The Saints aren’t just winning, they’re dominating, and other Week 10 thoughts

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The NFL changes so fast. Think back eight weeks ago. The Saints were 0-2. Their defense had given up 341 pass yards in Week One to the Vikings, and 436 pass yards in Week Two to the Patriots. They looked headed toward their fourth consecutive 7-9 season, and they’d only manage seven wins because Drew Brees would lead them to some shootout wins.

Well, the Saints have seven wins alright. They’re now 7-2, and during their current seven-game winning streak they haven’t just won, they’ve dominated. Amazingly, they’re dominating games even without Brees doing anything special. In yesterday’s 47-10 win over the Bills, Brees threw for just 184 yards and didn’t have a touchdown pass.

Instead, the Saints are winning with their running game — Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara both topped 100 yards in Buffalo and the Saints had an incredible six rushing touchdowns — and even more with their defense. That defense looked like it might have been the worst in the NFL in the first two weeks of the season, and it has looked like it might be the best in the NFL ever since.

On Sunday the Saints absolutely destroyed Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, holding him to just 56 yards on 9-of-18 passing, with no touchdowns and an interception. The Saints did allow Bills backup Nathan Peterman to make some plays in garbage time, but when the Saints’ defensive starters were on the field, they completely dominated.

In recent years NFL fans have grown accustomed to thinking of the Saints as Drew Brees and a bad defense, but there’s now a lot of young defensive talent in New Orleans. Sheldon Rankins, last year’s first-round pick, was dominant yesterday, with a sack, a tipped pass, an interception and two tackles for loss. And Marshon Lattimore, this year’s first-round pick, is already one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.

During their current seven-game winning streak, the Saints have outscored their opponents by 229-100, or an average score of 33-14 each game. They’re not just winning, they’re destroying every team in their path. The Saints might just be the best team in the NFL right now.

Here are my other thoughts from Sunday:

The Rams can’t draw. There are two new teams in Los Angeles, the Rams and Chargers, and both of them have terrible attendance this season. For the Chargers, that’s understandable: They’re a bad team playing in a tiny stadium. But for the Rams, that has to be a concern. They play in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where USC regularly draws crowds in the 90,000 range for college games. And yet the Rams regularly play in front of tens of thousands of empty seats. And that’s despite the fact that the Rams are one of the most exciting, high-scoring teams in the NFL this season. The league has a long, hard slog to make it work with two teams in Los Angeles.

Hue Jackson can’t coach. Jackson has had some success as an offensive coordinator. But as a head coach, he looks in over his head. He’s now 1-24 in his 25 games as the Browns’ head coach, and his team is showing no signs of getting better. Maybe all those draft picks the Browns are acquiring will eventually add up to a good football team, but it’s hard for me to believe that Jackson will be the coach of that team.

Jadeveon Clowney is a stud. Did you see the way Clowney threw Rams running back Todd Gurley to the ground on Sunday? Clowney tosses around huge men like they’re rag dolls. Clowney’s pro career got off to a slow start because of injuries, but he’s one of the best players in the league now.

The NFL needs to change the fumble/touchback rule. A fumble into the end zone that goes out of bounds should go back to the offense at the spot of the fumble. The fact that it goes to the defense at the 20-yard line is totally nonsensical. When offensive players dive for the end zone and stick the football out toward the goal line, it’s an exciting play. The NFL should want to reward players for taking a chance at an exciting play, not punish them if they drop the ball an inch short of the line and it rolls into the pylon.

Case Keenum has earned the Vikings’ starting job. Teddy Bridgewater‘s return is a great story, but Keenum is playing better football right now than Bridgewater has ever played. As long as Keenum is playing like this, the Vikings shouldn’t bench him. It’s incredible that Keenum was a free agent this offseason and the best offer he got was a one-year, $2 million deal to be the Vikings’ backup. How much do you think the Bears wish they had paid a couple million for Keenum instead of giving a three-year, $45 million deal to Mike Glennon?

The officials are looking for reasons to flag Vontaze Burfict, and he has no one to blame but himself. Burfict, the Bengals linebacker who was ejected yesterday for contact with an official, probably didn’t deserve to be ejected: He barely brushed against the official, doing something players routinely do without getting tossed from the game. Burfict seems to get some calls based on reputation, with the officials flagging him because he has a history of being a dirty player. But if that’s the case, Burfict has no one to blame but himself. He’s been a dirty player throughout his career, and even going back to college, where his history of penalties was one of the reasons he didn’t get drafted. If Burfict wonders why the officials have it out for him, he only needs to look at his own actions.

