Saints 33, Seahawks 27

Saints vs Seahawks: Good, bad and ugly

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The Saints went up to Seattle and came out with an impressive victory in Teddy Bridgewater's first start since the Drew Brees thumb injury. Here's what I observed in the 33-27 win over the Seahawks:

The Good

-Sean Payton's faith in Deonte Harris paid off when Harris returned a punt 53 yards for a touchdown after the defense forced a three and out. Payton is on record as saying he thinks the 5'6 170lb dynamo can one day become the league's best return guy. (This was the first punt return for touchdown in the league this year.)

-The refs let a potential fumble return for a touchdown play out this week! Eli Apple punched the ball free from Chris Carson, Vonn Bell picked it up and ran it in. The refs held their whistle, let it play out, and confirmed the call after a short review. Game changer because either the Seahawks worked their way up to 31 yard line after a punt was downed on the 4, or the Saints take a lead in a 7-7 game on the road mid way through the 2nd quarter.

-Alvin Kamara is arguably the best weapon Payton has ever had outside of Brees. He can do anything on the offensive side of the ball except pass. He rates as a plus runner, reciever, blocker, and return guy. 152 total yards and two touchdowns against on of the better defenses in the league is a testament to his abilities.

The Bad

-Noise and not focusing on details cost the Saints a 3rd down conversion in the 1st quarter. That led to a missed 3rd&13, a punt, a short field for the Seahawks and their first touchdown. 11 penalties for 70 yards is a good way to lose a road game.

-Michael Thomas got his first target at the 1:54 mark in the 2nd quarter, just after the two minute warning. Thats a long time to go before even getting a target for one of the best recievers in the league. One would think he'd get targeted just as much with Bridgewater instead of Brees.

-The Saints had a -21 yards rushing differential this game. Rushing yards differential is a good way to determine who normally wins/loses a game. You can't rely on the other team to make mistakes or lean too heavily on the pass and think you're going to win very many games, much less contend for a Super Bowl.

The Ugly

-The 1st quarter ended with more penalties (4) than 1st downs (1). This has been a constant struggle for the Saints so far this season. Penalties are drive killers on offense, and drive extenders on defense. Either way, it has to stop because the team is already fighting uphill for the next few weeks at least.

-The defense again ngave up over 400 yards of offense (515 to be exact). With Brees out, the defense will have to step up even more. This unit has the talent, yet they end up looking less than stellar again. Something has to be done. Dennis Allen's seat neds to be warming up if this doesn't get fixed.

-The Seattle rain was unrelenting. Players slipped and slided throughout the game. No one was surefooted. Carson lost a fumble and Bridgewater couldn't gain a handle on the ball on a 3rd&Goal from the about two feet out. Harris even muffed a punt that the Seahawks recovered. May have also played a factor in Lutz missing an extra point and field goal (even though the missed field goal was null and void due to a Seahawk penalty).

I was not expecting this type of win. Honestly, I wasn't expecting a win at all. Special shout out to punter Thomas Morestead who regularly put the Seahawks in less than favorable field position. Bridgewater completed 70% of his passes in a Brees-like performance. He still holds onto the ball too long and often appears unsure of what to do, but he looked more comfortable this week. Next week, they face the 3-0 Dallas Cowboys in what will be a real challenge for both teams. The Cowboys have faced cream puffs to start their season and the Saints will have a hard time containing the Cowboy's explosive offense. Sunday Night Football will be rocking in the Superdome!

The Hypocrisy of Bill O'Brien

Team, in Houston is spelled B-I-L-L

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Due to the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee being suspended, Brown alum Bill O'Brien decided to do us all a favor and spell team for us last week. The hypocrisy in the Texans' general manager and head coach taking on this task is quite overbearing.

As O'Brien attempted to explain how his moves as the general manager were making the team better, I could only smirk, thinking back to the summer of "alignment." It wasn't that long ago that Bill O'Brien had to get Rick Smith out because Smith obviously didn't understand what it meant to be a part of O'Brien's T-E-A-M. When Brian Gaine was brought back to replace Smith, the duo spoke about "alignment" ad nauseam. They looked to build the team the same way, they looked for the same attributes in players...yada, yada, yada.

Fast foward only a year and a half later and somehow Gaine had already forgotten how to spell T-E-A-M. Now enter the man that must have an unmatched vocabulary as his rise to power in Houston is unlike any that I have ever seen in professional football. A former team chaplain and character coach, Jack Easterby, had taken a trip to New England. Alledgely, Easterby and O'Brien felt that Nick Caserio knew how to spell T-E-A-M better than Gaine. While O'Brien and Easterby could spell with the best of them, apparently reading wasn't a top priority for the trio. O'Brien and Easterby haphazardly met with the Texans' owner and convinced him to move on from Gaine and pursue Caserio. This didn't go as plan (or did it) as Caserio had a no-interview clause in his contract. New England threatened the Texans with tampering charges and Houston cowered to their big brothers, once again, embarassing the franchise as a second-tier organization among their piers.

No worries, they still had Gaine, right? Unforunately, the team had decided to fire Gaine the week prior, as they supposedly believed that Caserio was a homerun hire. Needless to say, that was the beginning of a reign that would lead to a new T-E-A-M model being one canvassed in battle red embarassment.

O'Brien and Easterby since the "mistake" went on to become the most powerful man in the organization and his right hand, yes man. Yes, the chaplain, the character coach, was now at the right hand of the czar. Was it a huge coincidence that O'Brien and Easterby's elaborate plan blew up in a way that would benefit the both of them? Or is it more likely that the Ivy league educated O'Brien had orchestrated a scheme that would finally put him in a position to have the power that he had always craved?

O'Brien's flub made him the only officially titled general manager and head coach in the NFL. How could a coach with a resume more similar to Marvin Lewis than Bill Belichick hold both titles at a time in which giving coaches all encompassing power had died off? Yes, O'Brien has won a lot of AFC South titles. Congrats are in order for winning one of eight divisions and being better than at least three teams each year, that happen to be geographically close to the city in which his club plays. Never mind the fact that since O'Brien took over as head coach of the Houston Texans, his team is the only AFC South squad that has fail to advance to an AFC Championship game. Never mind the fact that he holds a 2-4 playoff record with wins over quarterbacks Connor Cook and Josh Allen or the fact that he became the only coach to blow a 20+ point lead in the playoffs and lose that game by 20+.

O'Brien would like his season ticket holders to believe that he's building a true team. However, the blueprint that O'Brien has shown is one that looks more of a dictator. His plan is to seize all power and only surround himself with those who have undying loyalty to him as supreme leader, not the team. In Houston, you spell team, B-I-L-L, if you don't worship at the alter of O'Brien then you will quickly be banished, despite your talent, following, prestige, etc.

O'Brien's Reign:

  • Get Rick Smith out of the way
  • Get Brian Gaine out of the way
  • Become GM
  • Trade Clowney for small return
  • Trade Hopkins for small return
  • Trade for Tunsil without extension
  • Elevate yes men to all positions of authority
It's agree wholeheartedly with O'Brien or fall by the wayside. That's what a team is in O'Brien's eyes.

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