Film study? Who needs film study. Ain’t nobody got time for film study. We’re pretentious, but we’re not pretentious enough to pretend our semi-aimless highlight-watching is anything like bona-fide football film study.
No more ado. Here’s this week’s Saints GIF Study.
1. The Epic Meachem Bobble
Epic is one of those overused words, but when you slow down Robert Meachem‘s crazy bobbled catch, epic becomes the most accurate way to describe it. It’s so epic, in fact, that before you spend the next half hour watching it you need to click this link and add an NFL Films musical score to the experience.
2. The Jimmy Berserker TD
Probably my favorite thing Jimmy Graham does is just physically drag defenders across the field in a berserker-like pursuit of the goal line. In fact, if Jimmy Graham ever joins the WWE, that should be his name: The Berserker.
3. The Toon Drop
I seem to be much more positive these days than most Saints fans. But look: I have no illusions about the Jets game. The Jets game sucked. It was one of those days. You know a day is going to be one of those when stuff like the Nick Toon drop happens.
This was a possible game-changing play. Instead of a new set of downs well inside Jets territory and a chance to build a two score lead, the Saints punted the ball back to the Jets and embarked on the long, frustrating journey to their second loss.
Why did you dive, Nick Toon? Why? If you just keep running you probably catch this pass and score a touchdown! Why?
Toon Fail Bonus:
Seriously, Nick, get it together.
4. Sibling Rivalry
The Ryan boys disagreed about a fourth quarter holding call against the Jets.
Pretty sure Rob said “holding.” You can interpret Rex as you wish.
5. The Rare Jedidiah Gabriel Collins Letdown
Jedidiah Gabriel Collins is the man, basically. He never lets us down … except, apparently, when he does. Nothing in this game dashed my hopes quite like this play. Not even the more infamous play that followed. If Jedidiah Gabriel Collins isn’t on his game, nobody is.
6. The Tight End Around
Speaking of infamy, let’s take an actual game filmy look at the thing we ran to Josh Hill.
Before I start, full disclosure: This play doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers most of you because of reasons you can learn more about in this other thing I wrote. Basically: If we’re going to screw up and lose, I’d rather lose with Sean Payton being a crazy person than a conventional one.
And I mean: The basic design of this play doesn’t totally suck in the way I think the very essence of that bootleg the Saints tried against New England sucked.
Unlike the bootleg–which was called in a fourth and medium situation, not a fourth and inches one, and which left many Patriots defenders unaccounted for–this one accounted for almost everyone.
Check this out:
The yellow circle is where poor Josh Hill is being tackled by Jets linebacker Quinton Coples. The red circles indicate all the places where Saints guys are in position to block Jets guys. Unlike the bootleg, which needed basically half the Patriots’ defense to screw up for it to be successful, this play accounted for almost everyone.
Coples is the guy the Saints needed to fool here. He needed to take a bad step, or just generally crash down on the play. He didn’t.
But two more quick things you should know: Josh Hill is pretty fast. A WR/TE hybrid type in college, he clocked regularly in the 4.6 range during his post-college workouts. And, if Coples had taken the bait, Josh Hill wouldn’t have just picked up the first down. Based on the play design and the way the blocking had developed, Hill probably would have scored a touchdown.
If you say this wasn’t the time to run such a trick play, I will most likely agree with you. But based on the way this thing was put together, and because of the aggressiveness at its core, I can respect it.
It could have worked. Unlike the bootleg, which was a mess from snap to tackle, this play could have paid off big.
But it didn’t work. The Jets won.
Sometimes it’s just not your day.