Fleur-de-Links - Dec. 7th: Saints Defeat Bengals Despite Sloppy Play and Yet Another Blown Lead

What's up with all these penalties, man!?

Games like the one we saw the Saints win last Sunday can be exciting once victory is finally achieved after trailing late. Still, my heart would feel much better after a blowout beat-down. That was too close for comfort against a 2-9 team already eliminated from playoff contention. This is especially true after jumping out to a big lead early and then giving it up in the second half, which has happened more than once this season.

The Saints' disappearing act in the third quarter of multiple games this year has taken at least a year off my life. They've started games off red hot most weeks, but when they come out after halftime, they've either experienced a drastic drop-off in intensity or the other team has really ratcheted it up a notch. Not sure what's causing these third quarter woes, but I hope Payton figures it out soon. Looks like he'll be focusing heavily on reducing penalties this week (11 for 100 yards vs. Cincy, YIKES!).

Links and tweets after the jump.

TWEETS:

ChaseDaniel Up early to get some film work in with the QB's...maybe some Xmas shopping after??

Harp41 Up early on my way to this interview..Who Dat nation tune in Fox 8

Official_Saints Yahoo! RT @rehan_amin: @Official_Saints Check out what made Yahoo's front page! http://twitpic.com/3drjjv

Official_Saints Vote for @drewbrees for this week's FedEx Air Player of the Week! - http://bit.ly/BreesFedEx

Official_Saints Vote for @ivory_29 for Pepsi Rookie of the Week! - http://bit.ly/IvoryRookie

jeffduncantp Not right now. RT @gmercer9: @jeffduncantp Benson interested in Hornets?

jeffduncantp Common foes. Falcons win b/c of Saints' L to ARI. RT @P0L0PHRESH: If us & the falcons tie in conference & non-conference games, wut happens?

Official_Saints Meachem will be at Wal-Mart/8843 Veteran Mem. Blvd today at 5:15 pm signing autographs in exchange for toy donations! http://bit.ly/RMToys

HeathEvans It's amazing what the human brain can do when it has to survive...No more secrets! Only truths! I AM a survivor. - http://ow.ly/3ljCI #fb

HeathEvans my teammate @JeremyShockey to Lead a Team in the 2011 DRAMBUIE® Pursuit -- http://ow.ly/3lknh #nola #saints #greatguy

jeffduncantp Correct. Same thing for Jets. RT @scottyswillie: @jeffduncantp so basically the Saints can finish 13-3 and never have a home playoff game.

jeffduncantp Yes -- vs. other wild card team in the NFC Champiomship game. RT @TheJeffMadison: Any way to get home playoff game as a Wildcard?

Official_Saints Yes bring all the toys you can! RT @NalonRae: @Official_Saints will the Marines be at the Dome Sunday with the Toys for Tots?

Official_Saints Wouldn't want to be RB Cedric Benson in this photo: @JonVilma51 @Harp41 @IWillSmith @DannyClark55 http://twitpic.com/3duk27

Official_Saints Check out more exclusive Saints photos from the Bengals game here - http://bit.ly/NOCINphotos

Official_Saints Through 13 Weeks, the Saints are No. 3 in the NFL in total offense (389.4 ypg) & No. 9 in total defense (307.1 ypg)

Official_Saints The Saints are 1 of 5 teams (along with GB, NYG, PHIL, SD) that rank in the top 10 of both total offense & defense.

Official_Saints @DrewBrees ranks 1st in the NFL in comp. pct (69.5), 2nd in Atts (485), Comps (337) & TDs (25). He is 3rd in yds (3,634)

jgoody76 Hate when I say "sorry" to someone and they say nothing back! I would rather them say "you better be".

Official_Saints Set your DVRs! The Saints' dramatic 34-30 win at the Bengals will be featured on @NFLNetwork's NFL Replay show tonight at 8:15 pm CT

alexbrown96 Car is packed..... Heading to make some kids happy http://plixi.com/p/61590978

Official_Saints CALL OF THE GAME: Listen to @WWLAMFM's Jim Henderson call of Colston's game-winning TD! http://twaud.io/q4xT

 

SAINTS BARELY DEFEAT 2-9 BENGALS:

NFC South Week 13 decisive moment - NFC South Blog - ESPN
There are certain general rules in football that always seem to hold true: Defense wins championships. Win the turnover battle and you’ll win. And, when playing the Cincinnati Bengals, just be patient -- they’ll find a way to lose.