57 responses to “The Saints aren’t just winning, they’re dominating, and other Week 10 thoughts

  1. “On Sunday the Saints absolutely destroyed Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, holding him to just 56 yards on 9-of-18 passing, with no touchdowns and an interception. The Saints did allow Bills backup Nathan Peterman to make some plays in garbage time, but when the Saints’ defensive starters were on the field, they completely dominated.”

    This statement is dead on the money, but watch how many Bills fans point to Peterman like he’s the 2nd coming.

    So delusional.

  2. You look at the NFC right now and not only are the 4 division leaders all teams you might not have expected, but they are all clearly a cut above the teams in 2nd place. Personally I think it’s great to see teams other than the Cowboys, Packers and Falcons actually sweating out a playoff berth at this point. It’s good for the league when the pecking order changes every now and then and gives hope yo fans of the bottom feeding teams (like mine) that things can get better.

  3. Yes, Burfict’s actions earned his reputation. Here’s my issue: Players like Mike Mitchell and Ryan Shazier routinely lead with the crown of their helmets. Those hits are the dirtiest of all, because they are the most “aggressive/dangerous” to their colleagues.
    Mitchell said he was fined 10 times before joining the Steelers. He hasn’t slowed down his dirty play since.
    Shazier once speared a player in a playoff game and danced at midfield while the player was unconscious. Two years later, he speared a QB in the helmet as the QB slid. I’ve never seen Burfict do either of those things.
    I don’t care if Mitchell or Shazier ever get suspended, but I can’t figure out how many more dirty plays before one or both of them will also get the “dirty player” tag that has been assigned to Burfict. One more spearing hit? Two? Five? Ten?

  4. I’ve commented for years that it would be a mistake to put a team in LA. Anyone remember all the fans clamoring here on PFT for the NFL to hurry up and send a team there? Yeah, me either……

  5. Clowney is an absolute freak, and was being held on pivotal TD passes in each of the Texans last 2 games. He is being officiated differently than the rest of the league and it’s getting ridiculous

  6. Bears signing Glennon over Keenum should cause us to question the GM’s ability to evaluate QBs —- and that extends to the Bears’ recent #2 pick, Mitch Trubisky. Is he really the future of the team, or another expen$ive dud (but not as expen$ive as Glennon).

    The Bears paid a steep price in draft picks, though, to move uo ONE SPOT to select Trubisky.

  7. Yes the Coliseum holds 90k and the Trojans fill that but due to traveling and other logistics(like parking) the Rams put a cap on their tickets during the off-season at 65k. So yes having 25k seats that are not available will make the Coliseum look a lot worse. Yesterday attendance was around 60k-62k

  8. I agree that Hue is a bad HC. However, I read that the Browns are $62m under the cap. I thought there was a minimum that the NFL had instituted to help with parity…am I wrong? And if there is a minimum, what is it?

  9. Can we have an NFL refresh? The number of below average teams is just ridiculous. Why does it seem like the Pats are the only well rounded, very good team, year in and out? Can we have a league where there are multiple teams that are very good and efficient and consistent?!?! Is that too much to ask? How is it that only one coach can get the best out of both is offense/defense consistently(Belichick)? Maybe when he retires, he can open up a coaching school, where he can teach coaches how to coach …for the sake of the leagues future.

  10. The only win the Saints have over a decent team is against the Panthers. Their opponents since then have been Dolphins, Lions, Packers (No Rodgers), Bears, Bucs, and Bills. Their toughest games left are vs Redskins, Rams, Panthers, and Falcons twice. They should win the division easily but their schedule is extremely weak.

  11. Its not “nonsensical”.

    The End Zone is where possession changes.

    After a touchdown…possession changes.
    After a field goal…possession changes.
    After a punt….possession changes.
    After a fumble that goes out of bounds or out of the endzone…
    POSSESSION CHANGES.

    It’s totally “sensical” and consistant.
    Your argument is based on “being fair”.

    Is it fair that a player gets suspended for hit on a play, but a player doesn’t get suspended for hitting a player after a play? Nope.

    If being “fair” is the rule, can you understand why the NFL is crumbling before our eyes?

