Monday, November 24, 2014

Saints Set DVR: That's So Raven

We are less than three hours from the Saints and Ravens Monday Night Football skirmish in the Superdome.  At the end of the evening, the Saints will either be the sole-division leader with the worst record (5-6) or tied with Atlanta atop the NFC South with the worst record among division leaders (4-7).

Joe Flacco: Delaware Blue Hens QB
This game will come down to whether or not the statue of Delaware's greatest quarterback in Blue Hen history, Joe Flacco, will have time to exploit the Saints glaring weakness at safety.  Flacco comes into the game cooler than chilled concrete with a TD:INT ratio over his last four games of 5:5 after starting the year (first 6 games) 12:3 (CBS Sports). 

Rafael Bush is out, leaving recently-signed-from-Minnesota's-practice squad, Pierre Warren to sort things out in the deep middle third of the field.  

Warren, a Saints standout in training camp who didn't make the cut, should have a pretty good grasp of Rob Ryan's terminology and schemes. Whether or not he can prevent "The Smiths (Steve and Torrey)" from performing their greatest hits from "Louder Than Bombs" remains to be seen.

"The Saints never lose prime-time games in the Dome!"  
That line of reason will be firmly tested tonight by a Ravens team hell-bent on keeping up with their Edward Starks' as Quad-Wardens of the (AFC) North. 

Pierre Warren in the lineup is reason for concern.  Pierre Thomas back from his four weeks on the shelf with rib and shoulder injuries and no one is happier to see him than #9.  With rookie Brandin Cooks done for the year, Thomas out of the backfield can do wonders for Drew Brees passing percentage on seam and drag routes.  Always a tough matchup for a floating defensive end or linebacker, Thomas could prove pivotal to the Saints success tonight.
One Trip To Snappy Scrubs Is All It Takes!!
Benton Road-Bossier City
Shreveport-Barksdale Shreveport

Mark Ingram is expected to maintain his role as the primary pulpwood hauler among the Saints fleet of running backs.  A close to perfect scenario would feature game-ending stats similar to:

Ingram-21 carries, 107 yards, 1 TD
Thomas-10 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD, 6 receptions, 73 yards, 1 TD
Cadet-5 carries, 31 yards, 4 receptions 38 yards

Jimmy Graham really seems to show up in these spotlight games.  I would be surprised by an output below 8 catches, 80 yards, 1 TD.

Follow Me To Freedom!
And then there's Brees.  The Saints savior so often has been the fuse for the bomb that has destroyed this team throughout the year.  With a turnover ratio of (-9), Brees draws the greatest criticism for his 10 interceptions and costly fumbles.  If there is one guy the Fleur de' lis fellas can count on to lead them out of the abyss, it's Drew Brees. 

Tonight, Saints fans will follow him to freedom and a much-needed win to snap a two-game funkfest in the Dome. Final score? Saints 37, Ravens 30.