’ front office face to face, according to NOLA.com. Graham’s hearing is also being held in Metairie, according to the NFL Network, so that may be the more likely reason he flew in. There’s conflicting reports as to why exactly, so we shouldn’t get our hopes up that a deal is imminent. Arbitrator Stephen Burbank will hear arguments from the NFL Players Association and the NFL Management Council to determine if Graham should be officially labeled as a tight end or a wide receiver for franchise-tag purposes. The proceedings will be held privately and it’s unclear how long it will take Burbank to issue a ruling, though one week is a fair guess based on past arbitration hearings.

Sean's drafting record

2010 Draft Class

 1 32 Patrick Robinson, Cornerback

 2 64 Charles Brown, Offensive Tackle

 3 95 Jimmy Graham, Tight End

 4 123 Al Woods, Defensive Tackle

 5 158 Matt Tennant, Center

7 239 Sean Canfield, Quarterback

Analysis: Following their win in Superbowl XLIV, the Saints had a pretty lousy draft. The six players selected played in a combined 171 out of a possible 384 games (44.5%) and started a combined 86 games (22.4%). Two of the six players (Al Woods and Sean Canfield) never played in a single regular season game for the team. To complete the mediocrity of this draft class, four years later, only two of the six players drafted are still with the team (Patrick Robinson and Jimmy Graham).

The Gem: The Saints drafted a relatively unknown tight end from Miami in the third round. He turned out to be the best tight end in the NFL at the moment: Jimmy Graham. It was a bit of a reprieve for an otherwise pretty awful draft.

Ugh: Al Woods, the local product out of LSU was drafted in the fourth round. A wasted pick, as Woods never suited up for the Saints in a meaningful game and is now with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Grade: Thank God for Jimmy Graham.

Justin Gilbert Visiting Saints

NFL Draft 2014: Justin Gilbert Visiting Saints

By Dave Cariello  @CSCtweet

External image
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

One of the top available cornerbacks in the 2014 NFL Draft will be meeting with Saints this week.

Former Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert will be meeting with the Saints for a pre-draft visit, per his personal Twitter account.

Gilbert is one of the top cornerbacks available in the 2014 NFL Draft and is a potential first round draft choice. At 6-0, 200 pounds, Gilbert has good size to match his speed.  The All-American was also a Jim Thorpe Award finalist for the nation’s best defensive back

From Mike Triplett at ESPN.com: Loomis reiterated that the Saints have a plan for trimming the estimated $25 million in salary-cap space that will be required over the next three weeks. Although Loomis didn’t specify that plan, a huge part will include converting roster bonuses into signing bonuses with players like Junior Galette, Jairus Byrd, Jimmy Graham and Curtis Lofton. That simple tweak could save about $20 million right away, shifting those cap costs into future years. “I wouldn’t call it easy, yet we know what our plan is,“ Loomis told The Times-Picayune. "And we’ve known what it’s going to be for quite some time – in terms of just getting under the cap.”

Tackling woes

In 2014, the New Orleans Saints defense missed many tackles on a weekly basis. Even without a better pass rush and substantial improvement in coverage, better tackling would make the defense less susceptible to back-breaking plays.

In 2014 the Saints defense finished last in tackling efficiency! Basically, our guys squandered many opportunities to stop opposing offenses. According to Pro Football Focus, the Saints defense missed 148 tackles in 1092 snaps, about 13%. I was able to find that inside linebacker Curtis Lofton led his position with 22 missed tackles at a rate of 1 missed every 7.5 attempts. By comparison, James Laurinaitis only missed 4 but tallied to more snaps than Lofton. Cornerback Keenan Lewis missed 10 tackles coming at a rate of 1 miss for every 5.2 attempts. The back end of the defense was left virtually unprotected as safety Kenny Vaccaro missed 19 tackles at a rate of 1 miss for every 4.5 attempts. The surprise statistic of my fact finding mission was that the Saints special teams units was middle of the pack at 18 missed tackles, the exact same as Super Bowl participants the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. The Saints special teams unit is comprised of (hopefully) potential starters, so all is not lost.

