We're back, bitches!!!
It's about damn time, and I pity the poor New York Giants for having to be the first team the Saints play at the start of their four-game winning streak to end the regular season.
How are you feeling about their chances today? Is Brees ready to bounce back? Do you think Brees is ready to bounce back? Another question that keeps coming to mind is...Is Brees ready to bounce the %^&$ back? He'd better be.
**Let's use this comment area as our pre-pre-pre-game Open Thread. In case you've forgotten how that works, just drop in and let us know what you think of the Hot Reads, discuss your gameday gear, food, and beverage plans, and give us your take on the team's chances of winning today.**
And be sure to check back here at noon-thirty Eastern time for the Early Games Open Thread!
But right now, it's time to dig into HansDat's Hot Reads...
Drew Brees has been benefiting from me calling for his protection for long enough, and it's time for him to PROTECT US. Following those terrible performances in the last two games, he owes us a stellar game full of well-placed passes to his teammates, and not to the other guys.
What I'd Like To See: Brees protect us from himself with no interceptions and many on-target passes to his receivers and running backs, both deep and short, from sideline to sideline.
Checkdown # 1
The one-dimensional Saints team struggles to win, so they absolutely CANNOT ABANDON THE RUN. Are you listening to me, Pete Carmichael, Jr.?
What I'd Like To See: A wide variety of running plays called at both expected and unexpected times using a variety of the healthy backs available to Petey-boy in this game. And if someone shows himself to be effective at running as the game unfolds, keep feeding it to him, dammit!! I don't have a specific number of carries or yards in my head, but just be able to keep the chains moving with a blend of run-pass and cause some hesitation on the play-action fakes.
Checkdown # 2
Brees definitely blew the clock management at the end of the first half of the Falcons game, but he certainly wasn't helped by coaches calmly preparing him for every scenario so he'd be able to to handle whatever happened. For this reason I'm calling on the lot of them to GET SMART.
What I'd Like To See: Evidence that these guys reviewed the two-minute playbook this week. No pop quizzes, just performance-based tasks on the field. Good focus and an appropriate sense of urgency would help, as would keeping an eye on the clock in the waning seconds so you know how much time you have left.
The team seems absolutely rife with butterfingers on both sides of the ball lately, and that needs to stop. Those NCMFers MUST BECOME PCMFers.
I'll call some of them out by name right now: Malcolm Jenkins, you cannot jump a route and then let the ball bounce off you and then to the receiver. Jimmy Graham, don't even get me started on you, and Lance Moore and Darren Sproles know exactly what I'm talking about. I'd lay into TUSK, too, but he's probably not even going to play, so I'll save it for later.
What I'd Like To See: Make all the routine catches you normally make, plus at least 4 out of 5 ridiculous grabs that make me shake my head, clap my hands, and stand up and get crunk.
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So there you have it. Another delicious serving of HansDat's Hot Reads. I'm quite ready for this game, I must say. I think it's about to be the start of something wonderful for the Saints and their fans.