Avoiding a 2nd half collapse (1 Viewer)

Great Dane

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We did it in 1993 and horribly in 2002 (well 2001 and 2003 as well). The Falcons did it last year. The main reason? Defense.

So what can the coaches and players do to avoid this again? This said our schedule is absolutely brutal. Our offense is doing well so I will focus on defense and special teams:

Defense:
- We got to pressure the QB!
- We have to be better on 3rd down (although the team did well against the Bucs)
- We got to have an excellent red zone defense. I can accept FG's but not too many TD's. The defense has to take this personal
- Turnovers! Our defense is not gettingtoo many. We need more INTS and forced fumbles
- Our CB's and safeties need support. They are the weakest link and I think teams will have looked at tapes and come throwing at us big time! (next game is a perfect test)

Special teams
- Field advantage will be key. Let's be smart about this
- I like the fact we have Lewis back as he clearly is the best return man.
- Continue to use Bush. You never know. He might pop another one
 

Scott B

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Biggest thing in my opinion is to keep Drew Brees healthy. As long as Brees is healthy, the Saints have a shot.
 

aosinc

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payton won't allow it ,saints 10 and 6 ,win division go to playoffs, its for real.
 

mvtrucking

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I agree completely with your post GreatDane especially on the pressuring of the QB. That in itself will help a weak secondary. We saw a bit more blitzing against the Bucs and we may against the Steelers too. I think Ben R. can be pressured into throwing a pick or two, as he has thrown quite a few in the 3 loss skid for the Steelers.
 
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Great Dane

Great Dane

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MVT

You are right. Big Ben is still completing over 64% of his passes and moving the chains nicely. They have great WR's so he must still feel a bit dizzy after those accidents/injuries.
 

Colin311

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Maybe it's me but I don't see the 2nd half of our schedule as that brutal. Yes, prior to the season opener I would have thought so but it looks rather promising for us now. Pitt and Cincy are in shambles. Atl will be a tough game as will Carolina only cause they are division games. San Fran is in a rebuilding process. Dallas and Washington are jokes. NY are overrated! 14-2
 

whodatfever

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payton won't allow it ,saints 10 and 6 ,win division go to playoffs, its for real.
So we go 4-4 for the remainder? Wait, just checked it. Pittsburgh, Cinnci, Atlanta, Dallas, Carolina and the Giants left so...yeah, I'll take 4-4.
 
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Great Dane

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Maybe it's me but I don't see the 2nd half of our schedule as that brutal. Yes, prior to the season opener I would have thought so but it looks rather promising for us now. Pitt and Cincy are in shambles. Atl will be a tough game as will Carolina only cause they are division games. San Fran is in a rebuilding process. Dallas and Washington are jokes. NY are overrated! 14-2
I like your optimism, but am glad you are not on the coaching staff. We are lucky to go 4-4 in the 2nd half. Possible wins: 49'rs, Redskins, Panthers, Bengals. The rest are tuff, tuff games
 

Paul

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All very solid points.
One thing I think we saw over the past few years was the lack of intensity by the Saints in the 2nd half of the season. Almost every team, even those who are clearly not going to make the playoffs, play very hard during the 2nd half of the season, but we always seemed to do the opposite. This time out -I believe that we raise our level of play from the first half of the season.
 

kfran

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payton won't allow it ,saints 10 and 6 ,win division go to playoffs, its for real.
10-6 at this point is not very promising, if you believe this team is something special.

Don't get me wrong - After last year, and the past few, in fact... 10-6 should be welcomed, and it would be... But that would also mean a second half of 4-4.

That's not the kind of second half record a team heading into the playoffs would want, if they intend on going deep into the post season.

Look at the last few years - Teams that were hot at the end of the year and made the post season, are the ones that go deep. I.E. Pitt and Carolina last year, even though Carolina lost the NFC championship game.

I believe this Saints team won't accept a second half any less than its first half.
 

Jake

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we have horrible red zone defense. I think the last 11 times an oppenent was in the red zone we gave up a td
 
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All very solid points.
One thing I think we saw over the past few years was the lack of intensity by the Saints in the 2nd half of the season. Almost every team, even those who are clearly not going to make the playoffs, play very hard during the 2nd half of the season, but we always seemed to do the opposite. This time out -I believe that we raise our level of play from the first half of the season.
Look at the past coaches-

Jim Mora-he was never a second half coach to begin with(see Indy)

Mike Ditka-the game long passed him by during his days here

Jim Haslett-Couldn't blame him completely. Mueller brought in trash early on. And if it weren't for Katrina, who knows how they would have done last year. Didn't they almost nab a playoff spot finishing strong in '04?
 

rbenet

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I think 4-4 is a bit pessimistic, too. All of the games left on the schedule are winnable, considering how we've been playing. But we can expect to drop at least 2 of those. I think 12-4 is a realistic expectation (assuming we continue playing like we have been, and no major injuries).
 

geauxboy

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We do need to keep up the pressure on the QB's. Especially against the Steelers when they run the ball. That may mean we will use 8 in the box which will expose our DB's into tighter coverage longer. I think our pass coverage from the CB's has been ok as I have noticed on many occassions that the CB is in great position. Just doesn't go their way. The DB's need to CATCH THE BALL too. The thrid down percentage has GOT to get better.

Special teams is not a concern of mine. It hasn't been great, but we have two dangerous returners that can break it at any time. Our kick/punt coverage has been rather good IMO especially the open field tackles. In the past, I would cringe when I would see one on one coverage on a punt return only to see the Saints defender either wiffing completely or doing a bad arm tackle. This year, I'm seeing some good indivdual efforts and better tackling techniques.

Look at it this way, at least we aren't in prevent defense with 8 minutes to go in the game with an 8 point lead. I could never understand going into prevent mode with that much time left. If your original D gameplan worked, WHY change it now?
 

ThibodauxSaint

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I don't think we'll see a collapse this year. I was listening to Archie Manning on the radio the other night and he was talking about how coaches in this league and are smart and can find any weakness we have. Right now we are pretty solid on the both sides of the ball. In the 2001 and 2002 seasons where we collapsed you could see we had major deficiencies on defense and that eventually caught up with us. Although our defense is not the greatest this year I still think they are a better unit than we had in those seasons.

The proof that we don't have any glaring weaknesses came in the Tampa Bay game Sunday. That was the first time we played a team for the second time this season. The Bucs studied the tape of the first game and you know they looked for any deficiencies they could find to exploit and what happened? We won by a larger margin than we did in the first game. That proved to me right there that we have a solid team.
 
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