Saints need Brees to cut down on road turnovers for chance Saturday

Saints need Brees to cut down on road turnovers for chance Saturday

Credit: Getty Images

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 15: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints passes against the St. Louis Rams in the third quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on December 15, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 8, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

METAIRIE, La. — Drew Brees fully admits he didn’t see DeMeco Ryan flash in front of Lance Moore in the second quarter of Saturday’s Saints’ playoff win at Philadelphia.

It was the second of two giveaways in the first half and the turnover led to seven Eagles points, their first of the day.

Problem for Brees is the other interceptions and his inability to take care of the ball lately away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

With New Orleans (12-5) heading to Seattle (13-3) and CenturyLink Field, a recent house of horrors for the Saints, that will have to change for the visiting team to have any chance of winning in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs.

Brees’ statistics at home versus on the road this season are startlingly different.

Inside the weather-controlled environment of the Superdome, he threw 27 touchdowns passes, just three interceptions and had a 126.38 quarterback rating.

In nine games, playoffs included, away from home he’s much worse and much more average, throwing 13 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and averaging an 85.0 rating.

But it’s in the past four road games that his struggles have been most apparent. The one-time Super Bowl MVP has thrown just four touchdowns, tossed six interceptions, lost two fumbles and owns a 76.9 rating.

Against Philadelphia, he finished with one touchdown and the two interceptions and a 75.7 rating, his lowest playoff rating ever.

Still, the Saints overcame the turnovers and won the franchise’s first-ever playoff game in an NFC opponent’s stadium. It was only the fifth time a road team has won a playoff game when it was minus-2 or worse since the merger.

“Having a resilient team,” Brees said when asked about what he took from the Eagles game. “Having a team that doesn’t have a panic button. We can overcome because defensively we’re built that way. Offensively we’re built that way. We’re built to score and to score quickly, also to be able to possess the ball.”

In the Saints’ first game against Seattle this season, Brees was only 60 percent passing and had a 77.4 rating. New Orleans finished with just 188 total yards, the fewest since Brees came to the franchise and fewest since 2003.  The Seahawks owned the ball for nearly 7½ more minutes than the Saints.

That was six weeks ago.

The Seahawks ended the season with a league-best 28 interceptions and 39 takeaways. Seattle also boasts the NFL’s top defense, the only team allowing less than 300 total yards per game.

“We study tendencies, quarterbacks, their movements,” Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said. “We are really a very disciplined film-watching football team.  I think when you work that hard, when you study that hard, when you are not out partying, you sit in that time and you are watching film and getting ready for your opponents, it benefits you.”

The good news for the Saints is that Brees, in general, has been good in the postseason, boasting a 101.9 rating and a 23-6 touchdown to interception ratio in 10 playoff games.

Should Brees take care of the ball, he thinks the Saints could be able to take advantage of what the Seahawks do.

“It’s one thing that man coverage and bump and run does give you is that if you can get the ball in your guy’s hands and make someone miss, you have potential opportunities there,” Brees said.

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