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#11 New Orleans Saints
Saints News Wire
Saints Win Season Opener
The Saints traveled across the Atlantic to take on the Minnesota Vikings who hosted the game from their new stadium in Manchester, England. A little jet-lagged and somewhat confused from driving on the wrong side of the road, the Saints put on a jolly good game for the rowdy British fans who came out in full force to cheer on their Vikings to the bitter end of a 30 to 17 defeat.

Saints running back, Bishop Sankey, who spent most of the first half of last season sidelined with an injury, showed why he was the Saints number 1 draft pick 2 seasons ago, running for a career high of 181 yards and scoring 3 TDs, nearly reaching his season total of 4 last year. A very impressive start for our young back that we hope continues for this and many seasons to come, Coach Dawson told reporters following the game.

In spite of multiple defensive adjustments, 3 Linebackers, 4 linebackers, run-blitzes, you name it, the Vikings just could not contain the Bishop.

The Saints drew first blood with one of three touchdown runs by Sankey following an impressive defensive stand that held the Vikings to 3 and out on their opening drive.

The Vikings looked to answer on their next drive, but a key sack kept them from reaching the end zone and they had to settle for a makeable 47 yard field goal attempt which, much to the dismay of the crowd sailed wide right.

The Vikings managed to keep the Saints out of the end zone for the rest of the first half, but could not keep veteran kicker Alex Henery from booting three 3-pointers through the uprights in the first half. The final FG came with no time left on the clock following a quick, and probably unexpected Saints drive with just 28 seconds to go in the first half. Saints TE Troy Niklas continued where he left off last season and grabbed two passes, one for 29 yards and another for 28 to put the Saints within Henery's range to end the first half and take a 16 to 0 lead into the locker room.

The Vikings came out of the locker room with a different team in the 2d half and kept the Saints from scoring in the 3d Quarter while getting on the scoreboard with a Matt Prater 50 yarder, who redeemed himself after missing the 47 yard FG earlier, making it 16 to 3 to end the 3d Quarter.

The Saints answered with another solid drive ending with a Sankey TD scamper off the right tackle giving them some breathing room, 23 to 3. Just as the Saints began to enjoy the breathing room, the Vikings answered almost immediately on their next possession with a 62 yard bomb to WR Eric Decker, making it 23 to 10. And, to make matters worse, the Saints gave the bloody ball right back following a fumble by Lamar Miller on the ensuing kickoff return. The Saints saw their lead and perhaps the game slipping away. But, a holding penalty and two sacks later kept the Vikings from capitalizing and forced them to punt.

Sankey would score his third touchdown of the evening 12 plays later, extending the lead to 20 with a score of 30 to 10. Disaster averted.

The Vikings made a valiant effort with a 46 yard TD pass to Andre Holmes to make it 30 to 17, but the lightening blitz package of the Saints who racked up a total of 5 sacks and caused several hurries, the clock, and the continued running prowess of the Bishop, kept the Vikings out of the end zone with the final score 30 to 17.

The Saints Blitz resulted in 5 sacks and several hurries of QB Osweiler who finished the game with 265 yards, 2 TD, and one interception.

Great game by Scotty "Dogboy" Gardiner, who is always a true professional, great play caller, and good sport throughout any game - win or lose.

The Saints take on Rookie Sensational Jameis Winston and the Falcons next week in what looks to be a very tough matchup as the Falcons put their #1 pick to the test against one of the PFL's most prolific blitzing defenses.

