Cowboys Don't Eat Turkey: Week 12 (1 Viewer)

St. PJ

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For the last couple of months we've been wondering where our offense from last year's superbowl run went. We've been wondering why we haven't seen explosive plays (plays resulting in 20+ yard gains) in both the running and passing game with frequency. There's been much discussion concerning Drew Brees' health, has Henderson regressed, what's the story with Meachem, why don't we run it more, does Payton have the pass happy virus, is our offensive line underperforming, and so on.

The answer to me was obvious all along and I've been yelling it at the top of my lungs. The following is a quote from former GM Pat Kirwin, who currently writes for NFL.com and is a radio personality for Sirius Moving The Chains with Tim Ryan:

"The Saints' pass offense is really designed to attack the safeties with the slot receiver and tight end. No one does a better job than Drew Brees of putting the safeties in a bind with a quick-rhythm passing game inside. Linebackers really want to carry these receivers to the safeties and not give Brees the quick-seam routes.

When Bush is in the backfield, especially in the offset alignment, the linebackers are very cautious about carrying the receivers to the safeties because it leaves one linebacker in space to handle Bush. Brees has an easy read. If the linebackers drop deep with his inside receivers, Brees comes right to Bush. If the linebackers squat in short coverage, Brees hits Colston or Lance Moore down the seam. Coaches refer to this as an over/under principle and no one does it better than New Orleans when Bush is on the field.
"

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000...s-return-gives-saints-muchneeded-threat-decoy

Bush demands the defenses' attention. He forces them to be accountable to him. In many cases, he forces brackett coverage-- where a LB stays with him during the short/intermediate area and a Safety takes over once Bush gets to the second level. The significance, as Kirwin explained, is that it forces a defense to show their hand sooner than they would like and allows Drew the quick read. If the coverage goes to Reggie quickly, it leaves a TE or a slot WR open in the seam route, or one on one where Drew can throw him open.

This, coupled with an explosive TE who can get separation (Shockey last year, Graham this year-- Shockey lost a step), really forces a defense to pick its poison and makes it harder to disguise coverages-- especially when Drew puts anyone in motion before the snap of the ball. Having Bush and a TE who DEMAND brackett coverage-- that over/under philosophy Kirwin touched on, leaves our WR's with one guy to beat and no safety over the top. And until Graham stepped up last week, our offense has seen two deep safeties ever since Bush got hurt. Which is exactly why it has looked so different.

Now all that is about to change. With Bush and Graham garnering enough respect to demand that brackett coverage, we will see many more explosive plays. We will see Robert or Devery or Lance or Colston or Dave Thomas streaking up the numbers or hashmarks and Drew throwing him open or throwing to him while he is wide open. We will see a defense stretched both vertically and horizontally and in return, we will see that "balance" we were missing because it will drastically open up the run game.

Now if that's not exciting, I don't know what is. Dallas will have to worry about our resurgance-- not vice versa. You see, when push comes to shove, Jason Garrett gets "the Virus". If Dallas truly wanted to host their superbowl, all year long, they would have relied on their run first. It's what their offensive line is built for. They have bohemoth lineman whose strength is pushing another man forward, not pass protection. The Saints offensive line isn't overly big-- they're versatile enough to do both, given we have those mismatches that open things up and stretch the defense vertically.

Dallas is playing like they should have played from the start of the season, and the overall feeling is good. They are able to place all the blame on Wade Phillips and forget their part in the awful start as long as they keep playing this way. Its really conveinant for them, considering its the same players and the same offensive coordinator who stank it up the first two months.

But here's the difference between the Dallas team you've seen the last two weeks and the Dallas team you'll see Thanksgiving day: they are about to have to play from behind against a team with all its weapons in play. When they played the Giants two weeks ago, they were facing a previously hot team who just lost 3 offensive lineman and a slew of WR's. When they played Detroit last week, they were playing a team with a revolving door at QB, bad coaching resulting in a very emotional loss to the Jets the previous week and internal questions. Dallas caught those two teams at the perfect time. They won't be so lucky against the Saints.

Remeber how Drew Brees exposed the NY Giants defense last year? I'm not sure expose is the right word for what he'll do to Dallas, but perhaps REMIND is more fitting. Drew Brees will remind Dallas why they got into the position they are in. The match-ups he will get, the mismatches that will be created will force Dallas to get away from that all important balance. A rested Sharper and Jenkins along with a healthy Porter and Greer will remind Jon Kitna once again why he's a back-up.

