First off, the start to this post isn’t an anti-Drew Brees campaign. Nope, not even close. Drew played well tonight as he completed nearly 78% of his passes for 239 yards and 2 touchdowns with his lone gaff being a fumble that the Eagles recovered. Well ok, he had two fumbles but he’s still Drew Brees, ok? Anyways, I gave that vague title to let you know something’s afoot in New Orleans. Usually, something has a foot but isn’t a foot, Sky. Thanks, obtuse italics. What I’m trying to say is the Saints are finally getting back to some of what made them a successful team in past years: Rushing the ball. Yep, under the facade of being an all-pass, all the time team, the Saints have actually had a formidable rushing attack during the last three years and they used to put it to work a lot. Let’s do a quick snapshot comparison. From 2009~2011, the Saints averaged 426 rushing attempts a year, good for a 26.6 carries per game average. Now to put things in further perspective, they finished 6th in the NFL twice in that span in terms of rushing yards. Prior to tonights game, the Saints were on pace for 317 carries total on the year which obviously put them at the bottom of the league in terms of rushing yards. So of course, on a night that they win, the Saints rush the ball 25 times…ok, we won’t count the Brees kneel down as a rush. Overall, if you’re a Brees owner, you should not be worried about this situation. In fact, you should embrace it seeing as the last three years for Brees owners has been amazing. The establishment of the running game bodes well for Drew owners as well as the guys he throws to. Plus, it keeps all those guys in playoff contention which keeps everyone interested when the fake playoffs start for us. In other fantasy football news…
DeSean Jackson – Only 3 receptions but gained 100 yards and a touchdown. Of course, 77 yards came on the touchdown catch so before you go crazy about it, realize you got the good side of being Mr. Miyagi’ed: D-Jax was on but you could’ve gotten D-Jax off.
LeSean McCoy – Had a great first quarter in which he had about 50 yards on only about 5 or 6 carries. Actually, the Eagles started the night off with well over 100 rushing yards in the first quarter with Bryce Brown chipping in 50+ of his own. So it goes without saying, if that’s how the night started and the Eagles had 4 redzone opportunities with a QB struggling with TOs all year…eh, how did they not run it more when it was whatever and goal and end up with more than 2 FGs there? I’m not asking this as a fantasy guy, I’m asking this as someone whose trying to understand what you’re doing, Andy Reid…no, Andy, I’m simply asking you a question, you can’t call a timeout…no, no challenge flags either. In all, McCoy’s night was good – 133 total yards – but really should’ve been better.
Marques Colston – Ho-hum, another week, another touchdown to go with 46 yards on 4 receptions. I put him as a top 10 wide receiver to start the year for which I got guff. Guff I tell ya! Well now I can tell them all to guff off because that’s exactly where he’s been hovering for most of the year. Sorry if you are smelling a strong sense of righteous indignation, it’s just me; I just smugged.
Pierre Thomas – Was supposed to be THE guy in the backfield when Sproles went down. Somehow he finished the night with less touches than he did in his last three games. The PT Bruiser only touched the ball 8 times for 67 total yards and no score though he did take it down to the one before Colston’s touchdown. In the end, he was barely owned before the game in most leagues and surely this one won’t change anyone’s minds. The fact of the matter is the Saints are an RBBC to the extreme and Pierre is an au pair for New Orleans and that RB crew.
Mark Ingram– Mark tallied 9 touches – 2 as receptions – for same amount of yards as Pierre got which means he was almost fantasy relevant for the first time in forever. Seriously, where has this guy been all year? Is he just getting over mono? Is he really Justin Blackmon in disguise? Well, it’s a good thing for Ingram owners that he showed up – if there are any left – because he has even more competition in the backfield now…
Chris Ivory – See how I elipses’ed right into Ingram’s nemesis? Though Ivory had the least amount of yardage between the three with 49, he was the only running back to touch paydirt and did lead the team in touches on the night with 12. Not bad for a guy that hasn’t seen the field at all this season. Wonder if anyone talked about him before the season sta…ah…AH-CHOOOOO! Sorry, it’s flu-RL season. The only thing holding Ivory back from more carries ROS is Ingram’s blood transfusion from Charlie Sheen. As an Ivory owner in two leagues, I really hope Ingram just falls back asleep, Tiger Blood be damned.
Michael Vick– The end line wasn’t bad – 272 passing, 53 rushing to go with 1 TD and 1 INT – but his stat line did not represent how good or bad he played. His lone turnover was a soul-crushing pick in the redzone returned for an INT for the NO defense. And while we’re talking about the NO defense, let’s note that the Eagles only put up 13 points on THE worst defense in the league so far this year. Overall, this was the second worst output in terms of QB fantasy scoring against the Saints this season. The first worst? Matt Cassel. You get what I’m saying? Side bar: watched plenty of the start of the game and I don’t know how many times they flashed to the Eagles sidelines and caught a heated exchange here or an angry face there. This team looks bad in reality which could be disastrous for fantasy. Don’t think Vick necessarily deserves to lose his job but if it’s either him or Reid, I’m pretty sure Michael will be riding the pine. On the plus side, he can’t turn the ball over from there.
Jimmy Graham – He gave his owners a scare a few weeks back with an ankle injury and then missed a game that no one thought he’d miss after his team’s bye. Now has two straight games with touchdowns and finished the night as his team’s leader in targets (11), receptions (8) and receiving yards with 72. Though he had his writing teacher worried for a while, it looks like Jimmy is back to using good Graham’er for his owners. Is it irony to use improper grammar to make a pun on grammar or merely coincidence? And before you answer, watch out: your dangling participle is showing!