Eagles Are Elite, Saints Not Quite
You have some good points and some things are incorrect, and you don’t like to give your team much credit because you fear they will not meet your standards. That’s the conclusion I have come up with in terms of what you write. I really believe you love the Eagles and think he world of them, but you shield yourself for the letdown that has been consistent, unfortunately.
Keep in mind, that I state the facts, and I agree with your offensive line fact: NO is better than PHI along the OL. Basing it off of last season, you are wrong when it comes to the numbers, and we both got eliminated in the first round of the playoffs (We lost to the Champs, they lost to Seattle…ouch)
It is a prediction that you think Jimmy Graham will be a stud and elite caliber tight end. It is not a fact, and we have seen many players come and go with the athleticism, talent, and potential (whether they succeeded or busted is another topic).
You are over-analyzing an improved playoff team in the Eagles, but not the Saints. Different players, coaches, and schemes, and like I said before, we are not the Saints and the protocol offense, we are unorthodox and explosive.
We know what we have in Brees, but there is no excuse for throwing 21 interceptions, none whatsoever. As for Vick, the guy was thrown into the starting role and his conditioning was obviously not tip top, or else he wouldn’t have worn down. He is still developing, and I do believe our plays were limited because of him. He is learning what he didn’t in Atlanta, head in the playbook, watching film, and is prepared to start and is the face of the franchise now.
Saints have no proven running backs, you speak well of TE Graham (played in 11 games) and RB Ingram (whose played as much as Watkins and Kelce), and are quick to praise their franchise and put down ours. Granted, running backs can be plugged in to produce right away, he is no LeSean McCoy (2nd in all-purpose yards in all of football)…yet at least.
Ronnie Brown, we know what he brings to the table and he is proven, he has made a Pro Bowl. Dion Lewis is a rookie, I won’t make a prediction for the purpose of this conversation, but Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles in comparison is ridiculous. Sure, they may have similar roles on their respective teams, but the production isn’t there for New Orleans paulman.
Wide Receivers…the Saints are solid at that position for their system, and maybe even Colston wouldn’t make the same impact elsewhere (And I like him). We have 3 Pro Bowl caliber WRs whether you like them or not, which confuses me because they are proven and own your favorite team. Brent Celek had a Pro Bowl caliber season catching the football, and basically played offensive line last season…tell me he isn’t closer to complete than he was before. We gave the ball to Harbor on a reverse in the preseason, and showed flashes last season catching some passes down the middle (although very limited playing time to go off of, so the jury is still out on him, as it is on Graham, Ingram, Watkins, and Kelce).
You like to keep things one-sided or compare to the media’s perception of average, the Saints are explosive and a top offense in this league no doubt about it. But to say they are better because they have the standard QB that plays by the book, and the head coach that won a Superbowl shows what you prefer, not necessarily better.
It is obvious we are a better run blocking offensive line, perhaps reflecting on the Patriots, Colts, Saints, and Packers winning is the reason for it. The reason for getting Howard Mudd out of retirement, signing Ronnie Brown, and if you noticed, all preseason we worked on the west Coast offense and the running game (it was ugly, but it wasn’t our explosive/home run offense). I think we are working on stuff and this is what these coaches do every single day, year in and year out, Andy Reid can grow as well and may very well be the a Superbowl winning coach before his days in Philadelphia are over.
Keep in mind, the Steelers and Packers were in the Superbowl and have mediocre offensive lines. Pittsburgh’s star center Pouncey got injured and they had to roll with a backup. They just had the right QBs, skills position players for their schemes, and elite defenses, sound familiar?
Our offensive line, give them a chance. Peters is a stud. Herremans is a good starter in this league. We just have more questions because this is a new unit, but we have backups with experience in Justice and Jackson. Our linebackers, give them a chance. Chaney racked up tackles last year, and Casey Matthews doesn’t want to be a failure behind his grandfather, father, and his brother. He was born to play this game and is not Patrick Willis, or is he? See, we wouldn’t know because he has only played in preseason games. Even after the next 2 seasons the kid will still be developing whether he is a Pro Bowler or not. I don’t hear you stripping down the Saints LBs with an overrated Vilma (although I like him for Fantasy Football purposes), and their secondary doesn’t stand out, and neither does their defensive line. We have them beat defensively, and the wildcard is Juan Castillo, give the man a chance to coach a regular season game before you assume he can’t do it or that he’s on his way out. I will say that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is one of the better coaches and they have the edge there right now. But not anywhere else, but if you must I’ll give you Vilma on their corps lol.
We didn’t go out and acquire slouches.
Meshing together? That’s for the offensive line.
Defense? Do what you’ve always done individually and play your role.
Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin. 4 Pro Bowlers.
That will clearly improve our last-ranked red zone defense.
Trent Cole has help along the line, and anything Brandon Graham contributes this year is a cherry on top. Constant pressure on the quarterback and occupying blockers to free up the linebackers in the run game (as the season goes on).
We all know a defensive line makes the back 7 better instantly, but a great secondary makes a front 7 better than they would be too.
3 Pro Bowl CBs, Coleman is a tackling machine and around the ball, Allen is good when healthy, Page is serviceable and I though he did well in Kansas City, and Jarrett is a rookie with potential.
Nice depth huh? I know, but without looking can you tell me the Saints secondary players? lol. I think we loaded up similarly to GB, whereas if we had an injury at any position, we would have an adequate replacement (especially at the skills positions, but don’t overlook the trenches either) or anyone were to go down, we would expect similar production from starting caliber players. Players that could start on other teams.
We’re elite and better than you want to admit, but that doesn’t mean I think we’ll go 16-0. I do think we will earn a top 2 seed and a bye, and will be playing at the very least, in the NFC Championship game. I personally feel we will be in the Superbowl against San Diego, and Vick-torious.
If you would like an email (it’s cool if you don’t care) of my team-by-team/week-by-week predictions, playoffs, and awards, I will be done and condense my countless sheets (paper and on Microsoft Word, I do it every season) into a final prediction sheet. I could sent you a copy for you to fill in yourself, just email me at wmonell@yahoo.
I respect your opinions and we’re all cool on here, so I have no problem saying that my perspective is glass half full/pro-Eagles, whereas some of you are cautious and skewed toward the opposition for the most part because of the question marks we do have, which is not as many as other teams you would consider playoff ready and/or contenders.