One down, 15 to go!
Forum Discussion (by Dawson on 10/22/2015) Replies - 6 :: Views - 1836
Saints End Regular Season in a Shoot-Out
Bottom line up front:

12 seconds left on the clock. Saints trailing 39 to 41. 4th and 12 from the Bills 48, the 3d string QB under center due to injuries to both Da Hog and Dysert. The play comes in from the sideline - I Formation, 3WR set - Hawk in the Slot who hadn't caught a pass all night. Bills send the blitz. Hawk manages to get past single coverage and is wide open at the 8. QB Fales throws a bullet to him and Hawk falls forward for a yard. 1st and Goal to go on the Buffalo 7 yard line, 9 seconds left in the game. Saints call a time out to stop the clock with 7 seconds remaining in the game. Remembering their loss to the Dolphins when they tried one more play before kicking what would have been a game tying FG, only to fumble the ball into the hands of a Dolphin linebacker, the Saints sent out the FG team to attempt a game winning 24 yarder.

The clutch kick from the right hash-mark went up and straight over the top of the right goal post. It could have of been called either way - Good or wide right. Much to our surprise and excitement, the kick was GOOD! Saints pull off an upset over the former Superbowl Champion Bills winning 42 to 41.

A fitting end to a winning season for the unpredictable Saints who are heading to the playoffs for the first time in 4 seasons and first time under the leadership of Dave Dawson.

Great game by K-Dee. Nothing seemed to stop the bomb and the sure hands of his WRs. But it is difficult to overcome 3 lost fumbles and a couple of key penalties that reversed big gains. Win or lose it was fun to play in the snow.

Both teams were already in the playoffs and one might question the coaches' decisions to keep their starting QBs in the game, but this was a game of pride for both coaches and it was blood, guts, tooth and nails all game long as the lead changed hands 4 times.

Best of luck in the playoffs K-Dee.
Forum Discussion (by Dawson on 08/11/2015) Replies - 2 :: Views - 1148
The Buc Stops Here

The PFL fined QB Da Hog $34.13 for changing his jersey name to something that would inspire his team to forget about all of the previous ass-whoopins levied upon them by their arch-rival Buccaneers and to Win Baby Win. And that's just what the underdog Saints did - in SuperDoom fashion, even though they played in Tampa, leading 31 to 0 before a last second FG by the Bucs ended the first half.

It's been a couple of days since my "Christmas Gift" as Coach Jim Hatzis called it after my 54 to 14 shellacking by the Lions back in Week 7, and I wasn't going to write an article, but decided not to let the moment pass without capturing some words for the record. Because, it may never happen again.

It was indeed a Christmas in July Gift where most everything I did worked and everything Rich did was filtered through Madden's evil, maniacal, sadistic twist of a how-much-more-pain-can-you-take grinder. Even Job might've lost his patience, but not Rich - he was a true sport through it all and to the bitter end. Thank you Rich for shaking my hand at mid-field after the game. Only the best have that type of honor and sportsmanship - something I have come to admire about you.

The first quarter was a back and forth battle with both teams testing the other team's approach. I think both of us missed scoring opportunities. I missed an easy FG and I think the Bucs threw one of their 4 interceptions - I truly don't remember - it was a blur and still is. Somehow I managed to score 31 unanswered points in the 2d Quarter before the Bucs put together a 2 minute drill to kick a FG before the half ended.

The Saints returned to Earth in the 2d half and only managed to put up 3 points, but the Saints defense held the Bucs to just 10 points in the 3d quarter and used the clock as the 13th player to keep the Bucs from staging a comeback.

My apologies for the lackadaisical recap - suffice it to say, lots of Buc turnovers and thankfully the Saints were able to capitalize with each one, taking the lead in the NFC South for the first time in a long time and getting that Buccaneer monkey off their backs. Final Score: Saints 34, Bucs 13.

Forum Discussion (by Dawson on 07/27/2015) Replies - 1 :: Views - 1129
Almost, but Almost Ain't Good Enough
To be honest, we felt a bit like shark bait coming into the game...

But, forcing a fumble on the opening kick-off inspired the team - even though we muffed the recovery. Yes, the Dolphins won the game 24 to 21. But, the real winners were the Saints who won respect of their fans by keeping the much better team off-balance and confused most of the game.

