Brees: (whispering) GET OUT!! Get out while you still can!! This franchise is haunted! (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
The Saints did what they had to do to beat the Vikings on Sunday. Heck, they did waaaaay more than enough just to win. It was great.
What do you have to do to better understand that big win? Just make the jump and dig into your Wednesday morning treat - the review of my Hot Reads. See you on the Flipside.
Primary Option: PROTECT DREW BREES
What I'd Like To See: Allen and the rest of the Vikings defense held sackless, and Brees able to handle whatever pressure they generate off the ends with quick releases, timely draw plays, and successful dump/screen passes.
Brees was only hit twice and not sacked at all. He nimbly avoided what pressure they did apply, and otherwise had good time back there, doing whatever he damn well pleased, whenever he damn well wanted to. You think Honey Badger don't give a s***? Drew Brees don't give a s***, either, FYI. Thanks for the treat, stupid!
Hot Read: ACHIEVED.
Checkdown # 1: RUN WITH AUTHORITY
What I'd Like To See: Enough running plays to keep the Vikings defense honest throughout the game, some good short-yardage third down conversions, a couple/few runs of 15+ yards, and if the game calls for it, successfully running out the clock at the end (as opposed to what happened last week). I also want all these things to add up to 100+ yards.
38 rushes (vs. 41 passes), for 161 yards, nine first down runs, and a rushing TD by the Birthday Boy Flying Frenchman. The longest run was 14 yards, so they didn't bust any really long ones, and they couldn't really put the game entirely away on the ground late, and that disappoints me, but I really can't complain about much else about this rushing performance in a 22-point win. FYI, this was against a defense giving up an average of 101 yards per game.
Hot Read: ACHIEVED.
Checkdown # 2: DON'T GET STAR STRUCK
What I'd Like To See: Adrian Peterson (AP2K as I like to call him), with his 1000+ rushing/receiving yards and 12 total TDs, and Percy Harvin, with his 1100+ rushing/receiving yards and 6 total TDs, kept under wraps. Allow me to put some numbers on this. AP2K needs to gain less than 80 total yards, and score no more than 1 TD. Harvin can get up to 90 yards combined, but needs to be kept out of the end zone.
Not only weren't the Saints star-struck, but they actually struck down the stars pretty well in this here game. Peterson had 10 carries for 60 yards, 0 receptions, and 0 TDs. (Maybe he was on a post-injury pitch count?) Harvin carried once for -1 yards and 3 catches for 8 yards, he also didn't even get close to scoring.
Hot Read: ACHIEVED - BOOM!
Safety Valve: KEEP COOL
What I'd Like To See: Good restraint, control, focus, and self-discipline that results in five or less penalties assessed against the Saints. A sense of calmness, coolness, and collectedness that allows the Saints to adapt their game plan to match whatever the Vikings are giving them without getting frustrated into forcing things if the game does not go their way early on in the action.
Well, two giveaways in the first half giving the ball to the Vikes inside the Saints 30-yard line each time, along with a 3-0 deficit and a slim 7-6 lead early on. It was all right there for the Saints to relive the Rams game, but they didn't lose their s***, so that's a good thing.
They were unable to keep the penalties under five, however, but they were close to it (six for 65 yards), and it was a heck of a lot better than the 11 for 95 mess that was last week against the Titans.
Hot Read: HALFWAY ACHIEVED.
Bonus Hot Read: Be Ready For Anything
What I'd Like To See: The Saints in a heightened state of vigilance to allow them to be in a position to thwart any "roxy-roxy" plays (as my Dad calls them) by the Wikings, especially early on in the game. Plays of this sort include, but are not limited to: fake field goals, fake punts, reverses, halfback passes, and onside kick attempts.
By my count, the Vikings ran four "roxy-roxy" plays. Three of them involved backup QB Joe Webb jumping under center or somesuch nonsense plays that went for minimal or no gain, and one was an end-around to Harvin that lost a yard. Bam! Nice job, Saints.
The only thing that seemed to catch them off-guard was the onside kick called by THEIR OWN COACH. Coach Payton dials this play up, and the ball first eludes Courtney Roby, who had it between his hands and his chest as he was rolling forward into the fetal curl and then Will Herring has it in both hands, but he can't reel it in either!! I mean, C'MON, MAN!! Are you kidding me?!?
Hot Read: HALFWAY ACHIEVED
* * *
OK, the way I scored it, the Saints achieved 4 out of 5 of HansDat's Hot Reads this week for the win over the 2-12 Vikings of the Twin Cities. Not a bad Sunday's work, but I'm sure they will have to do better to beat those dastardly Falcons next Monday. (Thanks to Miss Butterfly for the word assist!!) Cue the picture of Matt Ryan twirling his handlebar moustache as he plots his next evil plan that is sure to be foiled by the Dudley Doright Saints (who don't play dirty!!)...
What's your take on my assessment - What'd I miss? What'd I nail? Who cares? Where's the burger option? Drew Breeees!!! TOP!!!! Feliz Noel!!!