Wednesday, 19 October 2011 17:07

New Orleans Saints Powers Down As It Faces Colts

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SaintsThe Saints' loss to the Buccaneers cost them dearly as they dropped form No. 2 to No. 7 in the Power Poll. The Top 10 in the Power Poll:

 1. Packers
2. Patriots
3. Ravens
4. 49ers
5. Chargers
6. Lions
7. Saints
8. Steelers
9. Bills
10. Buccaneers

The Las Vegas odds on the Saints winning the Super Bowl are third in the league at 8.50 to 1. The Packers are favored to win the league championship at 3.45 to 1 and the Patriots are 4.40 to 1.

The Saints have the easiest road to the NFC South title. Based on the records of remaining opponents, the Saints have an edge on the rest of the division. The combined record of their opponents is 24-34.

The Saints have gotten a lot of the tough teams out of the way. They're already played the Packers and they just completed a 2-1 road swing. They have the winless Colts and Rams as their next two opponents.

But the real key for the Saints is the five-game stretch after that. They play the Bucs, Falcons, Giants, Lions and Titans. All those teams except the Falcons currently have winning records.

The Buccaneers' opponents are a combined 27-31 and the Falcons' opponents are 27-33.

The 1-5 Panthers have the toughest remaining schedule in the division. Their combined opponents are a combined 30-28, but part of that is because the Panthers have two games with the Buccaneers and one with the Saints.

The Saints host the Colts this week and Indy is on the bottom of most Power Ratings. Their red zone offense is 29th in the NFL with a 36.4 per cent touchdown rate and their first-down offense averages 4.3 yards and is 32nd in the league.>Saints general manger Mickey Loomis spoke with WWL's Bobby Hebert and Duke Bellavia on Monday night. Following are some highlights from the interview:

On Sean Payton

He's fine. He had successful surgery today (Monday). He is resting at the hospital and I am sure he will be ready to go and chomping at the bit later this week.

On the Saints not making a trade before Tuesday's trade deadline.

We were not actively seeking anything or looking to move anyone. If you get a call you listen and you evaluate whether or not they can help your football team. We like our roster. Let's not forget we are 4-2. We have had a couple of tough losses. Both were on the road to good football teams so there is no reason to panic and start making moves for no reason. We have a good football team and we will play well going forward. Even yesterday (Sunday), which I didn't thing  was one of our best game, we still had an opportunity at the end to go ahead in the game.

On RB Chris Ivory

The rule on the (physically unable to perform list) is that starting this week he can begin practicing and he can practice for 21 days. At the end of those 21 days or anytime during those 21 days we have the option to put him on the active roster and play him
in a game.

We can also wait anytime during the next three weeks and not begin that clock until we start practicing him until some time  in the next three weeks We have 21 days to make that decision  and then another  21 days until we have to activate him.  The decision we have is when do we start practicing him with the idea that we want to do that when we have availability on the roster, when we believe he can help us and have an immediate contribution. That is a discussion Sean and I will have to make in the next day or two and we will make a decision going forward.

Chris had a really good season for us last year as a rookie and he is a talented back. Fortunately, we have the luxury of having a number of talented backs right now and so we will make that decision that is best for our team.

On P Thomas Morstead

He has done a fantastic job all year. He has done a great job kicking off.We are happy with Thomas. We have been happy with   him since we got him.

On the improved play of the special teams

Our coaching staff has done a great job this year, We have added some players like Jonathan Amaya and Darren Sproles. Other guys like Ramon Humber, Jonathan Casillas and Korey Hall have all done great jobs on the coverage teams. It was a point of emphasis last year and I think we have responded.

On his evaluation of the team through the first six weeks

I think it is clear we have a good team. We all expected that. I don't ever go into a season thinking we are going to win this game or that game or try to pencil it out. You have to take it as they come.  We are 4-2 right now and tied for the lead in our division. All of our goals are still available to us. We have a lot of games to play and I  like our team. I like the players we have and I like the coaching staff we have.

by Ed Staton

...(Visit Louisiana Sports for your LSU and Saints jerseys.)


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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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