Were it not for another missed Field Goal by a sure-footed and reliable Henery and a Saints fumble on their last drive - A fumble that should've been reviewed by the booth with under 2 minutes but wasn't - even though the runner was clearly down - the Saints would have won. But would have, should have, could have is just a sob story waiting to be told.

Miami found paydirt twice with play-action passes that exploited a blitzing nickel - once in the first quarter and again in the 2d taking a 14 to 0 lead into the locker room. The Saints could find nothing against a very stingy defense and missed their only scoring attempt when Henery booted a 50 yarder wide right.

But the 2d half saw the Saints come out with a vengeance, moving the ball down the field in 5 plays to score with a long pass to Arrelious Benn who made a spectacular one arm, over the shoulder, no look catch to bring the Saints to within 7.

A couple of back and forth punts later and the Fins managed to punch a 48-yarder through to go up by 10; 17 to 7. The Saints controlled the tempo of the game, but could not score and had to punt on 4th and inches to end a drive that had the Dolpins on their heels (or dorsal fins). What should've been a 1st down catch by Benn was ruled short. Even the replay showed the sure handed receiver fall past the 1st down marker - but that's the way the Saints' luck had been all day - starting with a Dolphin fumble on the opening kickoff that was recovered by the Saints but slipped out from under the player into the arms of a Dolphin.

It's sad to say we stopped the run by holding Hyde to just 123 yards, but truly we did - he should've run for over 200. The Dolphins moved the ball at will and scored another TD, going up 24 to 7 - but that was the last time they would see the end-zone as the Saints mounted an impressive comeback out of a 4 WR 1 RB set that the Dolphins used against them to score their last TD of the game - A little taste of ye own poison as we like to say in the Big Easy... the Saints scored not once, but twice to pull to within 3 points.

Blitz, Blitz, Blitz - Did someone say

seemed to be the only answer we had to slow Hyde, disrupt the pass play and get the ball back with just over 2 minutes to play. Using their final timeout to stop the clock before the 2 minute warning (we lost our other 2 timeouts on challenges gone wrong). But there was enough time and the Dolphins were watching the NBA playoffs on the sidelines and not paying attention to a mounting Saints drive that was destined for the end-zone, the coach's mind already made up - no FG for a tie it was 7 or bust.

Well nothing is what we got after McCoy busted through the line, jumped over a linebacker and scampered down the sideline for the first down. After being tacked from behind, his knees and elbows clearly on the ground, he released the football. The refs, who were also watching the NBA playoffs, let the play go as a fumble. With 1:30 left in the game, the booth should've reviewed it and obviously give the ball back to the Saints so that they could continue their march to victory and reign triumphant over the visiting shark bait... but noooooooo, Madden Gods say they had enough of Saints good fortune... Dolphins ball, Dolphins game.

No, we're not bitter... :) We've grown accustomed to such luck. How does that old Hee Haw song go... "...If it weren't for bad luck we'd have no luck at all... blue, despair, and agony on me..."

Great game Brett - it's not your fault you won.

Forum Discussion (by Dawson on 06/16/2015) Replies - 3 :: Views - 1341
Saints Survive Round 2 of the Gauntlet

After a devastating 51 to 14 humiliation last week against the team whose name we shall no longer mention, the Saints Defense stepped up and denied 2 of 3 RedZone scoring opportunities by creating turnovers deep in their own territory and holding the high powered offense of the 49ers to just 13 points.

The 49er's started the game with a 5 WR pass play and set the tone of the game from the beginning - pass to set up the run. It was a defensive battle most of the game. The 9'ers scored first with a FG and the Saints answered with one of their own. It looked to be all tied at 3 going into the half, but the 9er's put together a fantastic quick drive with less than 30 seconds left to kick a FG and go up by 3 at the half.

The Saints answered on the first drive of the 2d half with a TD, catching the defense off guard on a 3d and inches, play action pass to a wide open Arrielious Benn streaking down the left side line for the TD.

