What the Bright One saw on Sunday Night Football. First thing before I go crazy and go into what many us discussed immediately after the game and the next day after. I instead waited a few days to post this because I wanted to rewrite it without the emotion from the game.
I’ve always been a Mathews supporter. Even when everyone was calling for his head after his fumble inside the red-zone against the Falcons, I still felt we need to stick by him. His stats on Sunday night in the Superdome will hopefully silence some doubters. 12 rushes for 80 yards and 1 TD. The 13yd TD run that was on the drive right after Jammer’s INT was fun to watch. When I saw Mathews begin to jump into the air, I thought to myself, he is going to hold the ball away from his body. Sure enough, he soared into the end-zone with his arms wide open as if he was flying. At least he had the ball in the arm that was away from the field. Also he had 6 receptions for 59 yards. Other than the screen pass he dropped early, he showed a ton of explosiveness each time he received a pass from Rivers. Just fix the fumbles Ryan, and you will seriously silence all of these doubters following you around.
One part of concern many us have was when Meachem and Rivers will finally make that connection. Granted he only had 3 passes for 67 yards, he had 2 TDs. The first TD was made by a throw just threading the needle by Rivers. I didn’t think Meachem was going to be able to reach back and grab it. The 2nd TD came right Meachem runs right by the secondary for a 44yd deep pass. Maybe it took Meachem playing against the team that originally drafted him motivated him or it took week 5 in the regular season to put them on the same page. Either way, if Meachem, Floyd, Royal and Gates can keep things together with Rivers, it will be a long game for opposing secondaries.
The first part that we discussed was the part of the game that in my opinion swung the momentum back to the Saints. It was a 12 point swing. We were about to be sitting on a 17pt lead after a what was at the time a pick-six by Demorrio Williams. That particular interception and TD was called back by a roughing the passer call on Melvin Ingram. It was deflating and to me, I don’t think the team really bounced back from it. They just seemed deflated by it. I could be just thinking too much into it but our D was not the same after. It was the start of 17 unanswered points by the Saints. Should it have been Roughing the Passer? Yea, I thought so. Hit him with crown of his helmet. You are going to get called for that each and ever time. I thought Ingram was doing what he was taught to do, go after the QB as hard as you can. Just get the technique right and make sure he doesn’t get the penalty next time. I must say, the move he did to dart inside the tackle was pretty damn good too. A waste of a move and an INT for a TD.
So lets now go to that final drive where it ended on a stripped fumble on Rivers and the game ended. I immediately went on Twitter with the idea, “Let them play Refs!” Gates was called for an Offensive Pass Interference which many us didn’t agree with. I remember even hearing Al Michaels and Cris Collingsworth trying to see if they saw the PI in it. Did he gain leverage with his arm? Was he pushing off? The ref saw something that caused him throw the yellow laundry. If PI wasn’t called, we would have been sitting pretty near the red zone with a little under 2 mins left to go. A few more penalties then just simply ate time off the clock. Then I saw the first play after the barrage of penalties and I saw Gaither just get rushed on the edge. He came up lame and looked gimped. Collinsworth even called it out and said that the next play, the Defensive End (Wilson) would blow right by him. We know how it ended now, with Wilson causing a sack, fumble, and recovered the fumble. Game over. Gaither wasn’t 100%, and of course he knew that. You can see with his backpedal. He couldn’t even put his hand on Wilson. Why didn’t any of the coaches see it? Why didn’t Gaither pull himself out? I saw it from my couch as well as Collinsworth from the booth. It honestly was not a good situation for Gaither. If he pulled himself out, probably would have roasted him for quitting. He stays in and we saw the outcome. No win situation for him. I would have taken the heat for pulling myself out of the game to give the team a chance.
To end this segment, I think the team did well and took the loss as a team. Ingram stood up and took responsibility for his mistake. Welcome to the NFL rookie. Learn from the mistakes you make and make yourself a special playing. Same goes with Mathews. He can become and will be the RB that we jumped 13 spots in the draft to grab.
Congrats to Drew Brees for breaking the record for consecutive games with a TD. I think Brees is going to shatter this record and just put up some absurd number that will probably stand as long if not longer than the original set by Unitas.
Win the division guys. On to the next one and bring on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. See you Monday night!