This isn't a depleted offense they are facing (like New York). This isn't a depleted defense they are facing (like Detroit's secondary). This is a team that can match blow for blow land a haymaker or two. And as we all know, when Dallas gets hit in the mouth, they cry and curl up in the fetal position and beg you to make it stop.

I think this game will start close, but come the second half, the Saints will pull away and win by 10 points or more. I think it will be doom and gloom and "fire Jerry" all over again in Dallas.

Saints 35, Dallas 24.

Stat Time

Offense

5. Saints-- 382 ypg, 5.6 ypp, 50% 3rd down conversion, 23.5 points pg, 33:10 time of possession, -4 turnover margin

11. Dallas-- 356 ypg, 5.8 ypp, 41% 3rd down, 22.9 ppg, 29:19 TOP, -6 TOM

Passing Offense

3. Saints-- 287 ypg, 7.1 ypa, 69.5% completion, 22 TD, 14 Int, 29 20+ yard passes, 14 sacks given up, 93.3 QB rating

5. Dallas-- 273 ypg, 7.6 ypa, 66.7% completion, 21 td, 14 int, 38 20+ yard plays, 18 sacks given up, 92.5 qb rating

Rushing Offense

26. Saints-- 95.5 ypg, 3.9 ypc, 4 tds, 4 fumbles, 4 20+ yard runs

29. Dallas-- 83.9 ypg, 3.7 ypc, 3 tds, 1 fumble, 4 20+ yard runs

Defense

4. Saints-- 291 ypg, 5.0 ypp, 36% 3rd down, 17 points per game

22. Dallas-- 353 ypg, 5.7 ypp, 42% 3rd down, 27.1 points per game

Passing Defense

2. Saints-- 186 ypg, 6.4 ypa, 60.8% completion, 7 td, 6 int, 22 20+ yard passes, 19 sacks, 78.8 qb rating

21. Dallas-- 235 ypg, 7.7 ypa, 67.8% completion, 22 td, 8 int, 35 20+ yard passes given up, 20 sacks, 103.2 opposing qb rating

Rush Defense

13. Saints-- 105 ypg, 4.1 ypc, 6tds, 4 fumble recoveries, 6 20+ yard runs

22. Dallas-- 117 ypg, 4.3 ypc, 6 tds, 7 fumble recoveries, 10 20+ yard runs


Pick-Em

Last Week: 10 wins, 6 losses
Season Total: 95 wins, 65 losses

This Week's Picks:

New England over Detroit-- New England is very dangerous right now, but I don't fear them. Detroit needs to take a long look in the mirror, and though I like the head coach, he needs to do a better job.

New Orleans over Dallas-- short week and the road team, and Vegas still knows the score. Saints are rightly favored.

New York Jets over Cincinatti-- Three weeks in a row I pick the Jets to lose in an upset. Three weeks in a row, the win in the last minute in imporbable fashion. How about some reverse vodoo? I'm picking the Jets to win and hoping the lose. Though I'd really like to stick it to them in the Superbowl. Them or the Patriots, that's my hope.

Green Bay over Atlanta-- Upset #1. I think Green Bay is the better team, I want Atlanta to lose, do I really need to explain it more?

Pittsburg over Buffalo-- Why do I think this game is going to go the other way and I'll be laughing about it?

Cleveland over Carolina-- I don't think I can ever pick the Panthers for the rest of this season.

Jacksonville over NY Giants-- Upset #2. The Giants had the perfect gameplan against the Eagles despite their myraid of injuries. I think Jacksonville will struggle against the Gaints defense, but I think the host of injuries the Giants have at WR and OL give way to the same kind of mental errors and turnovers that cost them the last two weeks.

Washington over Minnesota-- Maybe getting rid of Chilly has the same affect of getting rid of Wade Phillips and the Vikings play like they did last year. I think they are banged up at critical positions, and I think they should be starting that other QB. So until then, go Skins.

Houston over Tennessee-- Rusty ___ or Chris Simms? I'll take Houston with their terrible coahcing and all.

Oakland over Miami-- uh, I hate this pick. Don't even want to talk about it. Maybe the Dolphins pull their head out of their you know what, but I like Oakland's ability to run in this one.

Kansas City over Seattle-- This game could really go either way, but I'm picking the team who can run.

Chicago over Philidelphia-- Upset #3. I think Chicago has the team speed on defense and the defensive line to make Vick look like the Vick of old.

Denver over St. Louis-- I like Bradford, but I like Orton more right now.

Baltimore over Tampa Bay-- Earth to Tampa: "it's time you come back down".

