When I was in high school, one of my best friends used to joke that if he was ever going to do drugs he'd skip the "Gateway Drug" that is marijuana and go straight to something harsh -- like black tar heroin. Well, after witnessing the Saints' inability to close a third game this season with my own eyes, I'm moving ever closer to become a drug addict. Something has to take away the pain this team is capable of inflicting, right? Hence, your Friday song, "Junkhead" by Alice in Chains:
This song is also appropriate for my brief preview of the Saints' game this Sunday against the Raiders. We're supposed to win this game, right? Right? Just like the game against the Vikings? Or how about that game against the Redskins? The only solace I have in that game is that the Redskins have emerged as one of the second best team in the NFC, behind the New York Giants. In short, we lost to a better team that day. Wish I could say the same thing about that Vikings game, though...
Total Defense: Saints - 351.6 ypg; Raiders - 326 ypg
Run Defense: Saints - 107 ypg; Raiders - 113.2 ypg
Pass Defense: Saints - 244.6 ypg ; Raiders - 212.8 ypg
Points Allowed: Saints - 26 ppg; Raiders - 25.2 ppg
Total Offense: Saints - 406.4 ypg; Raiders - 308 ypg
Run Offense: Saints - 80.6 ypg ; Raiders - 155 ypg
Pass Offense: Saints - 325.8 ypg; Raiders - 153 ypg
Points Scored: Saints - 27.6 ppg ; Raiders - 19.5 ppg
It's critical that the Saints defend against the run...wait a second. The Saints were able to hold Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor to just 40 yards rushing on 24 total attempts. And that meant Gus Frerotte had to beat the Saints in the air, which he did. And now that Tracy Porter is done for the year, we'll be seeing more of Jason David in the secondary. We need to put more guys back in coverage...wait a second. We can't do that either.
The Raiders have the third best running game in the league, with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush splitting carries in the backfield. JaMarcus Russell might have hit his stride in their last game, throwing for 277 yards against the Chargers. And then there's the whole, "let's play really well for a new head coach" theory.
Why do I have a feeling that this will not end well for the Saints? Should I start looking for some shady drug dealer who can hook me up now? Or should I actually wait until 3:01 p.m. to find my smack? Cause I suspect the defense is going to let down the offense big time this week.
Prediction: Raiders 26, Saints 24