Bad memories came flooding back to Saints

#1 von huangjian123 , 08.11.2018 02:10

coach Sean Payton after a fifth straight regular season opener ended in defeat.It wasn't just that the Saints lost Color Rush Josh LeRibeus Jersey , but how it happened.An anemic pass rush and blown coverages helped an opposing quarterback look as spectacular as any point in his career as the Saints fell behind big. Prolific Saints QB Drew Brees orchestrated a frenetic rally to make it interesting, but ran out of time in a 48-40 loss."That's the type of game we've played in years past as a .500 team," Payton said, alluding to three straight 7-9 seasons from 2014-16 before the Saints returned to the playoffs with 11 wins in 2017. "We had way too many mistakes."Ryan Fitzpatrick, a 35-year-old journeyman in his 14th season — and who was signed in 2017 as a backup to 2015 first overall draft pick Jameis Winston — finished with a career-best 417 yards. It was only the second time he'd surpassed 400 yards in his career. Two of his four touchdowns went for 50 or more yards. He had eight completions of 20 or more yards. He also ran for a short touchdown and scrambled 12 yards on third-and-11 for a game-sealing first down with about two minutes left.Afterward, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter gloated that "Fitzmagic" is "alive and well." Receiver Mike Evans, who caught seven passes for 147 yards, said he hoped some fantasy football players had Fitzpatrick in their lineup.Suddenly, the Buccaneers are brimming with confidence and optimism that would not have been expected for a team that won five games in 2017 and entered Sunday as more than a touchdown underdog."It's fun to be out there thinking you're going to score on every possession," Fitzpatrick said. "This is a different year. This is a different team."There have been four seasons since 2012 during which a quarterback going against the Saints was a recipe for a fantasy football bonanza. If that's the case again, New Orleans, which came within a play of advancing to last season's NFC title game, will struggle to realize the promise with which the current campaign began.Here are some of the prominent story lines coming out of the Bucs' upset of the Saints:SEASONED QBsConsider the convergence of these two occurrences: 88 combined points broke a record for an NFL regular season opener that had stood since 1947 (Eagles 45, Redskins 42) and both starting quarterbacks were 35 or older.Brees is 39 and the two QBs' combined years of NFL experience was 30 coming in.Like fine wine?While Fitzpatrick had a career day, Brees was near vintage Youth Drew Brees Jersey , finishing with 439 yards and three TDs without an interception."Playing quarterback in this league is tough and it is a week-to-week proposition, with the highs and lows," Fitzpatrick said. "But that experience factor does go a long way out there."COSTLY WINTampa Bay's schedule doesn't get any easier. The Bucs host defending champion Philadelphia on Sunday. So they'll be hoping receiver DeSean Jackson recovers quickly from the concussion-like symptoms that knocked him out of the game against New Orleans in the fourth quarter. They'd also like to see cornerback Vernon Hargraves return quickly from a shoulder injury — never mind the fact cornerback Brent Grimes didn't play because of a sore groin.Jackson caught five passes for 146 yards, including touchdowns of 58 and 36 yards. His injury came as he was tackled along the sideline after a 35-yard catch.Hargreaves forced Saints running back Mike Gillislee's fumble, which safety Justin Evans returned for a 34-yard TD.YOUTH MOVEMENTSigns continue to point up for young Saints' offensive stars Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas.Kamara picked up right where he left off last season, gashing opposing defenses as a receiver while finding ways into the end zone from the red zone as a runner. Kamara caught nine passes for 112 yards and a TD and also rushed for two TDs and a 2-point conversion.Thomas caught a Saints franchise single-game record 16 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown. But his performance was marred by a fumble across midfield that stalled a promising drive in the third quarter.EVANS' EMINENCEEvans left the Superdome with no small measure of vindication. During his visit to the Superdome last season, he was so seemingly frustrated by Marshon Lattimore's blanket coverage that he decked Lattimore after the whistle, drawing a one-game suspension. His lasting memory from his most recent visit will be gliding into the end zone to complete a 50-yard touchdown reception while Lattimore sat on the ground after losing his footing."I like my odds again anybody — not just him," Evans said.Madden Ratings give Saints lots of love, but snub league’s best o-line EA Sports helped out our drive for offseason content with their initial player ratings for Madden NFL 19!21 different New Orleans Saints received initial grades over 80, with the top scorers consisting of:1.95 - Cameron Jordan2.91 - Drew Brees, Michael Thomas4.90 - Marshon Lattimore5.88 - Alvin Kamara6.87 - Ryan Ramczyk7.86 - Mark Ingram II8.85 - Demario Davis9.84 - Marcus Williams10.83 - Cameron Meredith, Patrick RobinsonThe Madden developers are buying into the hype on several additions, most notably at linebacker (Davis), receiver (Meredith) , and cornerback (Robinson).That’s encouraging on some level.Among the rookies, Marcus Davenport takes the lead at 75, with Tre’Quan Smith and Boston Scott tied at 72.Other draft picks Kamrin Moore (68), Natrell Jamerson (67), Rick Leonard (65), and Will Clapp (62) sit clearly behind them, while rookie quarterback J.T. Barrett (65) rounds out the pack.But here’s the rub.Despite paving the way for historically-great running back production, the Saints’ offensive line is rated pretty poorly.Andrus Peat was given a mere 72, while the only member of the group to make the Pro Bowl (Larry Warford, at 77) had the second-lowest grade among the five starters.Ramczyk played incredibly well for a rookie, but there’s no way he should have the highest grade of the bunch at 87.It gets laughable when you look at other contenders for the league’s best o-line.The Dallas Cowboys rested too hard on their laurels last season, allowing 153 quarterback pressures on just 522 dropacks (a rate of 29.3-percent) and getting Dak Prescott sacked 32 times.They struggled on the ground, too, with Ezekiel Elliott gaining a very average 4.1-yards per carry.By the way, Dallas only had to trot out 8 different line combinations all season - the Saints deployed 18 Color Rush Patrick Robinson Jersey , and allowed a pressure rate of just 19.8-percent.I’ll give the Eagles credit:they had to use an insane 28 different combinations of blockers, but made it work thanks to top-to-bottom depth.They still allowed 154 pressures on 600 combined dropbacks between Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, and Nate Sudfeld, a rate of 25.6-percent.But strong individual performances from players like Jason Kelce and Brandon Brooks kept things running smoothly up front.They’re the only squad I could be talked into competing with New Orleans for football’s best.On the other side of the ball, Marshon Lattimore joins the league’s elite cornerbacks with a score of 90.That ties Seattle Seahawks icon-turned-San Francisco 49ers signee Richard Sherman.Jacksonville Jaguars standouts Jalen Ramsey (97) and A.J. Bouye (94) lead the pack, while names like Desmond Trufant (93), Patrick Peterson (92), Xavier Rhodes (92), and Darius Slay (91) stand well within Lattimore’s class.Another year of pro experience could see the 22-year old overtake each of them.That’s fantastic news considering the Saints now have an elite talent in the secondary to bookend with Cameron Jordan up front.Jordan was given the third-highest grade of all left ends at 95, placing just behind a former Defensive Player of the Year in J.J. Watt (98) and one of the game’s great young defenders in Khalil Mack (98).If Davenport can help out on the other end and progressing interior linemen like David Onyemata and Sheldon Rankins continue to make strides, Cam may even reach that 98 rating.But let’s not miss the forest for the trees.Madden ratings are even more subjective than Pro Football Focus ratings, and less substantive than metrics like Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value.It’s just silly numbers thrown around for us to argue over in July.

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