Not to be out-done, the 49er's put together a scoring drive of their own on the success of 1st Down Play-Action passes that the defense could not stop and took back the lead 13 to 10.

The Saints kept to the running game, though the 9er's managed to stuff most of the runs for short gains or losses. The Saints defense kept them in the game by forcing one of 2 turnovers in the RedZone after impressive drives by the 49er's. Finally the Saints offense managed to put together a scoring drive with passes to their Book- Ends (Green and Niklas) and took back the lead for good 17 to 13.

The Saints defense held the 49er's in check the rest of the game and nearly went ahead by 10 after driving to within FG range, but the ever dependable Henery missed a makeable 50 yard'er wide left by an inch and gave the 49er's another shot to snatch victory away from the tiring Saints defense. And they nearly did it too, but once again the RedZone defense forced a fumble on a scoring drive. After an instant replay challenge, the ruling on the field stood and the Saints got the ball back with over 3 minutes to play.

Grind game on as the Saints used the clock to eat as much time as they could before having to punt the ball on a 4th and 2 situation after a penalty stopped the clock for the 9er's. The 9er's were getting the ball back with just under 3 minutes to play. Plenty of time yet again for the fast paced offense of the 9er's to score. But the 9er's decided to try and block the punt and ran into the kicker, giving the ball back to the Saints to grind the clock a little more and sending the 49er's coach into a fit of rage.

A few runs and a penalty that stopped the clock again, the Saints had to punt it away with just under 2 minutes left in the game. Now, instead of playing prevent defense, the Saints called multiple blitzing schemes to try and put pressure on the QB. Live by the Blitz / Die by the Blitz was the huddle chant. To the Saints' surprise the 9er's kept the ball on the ground running a hurry-up offense and gaining big chunks of yardage against the Dime blitz package defense that the Saints had on the field.

The hurry-up run was very effective but the Saints defense managed to audible out of blitz schemes and into zone coverage to respond to the run strategy without stopping the clock. With about 1:20 left in the game, 4th and 4, the blitz finally got to the QB who threw the ball at the feet of the open receiver, turning the ball over on downs.

The Saints managed NOT to fumble the ball back to the 49ers and held on to win 17 to 13 - holding the 9er's scoreless in the 4th quarter.

Great game El Guapo - In the words of the great Vince Lombardi - you didn't lose, you just ran out of time.

Forum Discussion (by Dawson on 06/05/2015) Replies - 3 :: Views - 1603
Game One of the Gauntlet

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light...

We will not go gentle into the fight...

We look forward to the battle

Forum Discussion (by Dawson on 05/25/2015) Replies - 3 :: Views - 1375
Bad News, Good News
The bad news is the Saints were spanked by the Lions - 40 to 13.

The good news is we made 14 points on the Pick-em... :)

The Saints drew first blood and actually had the lead 3 - 0 early in the 1st Quarter.

We kept it close for that quarter, ending the first all tied 3 to 3.

And then The Best had his way and managed to gain yardage on every running play. I hate Best.

We put our offensive blinders on and basically bent over and let the Lions have their way with us.

Great game Jim. I didn't enjoy the ass-whoopin, but I did enjoy the game and playing against the Master.

No matter what we did, how many men covered receivers, plugged gaps, keyed on running backs -

you managed to complete the pass, gain the yards necessary, and move the ball at will.

Tavon Austin did manage to catch a pass and slip (yes actually slip) past the defender to get free
and score a lone TD
in the 4th Qtr. Too little, too late, but it was nice to see that end of the field and not turn it over at least once.

After that lone score, this is basically all we saw the rest of the game:

Great game Jim - I look forward to seeing you in the Super Bowl again this year
(assuming you can get past those Panthers).
Forum Discussion (by Dawson on 06/28/2014) Replies - 4 :: Views - 1881
Bad News, Good News, Great News
The bad news: It is a bye week (though that could be good in my case) and the week always drags by...

