Inside the Film Room: New Orleans Saints
By Alan Schechter
Oct 27, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) against the Buffalo Bills prior to a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
It’s Friday morning of game week, so time to go inside the film room and take a look at our opponents. They really need no introduction, we know how potent they are, and how tough they are to beat. Sunday, we welcome our friends from the Bayou, the New Orleans Saints.
This week, we are going to flip the script a little bit. Typically, we have taken a look at successful drives in the previous game by our opponents, and talk about how to stop them. This week, however, we are going to do it a bit differently. We are going to take a look at a three and out drive by the Saints, from last week’s game against the Bills. Why?
Because it’s a blueprint for how the Jets need to work against the Saints on Sunday. Come, let’s take a look.
It’s from the second quarter, the Bills have just kicked off into the end zone, so Drew Brees and company are starting first and ten from their own 20.
FIRST AND TEN FROM THE SAINTS’ 20: Drew Brees lines up in the shotgun, with Pierre Thomas lined up next to him on the right. Brees takes the snap and gives the ball to Thomas on a delayed draw. Thomas takes it forward, behind his right guard for six yards, setting up second and short.
SECOND AND SIX FROM THE SAINTS’ 26: This time, the Saints come out five wide, three receivers to the right, and two to the left, with Brees in the shotgun. Brees takes the snap, and the Bills come with just a four man rush. However, they are able to collapse the pocket around Drew Brees, and drop him for a nine yard loss.
Delay of game penalty called against the Saints
THIRD AND EIGHTEEN FROM THE SAINTS’ 12: The Saints go shotgun again, two receivers and a tight end to the right, one receiver wide to the left, one in the slot left, Darren Sproles. Brees takes the snap, nobody is open quickly, a rusher is coming from the outside. Brees’ only choice is to hit his short option, Sproles, in the flat, for a two yard gain, setting up fourth down and a punt.
Oct 20, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan leaves the field after defeating the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won the game 30-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
So why was this drive important to look at? Because it is exactly how the Jets must perform in order to beat the Saints this weekend.
Even success on the ground is fine. As good as the Jets are at run defense, it will not spell a failure if the Saints gain yardage on the ground. Why? Because the Saints aren’t beating you on the ground. If they are going to win the game, they are going to do it through the air. Make them beat you on the ground.
Secondly, they collapsed the pocket on Drew Brees from the middle. It only took a four man rush, and they were able to get in Drew’s face. That affects every quarterback negatively, and Drew Brees is no different. The Bills took him down, and the Jets have the ability to take him down in this manner as well.
Finally, they covered his guys down the field. You can’t take Drew Brees away, so you make him feel uncomfortable. Besides getting in his face, you make him uncomfortable by taking away his weapons. I would like to see more press coverage than Pettine used here, but the idea is good. If Brees’ only option on a lot of plays is Sproles in the flat, it will be a strong indication that the Jets are on the road to success on the day.
The Jets can win this football game on Sunday, and Rex could do worse than taking the lead from his old assistant, Mike Pettine. Hopefully he will.