Greetings Niners Nation. I am Dave a.k.a. Saintsational, blogger from Canal Street Chronicles, SB Nation's Saints blog. Below is a litte briefing on the Saints season thus far as we enter into week 4 and close out the first quarter of the season.
Feel free to ask any questions below and I will check in periodically to answer them. I will also let my readers know about this post and allow them to add their own two cents as well.
Goodluck to you guys this weekend.
As advertised, this offense is powerful. The Saints are 4th best in yards per game thus far due in large part to the always solid, always brilliant play of Drew Brees who currently leads the league in passing yards with 980. Reggie Bush has returned to his old ways of 2006 and is starting to light it up again after last seasons disappointment, though most of his yardage is coming through the air and not the ground (he leads the league in receptions). Deuce McAllister has not yet had a chance to make an impact on the field yet, but his time should be coming soon. Will he play on Sunday? You're guess is as good as mine.
Unfortunately injuries have plagued our receiving unit. Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey are both out for about a month. Number two wide receiver David Patten is also questionable for Sunday. Devery Henderson, Lance Moore and Robert Meachem will all need to step up this week.
The hot button issue in New Orleans right now is the Saints running game, or the lack thereof. The Saints short yardage running game in particular has hurt the Saints late in the last two games due in large part to poor offensive line play. Getting the running game up and, well, running will be crucial for the Saints in the future.
The achilles heal of the team last season, the Saints have done much to improve this side of the ball. Jonathan Vilma's knee is okay and he appears to be happy back in a 4-3 defense. He is 6th in the league in tackles thus far. It looks like the Saints made a good choice when selecting first round pick defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis. He has been the day one starter and looks comfortable in the middle of the line. Highly paid defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant have played only mediocre so far.
Unfortunately, injuries have taken their toll on this unit as well. Mark Simoneau and Hollis Thomas were both placed on IR, while Scott Fujita, Randall Gay, Aaron Glenn and Antwan Lake have all missed time. Second round pick Tracy Porter, also battling off and on injury, has earned some starting time. The Saints defense, particularly its secondary, has been a revolving door early this season with so many injuries.
This defense in certainly not great but they have kept the team in games so far this season. Though this defense appears to be slightly improved there is still much more room to grow, particularly in stopping the run. Keeping Frank Gore limited this Sunday will be a huge focus for this defense and may determine the outcome of the game.