7-Things for

Saints Part I.


Patriots Game


7-Things For The Saints: Part I.

By Tom Mahoney

1. The Big Mac- Okay, this season is all about The Big Mac. That’s it. Last week the rookie won a game. A rookie QB’s first win in an NFL game is a monumental achievement. However!?! He won a game against a rookie QB who threw 4 interceptions. This is the next big test for him. If he can beat a veteran QB, on the Road? That would be two giant leaps for mankind. Both are massive rookie achievements. It will be time to start comparing him to a young Brady. Which is insane, I know. But... Jamison can look like Zack Wilson sometimes. He threw for an NFL record 30-interceptions last season? So he can go all Zacky on you.

“If you've seen him run with the ball? Then I don't know why you'd want him out running with the ball in space,” BB said about Winston. “I don't think that's a good idea at all. He's hard to tackle. He's fast. He runs over people. I don't think you want him running wild in your secondary.”

I’ve seen Winston throw the ball, and I’d like to see him throw a few to JC Jackson. The Patriots Defense won that game last week with turnovers. Big Mac made some big rookie mistakes, but the Jets D wasn’t able to capitalize on them. That will not be the case here. The Saint’s Defense is terrific. They have a great secondary. If Big Mac is loose with the ball, like he was last week against the Jets? Then it is going to get real ugly real fast!

“He's a really good quarterback. He threw for 5,000 yards in Tampa. So it's not like this guy isn't that productive. He's big. He's strong. He's accurate. He's got a good touch on the ball,” BB said. “I The offense that he ran at Tampa is a lot different than the offense he's running in New Orleans, but I think fundamentally he's just a big, strong guy that can throw the ball accurately. He's very good down the field. He's a tough guy to tackle. He's strong in the pocket. He can make every throw on the field. I mean, he's pretty good.”

So this could be the week that The Big Mac beats an actual NFL Veteran QB, which is a gigantic step up for a rookie QB. There are not a lot of rookie QBs who beat legit NFL Veteran QBs like Winston. But like most rookie QBs, Jamison has a knack for throwing INTs. If the Pats Defense can make him pull a Zacky and throw 4 INTS or so? The Pats could win this game. A rookie QB winning a game on the Road is almost as rare as a veteran QB throwing 30 INTs in one season. But I’ve been told that it has happened.

2. Jamison Vs Defense- Pats-D V. Jamison is really what this game is all about. Rookie QBs rarely win games. They don’t win on the Road, and they don’t beat Veteran QBs. It’s veteran defenses that win games, despite their rookie QB. The Pats Defense was superb last week against the Rookie QB. Now they have to show it against the veteran QB. Fortunately, their veteran QB has more of a knack for the throwing INTs than our rookie QB. The Pats elite secondary has to make Winston look like Zack Wilson.

“It's really hard to predict what Sean's going to do, and they have a huge playbook. They have a lot to choose from, and he does a lot. You can't prepare for it all. And then you got to be careful of the things that hurt you that they'll come back and get you with,” BB said. “But then, there's also a lot of things the Saints do well that are hard to stop, and he has good compliments to all the plays, so if you stop one thing, he's got something else to go to. It's hard to stop both of them, so between all of what he has and exposing the defense's weaknesses from week to week, that's why they've led the league in offense for the last 15 years.”

The good news is that Winston seems very willing to throw interceptions like a fuzzy-faced Rookie-QB. I wouldn’t throw the ball in JC Jackson’s direction. He has the best ball skills of any young Corner I’ve seen in a long while. A veteran QB would be reluctant to throw to his side, especially with Stephon Gilmore out. Why would any QB attack his side? Because Winston doesn’t seem to mind throwing interceptions. The one thing that he has shown is that throwing INTs doesn’t bother him at all. Both in good ways and bad ways. I like to see some of the bad ways today JC.

“It's becoming more and more important every week. Teams that run plays that can hit many spots across the board, however they're designed,” BB said. “If you take one part of the play away? Then the ball can easily end up in another part of the field. So it really magnifies the importance of good team defense, and everybody being accountable for the responsibilities that they have, as the offenses do a good job of getting the ball to those spaces if you avoid them.”

3. Pats Vs. Jamison- It’s still tough to know what the hell Winston is going to do. He throws so many INTs that it’s easy to forget that he still wins. The Pats could garner 4 INTs and still lose, especially with a rookie QB. So the veterans on the Patriots have to step up. The veterans on Offense are going to have to play and led a lot better in this game. The Pats Defense has to sustain. So the Pats will need more than just JC Jackson to step up his game this week.

“I think each year J.C. gets a little bit more aware. A little better understanding of how to use his help, and you know, when to be aggressive and use his help and when not to,” BB said. “When he doesn't have any, he has to play things a little more honest, but you know, take advantage of the keys and the defense and the leverage that we have to try to get closer to the receiver. His run force has improved. His tackling has improved, and there's still things for him to work on, but he's consistently gotten better over each of the four years.”

This is a game where the entire Veteran D is going to have to step up and win the game. They are going to need Hightower, McCourty, Van Noy and all the veteran Defenders, are going to have to step up big time. Guy, Godchaux, Wise, Anderson, and even the rookie Barmore are going to have to step up and stuff the run. Put all the pressure on Winston to throw the damn ball. Then turn the ball over when he throws. They have a lot of defenders who can catch the ball. If they do? Then the Pats win. Turnovers on the Road against a veteran QB is always the key.

“Their entire secondary has elite ball skills. The way they do things personnel-wise, they have a lot of defensive backs on the field,” Winston said. “They do a good job of matching personnel. Their DBs do a great job of finding the football and coming down with it.”

The Saints also have one of the best RBs and run games him the NFL. Kamara is as good as it gets, and he’s been doing it for a long time. The run Defense is going to have to be a lot better than last week. Though it is clear that we can trust the Pats Defense, a lot more than the Pats Offense. But they are not facing a rookie QB. They a facing a veteran QB who has shown he can win through turnovers. They are also facing maybe the best veteran RB in the NFL.

“I feel like if you were to maybe try to build a perfect back, I mean, he essentially has everything you need. Vision, balance. He’s strong. He’s tough. However you want to give him the ball, you can give it to him,” Hightower said. “Whether it’s screens, you want to throw it to him, you want to hand it off, I mean, he’s just a really good player. Explosive. So, I mean, you can hand off a ball to him and expect maybe a three- or four-yard run, he’ll turn it into a 75-yard touchdown. He’s just that type of player.”

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