Minus those two plays, their next biggest play was a 30-yard reception by Brandin Cooks. You have to pay them for what they will do on the field right now. “So we just finished talking about it. It’s up to each player to get up and be ready to play and execute the scheme”. Instead, the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints’ “Sunday Night Football” matchup could feature two career back-ups hoping to keep each squad afloat before the stars heal up. He was sidelined in the team’s loss to the Carolina Panthers.
BTB: If you were Sean Payton on Sunday night, what would be your game plan for the Cowboys?
Brees said the idea was to start the week slow and gradually build up the volume and difficulty of passes. “They’re basically telling the body, ‘I’m injured”.
The Cowboys’ run defense also pulled a no-show in this game as Atlanta’s backup running back Devonta Freeman carried the ball 31 times for 141 yards and three touchdowns. Last week we saw a few of those happen thanks to Cam Newton and Greg Olsen. But Weeden and Dallas’ attack would punt on their next three possessions and the defense folded in a 39-28 loss. Half of those sacks belong to rookie Hau’oli Kikaha. That said, the combination of Ryan’s complex schemes (in his time in Dallas, they served to confuse his defensive charges as much or more than rival quarterbacks) and so many inexperienced players will nearly certainly provide the Cowboys offense with opportunities for big plays. Byrd has played in 4 of 19 games since signing a large contract with the Saints 19 months ago.
Weeden completed 22 of 26 for 232 yards with an interception. The Saints front seven just has to find a way to disrupt him.
Brees missed last week’s game with a bruised rotator cuff.
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“Each day’s been good, the throws, deep balls and everything”, Payton said.
Notes: Cornerback Keenan Lewis, who was listed as limited in Wednesday’s practice, said, “I’m up”. Marcus Murphy, even. Those guys, each week, are looking to see how they’re being utilized.
The Saints special teams have been middle-of-the-road during the early season, receiving solid but unspectacular performances across the board. I’m sure you are asking, why?
“We finally executed and I got one and I feel like it’s just the start”, Murphy said. He got picked on a lot last week by Cam Newton and Greg Olsen. It wouldn’t be a stretch for things to turn around and for the team to make a playoff run.
Payton said Wednesday he the Saints are “one short at tight end, and that concerns me”. Defensive end Cameron Jordan (back) did not practice either. An official decision about Brees’ availability is expected to come on Friday. And with that, he will quiet all the critics, at least for one game. He has wiped the floor with the Saints in recent meetings between the two teams, even when the Saints have won.
It’s premature to say Michael will be active for Sunday night’s game against New Orleans.