The good news: my team is guaranteed not to lose this week.

The Great news: I get to take on QB Jim Hatzis and his Detroit Lions on my return - can't wait!!
The Saints are fired up and ready to roll against one of the best coaches in the league.
A win here will be the highlight of our season, my career, and could lead to my retirement...
Just kidding. They will pry the controller from my cold dead fingers before I retire again.

So, in preparation for this big event, we're sewing a few extra voodoo dolls, one for Ryan Tannehill, one for Jahvid Best, and several more

replacing our cheerleaders with members of a coven from a Religious Order of Witchcraft,

spending practice sessions learning some black magic chants to add to our playbook

and painting a mental image of our opponents

Know this oh great one - you will get our best game! Sleep well till then.
Forum Discussion (by Dawson on 06/17/2014) Replies - 5 :: Views - 2216
A fitting end to a dismal season
The good news: The curse is over - the Saints win a game after a 7 game losing streak.

The bad news: It was the last game of a losing season.

With nothing but pride on the line, the Saints traveled to the frozen tundra to take on the Packers, also playing for pride. Both teams left everything on the field and the Saints, who nearly snatched defeat from the draws of victory, won it in OT 26 to 23, after giving up a 23 to 6 lead.

Great game Bond. Nick Bond. I wish all of my games were like this one. It was fun from the coin toss. Only thing that would have been better is if we would have ended in a tie.

Best of luck to all the teams who made it to the playoffs or who are fighting this week for a spot. The rest of us will be plotting for the off-season and preparing for next one.
Forum Discussion (by Dawson on 02/20/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 916
Saints Season Summary
Reggie Bush Is On The Run

New Orleans Saints Practice Facilities, Chilly Gentilly, LA-

Regular Season Summary:
The New Orleans Saints finished the regular season at 13-3, giving themselves a chance to make another run at the PFL title this season. The team stumbled down the stretch with all three losses coming in the second half of the season, but was able to regroup in time for the playoffs. The campaign was built on the contributions of defensive captain Jonathan Vilma and the Saints’ offensive trio of QB Colt Montana, RB Reggie Bush, and WR Devery Henderson. Vilma finished 3rd in tackles this year in the PFL with 129 and had 21 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 4 interceptions. Montana continued to shine as a rising star at quarterback in his second year, finishing statistically in the top four of all major passing categories and second overall in passer rating at 97.3. Reggie Bush added 1,581 yards rushing and eleven total touchdowns to the assault, and lead the league in yards from scrimmage. Devery Henderson had a career season with a league leading 1,861 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns.

The Saints coaching staff, known in some circles as a defensive-minded brain trust, relied on their potent offense and found enough solid contributors on defense to get stops when it counted. Head Coach Johnny “Mojo” Beaux explains, “Well… when we got here we saw that there was a reason for the offensive success. They had the horses. We just tweaked a few things and let ‘em run. Colt was born ready. Reggie just needed a few more touches to do his thing. Devery and the others just worked hard to improve. You got a great offensive line and some salty vets like Colston and Shockey…. We just had to let them all do their thing. Defensively, we did have to tighten up a few things here and there. We brought in some new guys and a new system. We feel like we have a solid group that we can count on now.”

The Post Season:

After enjoying a well-earned first round bye, the Saints faced Seattle in their first playoff match up. The Seahawks fielded a stingy defense, but were without their starting quarterback for the contest. Second year standout Bill Carpenter had suffered an injury and was not available to lead the Seahawks offense into the tournament. The Saints jumped out to an early advantage and put the pressure on backup, Sidney Dexter. Dexter performed well for the most part, but wasn’t able to match the Saints’ firepower. Montana finished with over 300 yards passing and Reggie Bush rushed for 166 yards. The Saints secured a 27-11 victory.

