Posts by stretchthekid

I am sports writer and podcaster. My favorite teams are the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans.

Saints VS Giants Recap

By: Damian Adams

Last season the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants played against each other in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This may have been the craziest game of the 2015 season as the Saints won 52-49, both offenses ran up and down the field as if no one was in front of them. Drew Brees went 39-50, passing for 505 yards, and 7 touchdowns.  Eli Manning wasn’t bad himself, as he went 30-41, passing for 350 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Last year’s shootout had many expecting a similar result this year. What a difference a year makes?

This year’s match-up was the complete opposite of last year’s game, this one was played at MetLife Stadium. The Saints punted on their first five possessions as they could not get in a rhythm. The black and gold’s longest possession was two minutes and 38 seconds during that span. New Orleans’ defense did a great job during that time, despite constantly being on the field. They gave up a lot yards to the Giants but were able to force four turnovers (three fumbles, turnover on downs), bending but not breaking. The last fumble recovered by New Orleans put their offense in position to kick a field goal.

The Giants blocked the low kicked field goal attempt, Janoris Jenkins scooped it up and returned it for a touchdown. This play was a ten point swing for the Giants as they took three points away from the Saints and gained seven points. New Orleans did recover on the next drive and ended it with a made field goal. The New York Giants were up 7-3 at the half.

New York started the second half by missing a 53 yard field goal attempt. New Orleans’ offense again did not capitalize on the mishap, as they punted after another sub-three minute possession. Eli Manning and the Giants offense responded with an 11 play drive, which lasted six minutes and ended with a made field goal. Giants were up 10-3 at this point. Drew Brees and the saints offense responded with their best drive of the game, going 74 yards on nine plays, ending the drive with a touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Willie Snead IV. This drive was just over four minutes long. Game was tied 10-10. New York came right back with another, 11 play drive that ended with a made field goal, 13-10 Giants.  The Saints offense would respond with a eight play drive, going 47 yards, ending that drive with a made field goal, game tied 13-13.

The Giants got the ball back with two minutes and 54 seconds left in the game. The drive looked to be stalling when Eli Manning threw a jump ball up to Victor Cruz. Saints defensive back Ken Crawley was in perfect position to get an interception or knock the ball down. Crawley was not able to do so as he made a rookie mistake,trying to catch the ball as if he was an open receiver giving Cruz the opportunity to snatch the ball away from him. Cruz made a great play on this 34 yard reception, which forced the Saints to take their final timeout, as the Giants were on the Saints two yard line. New York played it smart, taking knees and killing time until they kicked the very short game winning field goal as time expired, Giants won 16-13.

This game may have ended with the Giants offense getting the best of the Saints defense but New Orleans’ offense is the one to blame for this lost. The Saints have a very young defense especially in the secondary and the game plan should have been to control the clock and keep the Giants offense off the field. Sean Payton seemed to want to do that at the start of the game but got away from the run, the Saints only ran the ball 13 times for 41 yards. The Giants ran the ball 32 times for 64 yards. Even though New York only averaged two yards per carry, they stuck with it and were not one dimensional. This lack of a running game by New Orleans forced their defense to be on the field a lot more than it should have. The Saints lost the time of possession battle 34:07 to 25:53. This caused New Orleans’ defense to be tired at the end of the game.

The key play of the game was the blocked field goal turned touchdown by the Giants, that was a ten point swing and New York won by three points.

The fan bases of both teams can go into next week with a positive outlook. The Giants are (2-0) with two ugly victories where their defense has played very well. The offense has had two sloppy performances and they still came out with wins in both games. To be (2-0) with room to improve is a great place to be. The Saints are (0-2) but have lost both games by a combined four points, game one the offense was great and defense didn’t show up, game two it was vice versa. Hopefully week 3 and throughout the rest of the season they can put it all together. Next week may be a “must win” game for the black and gold.

Keys to Victory for Raiders vs. Saints

By: Damian Adams

Week one of the NFL season is here, it started with an awesome game on Thursday night as the Denver Broncos squeaked past the Carolina Panthers, 21-20. The NFL has a plethora of good games this weekend and one of the more intriguing match-ups is the Oakland Raiders going to New Orleans to take on the Saints.  Both teams finished last season, 7-9, leaving one fan base hopeful of a bright future and the other wishing it was 2009. During the last ten seasons under Sean Payton, the culture of the Saints has changed and “Who Dat Nation” now expects to be in the playoff hunt year in and year out. During that same time span the Raiders became the laughingstock of the league, not making the playoffs once during that time. Now the Raiders are looking to make the same type of culture change the Saints made. This is a match-up of two teams who are looking to take a step forward this season and go to the playoffs.

