Saints/Dolphins, What Happened/What Didn't
This week many New Orleans fans were in awe and Miami fans, well disappointment. The Saints rallied a 36-10 second half to comeback from a twenty-one point deficit and then win 46-34. The Dolphins had the Saints number and every coach (offensive and defensive) called the right play every single time to go up 24-3 quick. So, what happened? After watching some film here's my opinion.
Tony Sparano (Miami Head Coach) knew exactly what kind of attitude and stategy he needed to defeat the Saints. He told people during interviews that to overcome New Orleans you got to go up early and hold them to the fourth quarter. That's what he did, but the Saints outscored the Dolphins 22-0 in the fourth. There's you problem buddy, your team caved in the fourth. Or did they? Still watching some highlights and reading play-by-plays I found out some more things.
The New Orleans Saints stuffed, I mean completely stuffed the wildcat in the third. There were a five drives for Miami in the third, two were three-&-out. One gave Miami great field position due to a fumble. The fumble recovery was also a three-&-out but the field position gave the Dolphins 3. The interception ended up for a touchdown with a perfect pass to Hartline getting most of the yards. The final was a pick six for Sharper. Why do I mention this? This third quarter stump from the Saints caused Miami to get frustrated and go the the air. Don't get me wrong, I like Henne. I think he's a great quarterback but he's got some work. It wasn't only Henne but the receivers didn't help either. How do you forget Madden's probably number one rule! Catch then run, not run then catch. I'm not exact but I might have seen five passes that were just dumb mistakes like that. I'm not going to count out the Saint's secondary. Beautiful second half for those guys. Two pick-sixes and a handful of great coverage that resulted in deflected balls. Vilma and the defensive line for the Saints was sick of the wildcat making them look bad. Here are some of Miami's runs: positive two yards, loss of one, gain of one, gain of four. Bottom line, no big yardage in the third or fourth. Just one perfect pass that set them up for a four yards William's touchdown.
Why count out Miami's stellar first half though? Here are some first half opinions and talk. So, first possesion the Dolphins make the Saints punt which was the first time this season they didn't score on an opening drive. This is going to be the film to watch when you really want to grind the Saints and go up early. Every play there was pressure on Brees. Sacks left and right and before you know it, Brees had more sacks in this one game then the previous five combined. Interceptions set up Miami in great field position. In the first half his total interceptions were also tied for his total interceptions in the whole year (a third in the second half would give him more in one game then the season combined). The Miami offense wasn't letting up either as the wildcat, liked many predicted, ate the Saints high rushing defense led by Jonathan Vilma. Williams' ran 68 yards for a touchdown and every interception resulted in points only a last second score in the second quarter gave the Saints, what looked like some hope, to win this game.
Overall, both teams fought hard and created an amazing game of the week (considering most of them were blow-outs). Sparano had the perfect game plan but just couldn't get his crew to finish out. That is an area that need to be patched up. Getting shut out and allowing twenty-two points in the last quarter is terrible. The Saints, on the other hand, are lucky to be able to fly home 6-0. I know Sean Payton is going to have a word with his club. Going down 21 points in a half is terrible, but you have to love the composure of this team. They didn't get down and out, they played the game to the last whistle. The New Orleans Saints fought for this win and in a way deserve it. Beautiful defense and offense from the Dolphins in the first half to win 24-10, but excellent defense and offense from the Saints to take the second half 36-10.
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