Philadelphia would be the Saints’ next opponent. The Eagles have developed one of the league’s top offenses recently, lead by former Saints’ superhero Drew Brees. Fans eagerly anticipated the showdown between two impressive offensive units. The Saints went into the game with their regular season loss to the Eagles fresh on their minds. What would they do differently? Coach Beaux recalls, “Well…we played it safe when we met the Eagles earlier in the year. We let Brees pick us apart and we just didn’t have that aggressive edge we needed to beat a great team. We weren’t gonna lose layin’ down this time. We went after ‘em on offense and we threw a bunch of pressure at Brees this time.” The tone-setter in this game came after the Saints had scored once and found themselves with a 4th and two inside the Eagles’ five yard line. Up 7-0, the Saints lined up to go for it. Montana connected with TE Jeremy Shockey to put the Saints up 14-0 and the Saints never looked back. An aggressive defensive game plan kept Brees from finding his comfort zone to orchestrate a comeback. The Saints closed the deal 34-9, holding the Eagles to 286 yards of total offense. The defense came up with four sacks on the day. Montana threw for 4 touchdowns and earned a passer rating of 140.6. Henderson had 186 yards receiving and a touchdown.

The Superbowl provided the Saints with an exciting match-up against another offensive powerhouse. The Denver Broncos had amassed some of the league’s most gaudy statistics during the regular season and were waiting to spoil the Saints’ hopes of a repeat. The Saints were aggressive on offense, despite obvious big-game jitters. Defensively, the Saints focused on preventing any big plays. Montana lead New Orleans to an early advantage, but an errant throw on the Saints’ following drive gave the Broncos a chance to even the score. The Saints held Denver to a field goal and followed with another scoring drive to pull ahead 14-3 as the first quarter came to an end. The Saints exploded in the second quarter with three more scores and pushed the lead to a comfortable margin by halftime. Fighting off several attempts by the Broncos to mount a late rally, the Saints finished strong 41-13. Montana accumulated 318 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. Colston had 7 catches for 95 yards. SS Danieal Manning had two interceptions. The New Orleans Saints: PFL Champions Again!

Coach Johnny “Mojo” Beaux offers his thoughts on the post season, “We feel honored and blessed to be champions. We think we have a pretty good coaching staff, but when you look at it...in terms of probability…its pretty unlikely that any team will repeat as champions in the PFL. There are just so many great coaches…it’s really tough to do. We had to take it one game at a time, as they say, and forget about the odds. We knew we had to be very aggressive offensively throughout the playoffs. We just sort of opened it up and let ‘er rip. We felt it was important to play with a lead and keep scoring in every game. Seattle is built to play with a lead and the other two, Philadelphia and Denver, can score in bunches… so we just kept attacking. Defensively, we added some pressure packages that helped us out. We were a little soft at times this year, so we wanted to smack ‘em in the mouth. We tried to amp it up on both sides of the ball for the post season.”

The Saints averaged 34 points a game in the post season, up from a league leading 27 in the regular season. The defense allowed an average of 11 points per game over three playoff games. The Saints averaged 461 yards of total offense and allowed only 285. Second year quarterback, Colt Montana passed for four touchdowns in both of the Saints’ final two games, a league high for playoff games since the restructuring three seasons ago.

Mariano Boudreaux
Contributing Writer

Forum Discussion (by Mojo Beaux on 09/23/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 1113

All Team News Stories

At A Glance
GM Butter
Head Coach S.Payton
Offensive Coordinator E.Mangini
Defensive Coordinator R.Thomas
Special Teams B.Ryan
Salary $127.67M
Cap Penalty $14.82M
Cap Room $510K


NFC South
#23 Buccaneers Buccaneers 0-0-0 0.000 0-0
#31 Falcons Falcons 0-0-0 0.000 0-0
#5 Panthers Panthers 0-0-0 0.000 0-0
#11 Saints Saints 0-0-0 0.000 0-0