  12. I am happy to see the Saints playing at this level, I missed on a lot of my predictions this year, but I was right about the Saints. Burfict and Suh have a reputation that they have earned that is a level above (or below?) players like Mitchell and Shazier when it comes to “dirty play”. The Browns looked like they might win today, only to fall short yet again. That is on Jackson.

  13. How about the ref cop-out on fumbles. They call the runner’s forward progress was stopped so they don’t have to go through the review process. Don’t they know that everyone sees the reply anyways and knows if it was a fumble or not. If two referees have two different calls on the play, then go with the guy who says fumble then it is automatically reviewed and the right call can be made. Happened in Pitt/Indy and I think another game too.

  14. Also USC stadium is old and outdated. Not many people other than college students want to sit in those deadly seats. If your afraid of heights it’s not the stadium for you the seating seems vertical with no leg room and uneven concrete stairs. It was built way back in the day and I heard USC is going to sink like 25 mil in to renovations but it’s not soon enough. It easily is one of the worst stadiums to watch an NFL game in especially with their high ticket prices.

  15. I think the Rams will sell seats if they continue building on their recent success. Most LA people I know are Raiders fans. That is because the Raiders were good back in the 80’s while the Rams were Eric Dickerson and some other guys. This Rams team has a tough defense, and a young exciting offense.

  16. Madden Scrubs says:
    November 13, 2017 at 7:44 am
    Can we have an NFL refresh? The number of below average teams is just ridiculous. Why does it seem like the Pats are the only well rounded, very good team, year in and out? Can we have a league where there are multiple teams that are very good and efficient and consistent?!?! Is that too much to ask? How is it that only one coach can get the best out of both is offense/defense consistently(Belichick)? Maybe when he retires, he can open up a coaching school, where he can teach coaches how to coach …for the sake of the leagues future.

    ————-
    I know Puttsburgh is nothing but a second fiddle to the Pats in the AFC, but they have been that second fiddle for years now. Only one team can be best and yes its getting monotonous. But still the Steelers have been pretty consistent at that level for a long time without falling. KC is starting to show a few years of being a threat. Denver shows there is some turnover because they too gave nipped at the Pats heels most years (and even bit them a couple times too) so their descent means someone else rises up. The Ravens’s fall means someone ekse gets a chance too. I had hopes of Oakland doing a few years as an AFC contender but now Im not so sure.

  17. andyb02 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 7:54 am
    The only win the Saints have over a decent team is against the Panthers. Their opponents since then have been Dolphins, Lions, Packers (No Rodgers), Bears, Bucs, and Bills. Their toughest games left are vs Redskins, Rams, Panthers, and Falcons twice. They should win the division easily but their schedule is extremely weak.
    ——————————————————————————-
    This isn’t college football. NFL teams don’t get to create their own schedules. To quote another PFT article: “The Saints aren’t just winning, they’re dominating”.

    Please share some more observations with us.

  18. If a player fumbles the ball in the defenses end zone the offense should lose the ball. Defense gets paid too and it’s also exciting seeing the O player stretch to the pylon and the defender knocks it loose. The offensive player should not have a free pass to just stick the ball out and if he loses it gets it back. Specially when the defense is defending its goal. Why even give 2 points for a safety then? The offense could just fumble out the end zone and get it back on the 1..

  19. Nonsensical would be letting teams fumble it through the end zone and get it back on the 1 yard line..
    How long would it take Bill B. to design a play where the RB ‘fumbles’ it to the back the end zone and the TE comes around and scoops it up.

    Don’t fumble the ball near the end zone.

  20. taeh326 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 7:38 am
    Yes the Coliseum holds 90k and the Trojans fill that but due to traveling and other logistics(like parking) the Rams put a cap on their tickets during the off-season at 65k. So yes having 25k seats that are not available will make the Coliseum look a lot worse. Yesterday attendance was around 60k-62k
    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Is that true? Why would they only want to sell 65K tickets?

  21. tylawspick6 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 9:16 am
    This will come crashing down very soon. And, when it does, it will be ugly.
    ———————————————————————————————–
    You’ve been wrong about the Saints all year !!! Keep hating while the Saints keep rolling.

