The Saints Offense Is Not Struggling Because Of Drew Brees’ Injury
Despite being 3-1, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have struggled this season, particularly to put up points like they did in last year’s Super Bowl winning season. The reasons? For one, there has been speculation that Drew Brees is playing at less than 100% after a knee sprain against Atlanta. But more importantly, they don’t have the ball as often as they did last year when their opportunistic defense thrived on creating turnovers. In the NFL, it is very difficult to rely on turnovers to win. It’s obviously very important to do everything possible to keep the ball on offense and go get the ball on defense, but fumbles and bad passes happen.
Who gets the ball in those cases is often as much luck as anything else.According to PredictionMachine.com, the Saints continue to struggle to blow out inferior opponents, even with New Orleans facing a team in Arizona with a depleted defense and a rookie quarterback, who may be prone to throwing those bad passes that turn into interceptions. In 50,000 simulations by the Predictalator, the Saints win by a score of 26 – 21. New Orleans wins outright 62.9% of the time, which is only the seventh most likely NFL team to win this weekend (the Lions are more likely to defeat the Rams). In the projected boxscore, Drew Brees does play well with 274 yards passing, two touchdowns and just less than one interception.Drew Brees joined Bobby and Deke on WWL in New Orleans to talk about the health of his knee, how difficult it is to win in the NFL, the offense’s struggles to put up points, the importance of building up young players to be able to step in for others in the case of injuries, how Arizona’s defense is different from last season and how much a running back matters in the passing game.
On his health:
“I feel pretty good. I really do. Obviously, I feel better this week than I did last week after that Atlanta game when I got pretty banged up. I feel like I’ve made great progress. I feel really good. Obviously, our team, as far as guys being banged up here and there, it is what it is. We are not going to make excuses. And this is an opportunity for some of our young guys to step up and get some significant playing time, get more of a role in the offense or the defense. That’s when you find a lot of your stars.”
On how tough it is to win the in the NFL:
“It seems like the more that you win, the more that they get tougher. We’ll absolutely take a win when we can get them. However, we are very prideful and we obviously set the bar high for ourselves. It’s much easier to look back at the film afterward and say, ‘We need to get things corrected. We did enough to win. But if we want to be a championship team again, we are going to need to get these things fixed.’”
On the team’s struggles to put up points:
“I thought that this last game against Carolina was a 30 point game as far as our performance offensively. We played well enough to score 30. Just add it up with our turnovers. We fumbled the ball on the 1 yardline. It would have been first and goal right there. I like to think we would have gotten seven points. That very next drive, or two drives later, we fumbled the ball as we were entering the red zone. That would have been at least a field goal. So that’s ten points. Then, that last drive, there was a touchdown to be had if I could have made a little better throw to Marques Colston. That’s at least 14 more points on top of our 16 points. That’s about 30 points. 30 points against that team is saying something. That’s a great defense. I thought we played well with the exception of our turnovers… That’s why we talk about those numbers so much. Just because, if you just look at the percentages. If you could be +1 in the turnover margin, then you win 70% of the time. Everyone likes those odds because if you can win 70% of your games, you are in the playoffs every year. That’s the most important statistic.”
On the importance of developing young players who can step in and make plays:
“I think a lot of it is the system. Guys trust in the system and trust what they are being coached. You take young players and you develop them. At this level, having 53 guys on the active roster and only having 46 guys dressed out, if one guy goes down, you have somebody coming in and getting playing time that might not have. You need to be ready, mentally prepared to draw on all they learned from training camp and throughout the week listening to the coaches. We all say it, ‘You are one snap away.’ You are one snap away from maybe going from a small role on the team to all of the sudden being a starter. You got to be ready. You are expected to be able to do the job as well as a starter. That’s when you find some of these hidden gems or some of these young guys that can be stars for you.”
On the differences in the Arizona Cardinals’ defense from last season:
“They lost Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle in that safety position. They lost two good players. Here’s the thing, when you look at them, they are a talented group. Like Carolina, they’ve been put in some really bad situations thus far this season. Their offense has turned the ball over quite a bit. They’ve been on the field a lot. They’ve played pretty good offenses too… By no means have they played their best football. I know that they play very well at home. They play very well when they are coming off a loss. We know that we need to be prepared.”
Listen to Drew Brees on WWL in New Orleans with Bobby and Deke.