The changes must begin now! The coaches may need to take a page from the youth football leagues and work on tackling with the players. As silly and simple as my theory may be, the league could help alleviate two major problems by embracing a return to fundamentals. The fact that tackling can be practiced without pads or full contact seems to make the suggestion reasonable. In particular, I’d love to hear that the Saints defensive players are working with coaches to get the tackling under control. So, if you’re reading this Kenny V, Mr. Lofton, and WestBank, please get back to basics and start taking advantage of the tackling opportunities!

Super Bowl 2014: Where Super Bowl XLVIII Ranks Among All-Time Worst
External image
Kevin C. Cox

Super Bowl XLVIII provided the world one of the most one-sided football games ever witnessed. Was it the worst Super Bowl ever though?

In  1984, Super Bowl XVIII provided us with the first blowout of the post-merger Super Bowl era. In that game, the Raiders dismantled the Redskins 38-9. The 29 point victory was, at the time, the largest margin of victory in Super Bowl history. Starting with that game, only 5 of the following 20 Super Bowls had final scores within single digits. 1984 through 2003 basically represented the era of the blowout Super Bowl.

Now 30 years later, the world witnessed the third largest blowout in Super Bowl history. Super Bowl XLVIII featured a 35 point win by the Seattle Seahawks over the Denver Broncos, 43-8. In the moment, many will rush to judge this game as the worst Super Bowl ever played, but will that opinion stand after hindsight? Well, there are many Super Bowl blowouts to chose from, but here are my top five worst Super Bowls of all-time. Where will this dumpster fire of a game end up?

***

#5 Super Bowl XXVII - Cowboys 52 - Bills 17

In one game, Buffalo lost their starting quarterback, their pride, and their third Super Bowl in a row. Dallas built a dynasty on the back of this performance, scoring the second most points in Super Bowl history and securing the third highest margin of victory in Super Bowl history, 35 points (tied with XLVIII Seahawks). The young and loose Cowboys crushed the tense veteran Bills, and they’d do so again, in a lesser way, just one year later.

***

#4 Super Bowl XXXVII - Buccaneers 48 - Raiders 21

This one wasn’t even as close as the 27 point margin of victory indicated. The Raiders were dim enough to run the exact same playbook that Bucs head coach Jon Gruden created, against him, guess how that worked out? Raiders QB Rich Gannon threw 5 interceptions in that game, 3 of those were pick-sixes of 44 yards or longer. This was the first time the #1 offense (Oakland) faced the #1 defense (Tampa) and well, it looks like we know how those match ups work out. This was an absolute laugher throughout, even the Tampa defense thought the game was funny.

***

#3 Super Bowl XXXV - Ravens 34 - Giants 7

Giants offensive coordinator Sean Payton oversaw arguably the worst offensive performance in Super Bowl history. To be fair though, both offenses were mediocre, it was Baltimore’s historic defense that ruled that game. Giants QB Kerry Collins threw 4 INT’s against the suffocating Ravens defense, as the Giants could only muster 152 yards of total offense. The Giants’ only touchdown came on a kickoff return following a Collins pick six. That kickoff touchdown was effectively negated by a subsequent Ravens TD on the following kickoff. This was about the most boring football game I’ve ever witnessed.

***

#2 Super Bowl XLVIII - Seahawks 43 - Broncos 8

#1 offense in Denver vs #1 defense in Seattle, we all saw how well that worked out in the Bucs/Raiders Super Bowl. Well, this one was worse. Seattle dragged the Broncos’ lifeless carcass up and down the field for 4 quarters. The game became comical early on, even from Denver’s first play from scrimmage, this game was a disaster. Denver looked lost, intimidated, and thoroughly unprepared. Whether Seattle’s performance will lead to a Dallas-like dynasty or a Bucs/Ravens one-off, remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure, Peyton Manning’s going to catch more flak for this loss than any player has ever had to endure. The only thing that can soften the blow is that he’s won a Lombardi, as this loss could’ve put him in the Jim Kelly and pre-1998 John Elway echelon.