  22. WOW! Burfict has himself to blame because refs treat him unfairly?! I didn’t know that refs were allowed to allowed to have different rules for different players. But then, that also explains why Steelers are never punished for their PFs. using this reasoning, I guess, Kaepernick has himself to blame — and not collusion — why he does not have a job! Great. So I assume this site will then actually write an article arguing against the nonsense grievance? No? What a shock.

  23. andyb02 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 7:54 am
    The only win the Saints have over a decent team is against the Panthers. Their opponents since then have been Dolphins, Lions, Packers (No Rodgers), Bears, Bucs, and Bills. Their toughest games left are vs Redskins, Rams, Panthers, and Falcons twice. They should win the division easily but their schedule is extremely weak.
    ——————————————————————————
    This seems to be a theme here and on other sites, with no basis in fact. Here’s the facts: Going into the weekend, the Saints had played the second toughest schedule based on won/loss records in the NFL. Every opponent except two (Bears and Bucs) that the Saints have beaten had a winning record when they played them. And please pare their schedule so far with the Eagles or Rams….it’s not even comparable! In their seven game win streak they have never been behind in any game. But go ahead and keep spewing the same old cliches: the Saints have a terrible defense; the Saints can only move the ball thru the air; Drew Brees only cares about padding his stats; they can’t run the ball; they can’t play outside or in cold weather; Brees is washed up, etc. But now that none of these apply anymore, the haters come out with: “yeah, but they haven’t played anybody.” This is a totally different team and you only have to watch them to see it.

  24. Brees, Brady, Rodgers … unstoppable when they’re on their games. Saints are good, but the Bills are back down to earth where most realists expected them to be before the season; building off a quality 2017 draft.

  25. screamingyellowzonkers says:
    November 13, 2017 at 7:57 am
    Its not “nonsensical”.

    The End Zone is where possession changes.

    After a touchdown…possession changes.
    After a field goal…possession changes.
    After a punt….possession changes.
    After a fumble that goes out of bounds or out of the endzone…
    POSSESSION CHANGES.

    ————–

    A fumble out of bounds does NOT change possession…..and I believe this is the author’s point.

  26. It’s comical to see bengal fans try and defend the dirty play of Burfict by bringing up plays by Shazier and Mike Mitchell. They have no excuse but to point the finger at someone else instead of realizing that Burfict is a piece of garbage like the rest of the league already knows. Hey Bengal fans, do the Steelers pay rent for the amount of space they take up in your head?

  27. “The NFL needs to change the fumble/touchback rule.”

    You think we need more rule changes to help the offense? Thats crazy, if anything they should:
    1. move the touchback back to the 20
    2. make the safety 5 points
    3. reign in offensive lineman blocking outside their body
    4. pay fulltime refs and incentive them to reverse the trend of ever increasing penalty yards. we’re on pace for 34,000 yards in 2017 – the most ever c.nflpenalties .com

  28. This years Rams kind of remind me of the 2011 49ers. A team full of high draft picks due to years of being awful, finally having a competent coaching staff. They don’t really have a home field advantage, but they have a lot of talent and are playing with confidence. They could be a sneaky dangerous playoff team.

  29. Can we have an NFL refresh? The number of below average teams is just ridiculous. Why does it seem like the Pats are the only well rounded, very good team, year in and out?
    =====

    It doesn’t just “seem” that way……..

  30. Something to ponder for those who think and say the Saints haven’t played anyone. If you’re playing “scrubs”, you should DOMINATE in your wins and not simply get a win. So at a minimum, the Saints have DOMINATED the “scrubs” they’ve played.

    WHODAT!!!

  31. Please just keep talking about the Eagles, Rams, Vikings and Seahawks. Just let us keep flying under the radar. Don’t pay any attention to us until we are in the Superbowl.

  32. thejimmyshoes says:
    November 13, 2017 at 11:25 am
    This years Rams kind of remind me of the 2011 49ers. A team full of high draft picks due to years of being awful, finally having a competent coaching staff. They don’t really have a home field advantage, but they have a lot of talent and are playing with confidence. They could be a sneaky dangerous playoff team.

    – man that team was no joke, hopefully the whodats wont fall for the rams like they did the 49ers.
    If the saints wouldve won that game they wouldve got the giants at home in the NFC CG and couldve likely won the super bowl.
    That 2011 Saints team has a case as best offense of all time. 4 excellent wrs, emergence of jimmy graham, Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Ivory, and Ingram as running backs? Yea best offense of all time.