2theadvocate.com | Saints | Penalties concern Payton — Baton Rouge, LA
Payton said "most glaringly" the team needs to cut down on its penalties after being penalized 11 times for 100 yards against the Bengals. "It wasn’t just in one area," Payton said Monday at his weekly news conference.

2theadvocate.com | Saints | MICKLES: Saints find another way to get win — Baton Rouge, LA
The New Orleans Saints weren’t entirely happy about another too-close-for-comfort call, their second in just 11 days, on Sunday afternoon in Paul Brown Stadium.

All Sports Video - All Sports - FOX Sports on MSN
Saints @ Bengals highlights

NOLA.com: Payton doesn't see a trend in Saints' blown leads
"The pleasing aspect is, despite the penalties, despite the turnovers, despite third down (failures), despite some of these things that we're talking about, that we were able to get the win," Payton said. "It's a lot easier to come in after a win and clean these things up and I think we're smart enough as a team to ... not fool ourselves and to recognize those are things we're going to have to improve on."

Chris Ivory is becoming more and more confident in the New Orleans Saints offense | NOLA.com
"I've never looked at myself as a No. 1 guy, " Ivory said. "When my number is called, I'm just going to go out and just do what Chris can do. I'm not really focused on, 'Am I still going to get these carries or are they still going to play me as much as they are now and give me the ball as much as they are now?' Like I said, I've got a role on this team. I think everybody has a role. I think my role will still remain the same."

No-Brainer Freeze could go down as a big play for the New Orleans Saints: Film study | NOLA.com
Jeff Duncan's weekly breakdown of the Saints games

 

RAMS @ SAINTS:

Rams prepare for a strong Brees
It would help if the Rams jumped out to an early lead. If you fall behind the Saints you end up right where they want you, chasing your tail trying to keep up with them in an air-war when you’re outgunned. Staying within one score entering the 3rd and 4th quarters will be key. If you’re down double digits at the half and have to come out throwing, that plays right into Sean Payton’s hands.

Commentary: Saints can't fade in the stretch like last year | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
Sunday it took one of the most unlikely penalties of the year as the Saints enticed a Bengal defensive tackle to move a goose-bump into the neutral zone for them to win "the shiver by the river."

Burwell: Spags puts his stamp on Rams a game at a time
"They all know, we all know, we got a lot of work to do to accomplish what we wanted to at the beginning of the year," said Spagnuolo, "and that will begin with New Orleans on Sunday ... This team has been great that way. They have had a one-game approach all the way along, a one-practice approach. We're worried about Wednesday right now."

NFL playoff standings, updated after the Monday night game | NOLA.com
New Orleans Saints still sit at No. 5

 

LAGNIAPPE:

Looking at NFC South's best bargains - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Chris Ivory, running back, Saints, $321,666. He comes with a story very similar to Blount’s. With injuries to Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, Ivory has been the most consistent player in New Orleans’ backfield.

These guys are not bargains - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Jahri Evans, guard, Saints, $9.2 million. The Saints gave him a huge contract because a lot of people say he’s the best guard in the league. He can be that, at times, but he seems to have developed a knack for getting called for holding this year.

Sean Payton can throw red flags - NFC South Blog - ESPN
When it comes to replay challenges, New Orleans coach Sean Payton is clearly the king of the NFC South and one of the best in the entire NFL.

Falcons still on top in Power Rankings - NFC South Blog - ESPN
The Atlanta Falcons held onto the No. 1 spot in the ESPN.com Power Rankings for the fourth straight week -- but just barely.

New England Patriots supplant New York Jets atop NFL Power Rankings; New Orleans Saints are third | NOLA.com

NFL Power Ratings - Cream rising | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
The cream is rising to the top this week in the NFL with most of the top teams winning - save for those who faced each other (Tampa losing to Atlanta, Baltimore to Pitt and the Jets to New England).

NFL Network to "Replay" Saints Win at Bengals Tuesday

Meachem Holds New Orleans Toy Drive

T.J. Simers: Chargers returning to L.A.? - latimes.com
The way the political winds are blowing, the Chargers figure to be looking to move back to L.A. in 2012, where they could play in the Coliseum (their original home in 1960) until a new downtown stadium is ready. This could happen. Really.

The Sean Payton Show talks about pranks played on rookie players | NOLA.com
Talking about rookie pranks

Drew Brees' big dreams inspire teenagers in 'Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge' | NOLA.com
Edna Karr team wins $10,000 grand prize after creating a business with a $1,000 startup grant

 

VIDEO:

The Sean Payton Show Episode 213_Part 3 from Horizon Entertainment on Vimeo.


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