San Diego over Indianapolis-- Upset #4. Earth to Manning: "it's time you come back down".

San Francisco over Arizona-- come on Troy Smith, I want you to do good.
 

Saint Jeremy

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But Reggie is a bust! And he makes too much money!!!!

Not only the Cowboys, but some Saints fans will look like turkeys after the game tomorrow.
 

AARPSaint

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Good information, but I wonder about this:

This isn't a depleted defense they are facing (like Detroit's secondary).

If both Sharper and Jenkins are missing, that's a depleted secondary. The good news there is that Robinson seems likely to return.
 
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St. PJ

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Good information, but I wonder about this:

This isn't a depleted defense they are facing (like Detroit's secondary).

If both Sharper and Jenkins are missing, that's a depleted secondary. The good news there is that Robinson seems likely to return.

It was my understanding that both probably could have played last week but the staff did the prudent thing and listed them as out b/c of the short week and upcoming Dallas posing more of a threat.

But more to the point, even if they are out (against Dallas), the Saints have a better secondary than Detroit. Detroit may not be depleted from injuries, but they are devoid (depleted) of talent at CB. Alphonso Smith has made good on his second chance, and I do like the S they have, but they don't come close to the Saints secondary, even minus Sharper/Jenkins.
 

JustaSharkie

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"Now if that's not exciting, I don't know what is. Dallas will have to worry about our resurgance-- not vice versa."

I'm 100% all-in with this statement. Great Post, PJ.
 

RazorSaint

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I don't care if it's by a point or 30, I just want a win here. It's a huge week with GB/ATL and PHI/CHI, not to mention the banged-up Giants playing the resurgent Jags and the Bucs playing at the heavily favored Ravens. With a win we're guaranteed to gain ground on at least 2 if not 3 or 4 of the teams we're jockeying with for playoff positioning.

With a Saints win, we'll be tied for the best record in the NFC with either 3 or 4 other teams (4 teams being dependent on the Bucs winning) and we probably have the easiest remaining schedule of the bunch, with Philly being a possible exception. Then again 4 of their last 5 are divisional, and those games are always dicey.
 

WhoDAt1977

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I don't think Dallas gets 24 points not with the defense allowing basically 1 td per game.

Saint's. 35
Girls 3

Just my 2 cents
 
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St. PJ

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I don't think Dallas gets 24 points not with the defense allowing basically 1 td per game.

Saint's. 35
Girls 3

Just my 2 cents

I hope we blow them out, I really do. But I'm a little scared of the all around play of Dez Bryant, the size of Roy Williams, and the route running of Miles Austin. And don't they have Witten? A little scared means more than a FG. I'd be a lot scared if Dallas decided today was the day the forgot they had a passing game and leaned on the running game, even when things got dicey. If they do that, and commit to staying balanced, our defense will have a tough time as it did last year because they are built from an o-line standpoint to shove it down your throat, yet they choose to pass to much because of all the shiny toys at their disposal.

My fanatic part of fandom only goes back to adulthood. I watched every game since I was about 6 or 7, but I really got into it as a serious pasttime around 18 or so. And from that time on, my favorite Dallas game was win we were having a horrible season and Jake Delhomme gave us an early Christmas present. That was topped by 2006 when Sean Payton embarassed them so bad that Bill Parcells said xxxx it and took a knee to end the game. A blowout on turkey day in their stadium wouldn't top either of those two, but it would be a nice 3rd place since my fandom really kicked in.
 

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JMHO, but, I think we're going to see Remi bind up the middle to shut that down, we've got Shanle and Clark to handle the screens and end runs with JV just itch'in to BALL and Roman coming up for the BIG HITS to jar the balls loose, and a sqaud of DB's who wear bow ties very well and can bring an INT. Party just about anytime! Love to see me some Roman Sacks tomorrow and some " Ball OUT HEROS!". T/O Differential tomorrow should be a Big Part in The Game as some Real Warriors will be together since a while and looking to out do each other, pushing each other to "BE THE MAN!"!

Drew knows what to do with the ball and these INT's he's given up this season have him P/O'ed and he'll have no more of it! Great protection, Great Pocket Presence. Quick Feet and will read the Defenses like they were in crayon simple formations!

Final Score after a dallas 3-0 lead after the they're first drive just to pump up their crowd and then the onslaught begins! I say; SAINTS 42 dallas 13 w/ at least ONE SCORE from OUR "D"! Greer? Porter? even Sharper just may join in on That PARTY BABY!
 
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