  33. andyb02 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 7:54 am
    The only win the Saints have over a decent team is against the Panthers. Their opponents since then have been Dolphins, Lions, Packers (No Rodgers), Bears, Bucs, and Bills. Their toughest games left are vs Redskins, Rams, Panthers, and Falcons twice. They should win the division easily but their schedule is extremely weak.

    ******************************************************************************************
    I beg to differ sir.

    5 out of the 7 victories have come against teams who at the time had winning records,
    Only Chicago and TB had losing records at the time.

    Carolina 2-0
    Miami 2-0
    Detroit 3-2
    GB 4-2
    CHICAGO 2-5 but was on a 2 game winning streak, beating Baltimore and Carolina
    TB Saints crushed them
    Buffalo 5-3 Crushed. At the time, Buffalo was 4-0 as home.

    Saints are also 4-1 on the Road this year, hard to do no matter who you play

  34. Thanks for taking care of the Bills. A Pats vs Saints Bowl would be great. The GOAT against Brees, I’ll always respect him for taking down the choking Clots in that Bowl.

  35. Drew Brees is a class act and has been ignored, overlooked, and called washed up. He’s YOUNGER than Brady! Pats/Saints Superbowl would be awesome! Of course, I want Drew to get a second ring.

  36. jimmysee says:
    November 13, 2017 at 7:32 am
    Bears signing Glennon over Keenum should cause us to question the GM’s ability to evaluate QBs —- and that extends to the Bears’ recent #2 pick, Mitch Trubisky. Is he really the future of the team, or another expen$ive dud (but not as expen$ive as Glennon).

    The Bears paid a steep price in draft picks, though, to move uo ONE SPOT to select Trubisky.

    ——–

    This has much more to do with the Vikings having a more well-rounded team than the Bears currently than which backup QB is running the plays. The GM in Chicago will have a year or two to change that yet.

  37. aarons444 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 11:33 am
    How many Super Bowls would Aaron Rodgers have if the Packers hired Payton intead of McCarthy??…….

    ———-

    What if the problem is that Mccarthy doesn’t have the talent Payton has?

  38. nhpats says:
    November 13, 2017 at 10:44 am
    screamingyellowzonkers says:
    November 13, 2017 at 7:57 am
    Its not “nonsensical”.

    The End Zone is where possession changes.

    After a touchdown…possession changes.
    After a field goal…possession changes.
    After a punt….possession changes.
    After a fumble that goes out of bounds or out of the endzone…
    POSSESSION CHANGES.

    ————–

    A fumble out of bounds does NOT change possession…..and I believe this is the author’s point.

    ———–

    Then you would need different rules for each end zone. Otherwise every QB that is going to be sacked in or near their end zone will just roll the ball backward out of the end zone to avoid a sack or safety.

  39. Interesting how much love the saints are getting considering their two loses are to the Vikings and Patriots. Maybe it wasn’t that the saints figured things out in week 3, but rather they just played better opponents in week 1 and 2.

  40. aarons444 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 11:33 am
    How many Super Bowls would Aaron Rodgers have if the Packers hired Payton intead of McCarthy??…….
    **************************

    One, when you realize Payton has a hell of a QB right now. Green Bay is the single most overrated team in the league, and largely because people think Rodgers can do more than he can. He could chuck up a few more Hail Mary’s and hope luck gets it done for him.

    A better question is – how many Super Bowls would Payton have if he had Brady as a QB.

  41. ckruszka says:
    November 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm
    Drew Brees is a class act and has been ignored, overlooked, and called washed up. He’s YOUNGER than Brady! Pats/Saints Superbowl would be awesome! Of course, I want Drew to get a second ring.

    ************************

    THat’s nice an all, but if you want Drew to get a second ring, then a Pats/Saints Super Bowl isn’t going to do it. Just ask Matt Ryan.

  42. The Saints would destroy the Vikings if they played them right now…you think the 2009 NFCCG was bad…wait til this time around! XLIV!!

  43. It seems obvious that the Saints got Adrian Peterson to trade if Kamera didn’t work out the way he has. AP doesn’t fit their offensive style and they weren’t going to change for a RB at the end of his career.

  44. A better question is – how many Super Bowls would Payton have if he had Brady as a QB.
    =====================================================
    An even better question is: How many Super Bowls would Brees have if he had all those awesome Belichick coached defenses at his disposal every year for over a decade like Brady?

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