I know you want to read this just about as much as I wanted to write it in the first place, but here we are. Take another look at the statistics if you'd like, then get right to the Review of HansDat's Hot Reads from the Chiefs game.
PRIMARY OPTION - PROTECT DREW BREES
What I'd Like To See: Everyone on the team playing well enough to allow Brees to just focus on doing his own job. I want to see him back there looking comfortable and in control, taking what the Chiefs are giving him, living to fight another play, another drive, and another day. That means no sacks, no INTs, at least a 65% completion rate, and a VICTORY for the Saints.
What I Saw: Some brief glimmers of hope, but mostly inconsistency and then a big fat LOSS at the end. Brees looked brilliant on the first drive, decent on the second, but then it all faded. By the time it was all said and done, he was hit 8 times and sacked 4 times (OUCH!), in the third quarter he underthrew a ridiculous INT on a second down from the Kansas City 29, and only completed 55% of his passes. Hot Read: FAILED.
CHECKDOWN # 1 - RUSH TO JUDGEMENT
What I'd Like To See: This is going to take two segments. First, just give Sproles the damn ball in the backfield, ok? Second, the defense needs to hold the Chiefs to close to 100 rushing yards while the offense rolls up well over 100 yards.
What I Saw: Well, they gave Darren Sproles the damn ball in the backfield to the tune of 7 carries for 62 yards (47 of which came on the third play of the game), but then they did the exact opposite of what I called for in allowing 273 rushing yards by the Chiefs (and a shameful 233 of them to Jamaal Charles alone), while only putting up 83 of their own. Even though I got the Sproles part right, I'm still calling this a Hot Read: FAILED.
CHECKDOWN # 2 - GRAB THIRD DOWN BY THE THROAT AND MAKE IT THEIR B****
What I'd Like To See: The Saints turn this right around and hold the Chiefs under 40% while converting at least 60% of their own third downs.
What I Saw: A whole mess of ugliness on third down. The Saints held the Chiefs under 40% (7 of 18), but they also held themselves to 38% (5 of 13), so it was pretty much a push, which made it a loss. Hot Read: PARTIALLY ACHIEVED.
SAFETY VALVE - WIN THE RACE TO 30 (POINTS)
What I'd Like To See: The Saints be the first team to reach 30 points. Hell, I really want them to be the only team to reach at least 30 points this week, but in 2012, I am a beggar who's far from feeling like he has the luxury of choosing, so I'm going to take a win however they can get it, even if they give up 30 to the low-scoring Chiefs.
What I Saw: Both teams fail to even reach the finish line in this Race to 30. The Saints were chugging right along making the Chiefs eat their dust, but then they stumbled and fell face first into the pavement just as the finish line came into sight, and were ultimately unable to even get up and crawl any further. Then, the Chiefs came sauntering along the race course, walked right over the top of the lifeless corpse of the Saints and then sat down short of the finish line themselves, spinning around on their bottom to laugh and laugh at the Saints for not even making them finish the race to win. Hot Read: FAILED.
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OK, so this is what an 0-3 Hot Reads Review feels like. Good thing it only lasts until Sunday, because I don't like it much. And I'm hoping it gets replaced by a 1-3 Review (Who'd a thunk it would come to that already?). What are your thoughts? How are you feeling about this review?...and this team?