My Official New Orleans Saints Review
Drew Brees should be receiving jail time for his performance the past two weeks.
Brees leads the NFL with nine passing touchdowns, two interceptions, 669 yards and a quarter back rating of 132.9.
Brees has never played better in the first two games of a season in his career, but what makes this even better was the fact that he got it going on the road.
In 2008 Brees was not as effective on the road as he was at home, which was part of the reason the Saints were 2-6 on the road. In 2006 when the Saints went to the NFC Championship Brees had 17 passing touchdowns and only two interceptions on the road.
In 2008, his worst season on the road, he had 14 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions. I did include the San Diego game across seas but if you take it out you will see Brees is 11-11 on the road.
Brees has improved at home throughout his seasons with New Orleans, but if he can continue to deliver on the road that will make a big difference between the Saints being in the playoffs or not.
But there's no doubt in my mind Brees is looking better than ever, and teams better beware.
All of the offseason the main debate was over who would be the starting running back in the 2009 season. I have no doubt that Pierre Thomas will be the starter when healthy, but a running back that not many people even spoke about has definitely opened some eyes in the first two weeks of the season.
In two games Mike Bell has brought balance to the Saints offense with 229 rushing yards on 45 attempts with a 5.1 yards per carry average. Bell also had a rushing touchdown against the Eagles.
Bell has shown that he has great vision with his cut backs. But he also has shown he can be the power back for the Saints, putting his shoulder down and getting physical with opposing defenses.
The Saints commitment to running the ball better has brought a balance to the number one offense in 2008, which makes me believe this the Saints offense will be at it's best in 2009.
You might say, how do you get better than number one? By getting a rushing attack that has ranked in the bottom half of the league into the top half. The run game makes the play action pass that the Saints love even more affective.
Even Reggie Bush got a run up the gut against the Eagles that resulted in a 19-yard touchdown to put the Eagles away. I'm hoping that run can get Reggie's confidence up and will show him that you don't always have to bounce it to the outside to get a solid run.
Last season everyone was wondering, what is going on with Marques Colston. He didn't seem like he was in rhythm after his injury.
But this year is completely different. Colston came in eager to make his statement to the NFL and has recorded 11 receptions for 128 yards and three touchdowns.
Along with Colston, tight end Jeremey Shockey has shown he is ready to step up, recording two touchdowns—both against the Lions.
How about Devery Henderson? Henderson embarrassed corner back Sheldon Brown who came in with a Jason mask. I think he was just getting his team fired up for nothing.
I'll give Sheldon Brown some credit. He did have out standing coverage. Brees just made an amazing pass, and Henderson made an outstanding catch. Honestly Henderson has shown some improvement in the past two games.
Now onto the defense that is currently tied for first in interceptions. I would like to say that if you look at the scoreboard it looks like the same old Saints. I do have to be worried because the Saints haven't played against a proven quarterback just yet.
The Saints have allowed over 500 yards passing in the first two games. The have had teams try to throw on them 89 times and have only allowed 47 completions with a 52.6 completion percentage. The Saints have only allowed three passing touchdowns but also picked off six passes and recorded three sacks.
Three of those interceptions come from veteran Safety Darren Sharper who took a interception to the house on a 97-yard return in the fourth quarter against the Eagles.
Two of the interceptions were also recorded by linebacker Scott Shanle, who got his first two career interceptions in the first two games of the season.
It seems to me the Saints are trying to make plays on the ball, which makes me very happy. I'm hoping the rest of the Saints will step up and get some more interceptions in week three against Buffalo.
The Saints run defense has definitely been stingy so far. In two games against solid rushing attacks the Saints have only allowed 118 rushing yards on 41 attempts with a 2.9 average and two rushing touchdowns.
They have given up a total of 40 points defensively if you take away the safety the Saints gave up on purpose and the fumble recovery returned for a touchdown in week one. But if you don't, they gave up 49 points.
The Saints special teams improved in week two but did allow another return up to Saints territory again. This is the third return the Saints have allowed an opposing team to take up to Saints territory, and the three of them combined have cost the Saints 17 points.
The Saints were able to keep punt returner DeSean Jackson in check, which was an improvement along with rookie Malcolm Jenkins forcing a fumble which gave the Saints great field positioning on a kick return.
I expect the Saints to work more on their returns and kickoffs to help the offense and defense get better field position.
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