Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Thanks for Reminding Me, Easterbrook

I really enjoy Gregg Easterbrook's TMQ column.

This week, his comments about the Saints are especially stinging. The truth will set us free:
Stats of the Week No. 9: New Orleans gained 729 total yards (offensive yards and kick returns), and lost.
* * * *
Sweet 'N' Sour Play: Trailing New Orleans 27-20 midway through the fourth quarter, pass-challenged Minnesota, with 15-year seven-times-waived retread Gus Frerotte at quarterback, completed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian for the tie, then went on to win. That was sweet. Extra sweet for the Hyperboreans was winning on the road despite being held to 44 yards rushing. As for the Saints, their much-criticized defense held Adrian Peterson to 32 yards on 21 carries, yet they lost. That was sour. Extra sour was the situation on the Berrian touchdown. Minnesota faced a third-and-16. If you play straight defense, the odds favor a stop, followed by a long field goal attempt, which, even if successful, still leaves the home team with the lead. You've already guessed that New Orleans big-blitzed. New Orleans blitzed eight men, a tactic rarely seen because it is practically an engraved invitation to score a touchdown. Had New Orleans simply played straight defense on this snap, victory would have been likely.


Nicholas said...

The Saints were snakebitten in that game. While I was happy for my Vikes to come away with the win, they didn't do much to deserve it. Unimaginative play-calling, poor execution, mind-bendingly bad special teams play, etc.

Brees, Bush, and company deserved to win, but that's football . . . when the Football Gods will you to win, you win in spite of yourself. And vice-versa.

jeffrey said...

Eaterbrook's anti-blitz thing isn't as solid as he thinks it is. On the 3rd and 9 before Gramatica's miss, the Vikes brought everybody. Brees adjusted, Devery didn't. The blitz worked.