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Getting to Know the New Orleans Saints

Man it looks like it has been one tough season down in New Orleans. The number one thing I was curious about was the status of RB Deuce McAllister, DE Charles Grant, and DE Will Smith, who are appealing their four game suspensions on Tuesday with the league office for using the diuretic Bumetanide. I don't know how they get out of that one. McAllister is having a good season, but his likely replacement is RB Pierre Thomas and he's just as good. Losing Grant and Smith would really hurt their pass rush, but Grant's already out for the season so his absense is a sure thing. But this is just another chapter in a long string of bad news in 2008 for the Saints:

  • This team has been gutted by injuries. I counted 11 guys on I.R. Unfortunately former Packer CB Mike McKenzie is on I.R. too, so no chance to abuse him in coverage. I scanned their roster and realized that QB Mark Brunell is still playing in the NFL. And they've got QB Joey Harrington? They've got all the veteran backup QBs! No wonder the Packers had to settle for two rookie QBs behind QB Aaron Rodgers.
  • Although the Saints are 3-1 at home this season, they haven't played in New Orleans since October 12th because their last "home" game was in London. Due to all the injuries, "since that game, the 53-man roster has undergone nearly a 17 percent turnover."
  • The Saints big move this season, the trade for TE Jeremy Shockey, has been a complete disaster.
  • The NFC South has turned into one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL. Although the Saints are 5-5, they are three games behind Carolina for the division lead, and depending on the tie-breakers, there are four to seven teams ahead of them for the final wild card spot. It wouldn't kill the Packers if they lost on Monday, but it would put the Saints' season on life support.
  • Where would this team be without QB Drew Brees? It seems like he's holding them together, but I also noticed it has been feast-or-famine for him all season. In 10 games this season, his passer rating has been above 110 in 4 games, and below 70 in 5. He does seem to play much better in the Superdome. The only time his passer rating has been below 116 at home was in their loss to Minnesota.