***

#1 Super Bowl XXIV - 49ers 55 - Broncos 10

I know we’re all “living in the moment”, but look at that score again. This is the granddaddy of all Super Bowl skull-draggings. San Francisco scored eight touchdowns in that game… eight. The 1988 49ers were just about as complete a football team as was ever assembled, and they were the defending Super Bowl champions. Denver QB John Elway (who is a major factor in both #1 and #2 on this list) threw for only 108 yards, no TD’s and 2 INT’s. 49er defensive players said they had to console Elway during the game, as his Broncos were being blown out for the third Super Bowl in the last four years. Denver amassed only 167 yards of total offense compared to San Francisco’s 461 yards. It was as thorough and complete a dismantling of a football team as has ever been witnessed on the world stage. If you could stand the Niners, then maybe you enjoyed this game, I cannot, and I could not. A few teams have been close, including this weekend, but it will take a special effort to eclipse the 45 point margin of victory to complete the biggest dumptrucking in Super Bowl history.

***

That’s how I see it, tell us what you think is the worst Super Bowl of all time. Leave us your comments and insight below. Here’s to a much better Super Bowl in 2015, preferably with the New Orleans Saints hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in the end.

Saints biggest needs for 2015

External image

3. Interior Offensive Line

I know some draft analysts (Kiper) have projected the Saints to take an Offensive tackle in the first round, and though I can understand the reasoning, I think they’re looking at the wrong part of the line. Perhaps one of the biggest positional drop-offs from 2013 to 2014 was guard play. In 2013, the Saint’s boasted two Pro-Bowl guards who largely held their own throughout much of the season. Thus, last year the major concern was the Left Tackle spot, from which current Chicago Bear Jermon Bushrod departed. After theCharles Brown experiment was done away with, Terron Armstead filled in and has established himself as a solid starter at the position. Indeed, he is only improving over time and could definitely be a young centerpiece of the line of the future. With Armstead alleviating some Tackle concerns and Zach Strief resigned, anxiety only remained over the Center position going into 2014 and was pegged by some (myself included) as the biggest wildcard on offense. However, little did we know, it was the Guards who would struggle just as much if not more.

Both Ben Grubbs and Future Saint’s Hall of Famer Jahri Evans’ play have deteriorated over the last season (and some might argue over the last two seasons despite their Pro-Bowl designations). To make the situation more pressing, the Saint’s guards are getting paid with the best of the them at the position and are thus falling far short of their contracts. Both player’s contacts end after the 2016 season leaving the team on the hook for two more years. Considering the cap pressure however, it is possible that the team may part ways a season early to find some cap relief. Thus, the Saints need to start looking past their aging line to the future.

With the staple of the Saint’s franchise being their offense, the Offensive line has been their most valued asset second only to Quarterback. It is therefore imperative that Saint’s shore up that line – the interior, in particular, which is most pertinent to said Quarterback’s success. The good news is that of all that has been said of the staff’s inefficiency concerning the development of cornerbacks, the exact opposite can be said of offensive lineman. Under Sean Payton, the Saint’s have excelled at developing lineman at every position on the line, turning overlooked draft picks into All-pros in the interior, and maximizing each players worth in a seemingly endless rotation on the exterior. With this in mind, hopefully the Saint’s can work their magic once again and pluck some late-round picks and develop them into anchors for the future line. I trust no one more than our coaching staff to achieve this goal, and thus find that position to be the most likely addressed in the late-rounds or undrafted free-agency.

A look at drew's season

Brees has had some consistency issues over this year. While still one of the best quarterbacks in the league this year, his play has seemingly dropped off as one of the top 3 guys in the NFL. Is it a matter of scheme, not enough weapons around Brees or is Brees finally becoming human?

A: The case of Drew Brees this year has been a bit of an enigma. As you stated, he is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league: (8th in QB rating at 95.9, 6th in total QBR at 73.5 and 9th with a DVOA of 17.9%). On the other hand, he already has thrown 10 interceptions through 10 games and has turned the ball over in all but one game. The main issue is that with the Saints’ defense being as bad as it has been, Brees has forced a lot of throws, trying to win games by himself. He has developed a sort of “Brett Favre Syndrome,” thinking himself invincible, flipping the ball up with defenders draped all over him, trying to make plays where there aren’t any to be made. So I guess the answer is Brees has definitely become more human this year. He had similarly average years in 2007, 2008 and 2012, all years in which the Saints had bad defenses and missed the playoffs. If his subpar play continues in 2015, then we might start wondering if Drew Brees has started the slow descent into Father Time’s abyss.

External image