In 2015, the Oakland Raiders made huge strides in the right direction and continued going in that direction with some of the moves they made this off-season. The biggest move was adding Bruce Irvin to the defense. Last season the Raiders had 38 sacks which was 16th in the NFL, square in the middle of the pack. This year that should improve with the combination of Bruce Irvin and an improving Khalil Mack, who had 15 sacks last season. There is no reason, besides injury, that Mack shouldn’t repeat this success or improve on his stats from last year. Khalil Mack and the Raiders defense getting pressure on Brees is the key to the Raiders winning.

If the Saints want to pass the rock around the field like they are accustomed to doing, Drew Brees has to stay on his feet. New Orleans cannot expect the offensive line to do this by themselves, the real key to protecting Brees will be the assistance of the running backs, and the tight ends in the protection scheme. Sean Payton should also incorporate some of those signature screen passes and utilize C.J. Spiller’s speed, that will definitely slow up the pass rush.

In 2015, the New Orleans Saints defense was horrific, awful, bad, terrible, disgusting,  and all other words that are the opposite of good.  During the off-season the Saints tried to beef up the front seven with additions like James Laurinaitis and Nick Fairley.  These additions need to help the Saints put pressure on Derek Carr. Last season the Raiders passed the ball 63.33% of the time, ninth highest in the NFL. If the black and gold want to stop the Carr and Amari Cooper connection, putting Carr on his back is the best way to do that.

Special teams will play a big part in this game as well. Last season the Raiders seemed to always have good field position, starting their drives at the 29 yard line on average. This was the seventh best in the NFL. The saints need to make each drive hard for them by controlling the field position battle. Both teams did a great job of taking care of the ball last season, Oakland only turned the ball over on 10.3% of their drives, and New Orleans only turned the ball over on 10.4% of their drives. Everything points to this game being a close and high scoring affair. I predict the Saints will win 34-28.



By: Damian Adams

The most polarizing athlete of the last 20 years has been Floyd Mayweather Jr. The arrogant, flashy, and flamboyant champion, has always made sure everyone knew he was the absolute best at what he does. As you can see in the picture above Mayweather has accumulated an abundance of championship belts during his boxing career. Floyd has held championship belts in the Super Featherweight, Lightweight, Super Lightweight, Welterweight, and Super Welterweight divisions, on his way to a 49-0 record in his career that includes 26 KO’s (Knockouts). Which gives him the ammunition in his argument that he is “TBE” which stands for “The Best Ever”.   The best ever argument is a very hard one to make because boxing has such a long and legendary history. Mayweather has definitely earned the right to be in the conversation but he is there with legends like; Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, and Sugar Ray Robinson, among others. I personally like to refer to Floyd Mayweather as “TSE” which stands for the “The Smartest Ever” because of the way he outsmarted opponents in the ring and his business acumen outside of the ring. Floyd Mayweather also has a good argument to be referred to as “TMU” which stands for “The Most Underappreciated”.

Floyd Mayweather Jr and Roy Jones Jr have a lot in common. They are both boxing legends, both were trained by their fathers and had tumultuous relationships with them, and they both were robbed of Olympic gold medals. Roy’s robbery is the more infamous of the two but Floyd felt that same pain. Mayweather made sure he didn’t taste defeat again. “Pretty Boy Floyd” as his was called at that time, started off his professional career with a boom, going 17-0 with 11 knockouts. On October 3, 1998, Floyd got his first title shot against Genaro Hernandez for the WBC (World Boxing Council) Super Featherweight title, dominating him for eight rounds before the referee decided to stop it. Hernandez was no bum, he had a tremendous career with a record of (38-2-1). Mayweather would continue to defeat quality competition like Angel Manfredy, who finished his career, (43-8-1) with 32 KO’s, Carlo Gerena, who finished his career (38-6) with 30 KO’s, before going into a huge fight against Diego Corrales.

Corrales was (33-0) with 26 KO’s at the time. Mayweather obliterated Corrales knocking him down several times, forcing Corrales’ corner to throw in the towel, ending the fight in the 10th round.

Floyd Mayweather then moved up to the lightweight division to challenge Jose Luis Castillo for his championship. This was the most difficult fight of Mayweather’s career by far. Castillo’s style gave Floyd some issues but the self proclaimed “Pretty Boy” was able to pull out the disputed decision.  A lot of boxing fans still believe that Castillo won that fight till this day. No boxing fan with a substantial amount of boxing knowledge can dispute the rematch in which Mayweather used his blinding speed to get another unanimous decision over the great Castillo. Jose Luis Castillo ended his career (66-13-1) with 57 KO’s.  Mayweather went on to take control of  the lightweight division for the next few years, beating the likes of ; Victoriano Sosa (42-4-2) with 31 KO’s, Philip Ndou (37-5) with 34 KO’s, and Henry Bruseles (28-4-1) with 15 KO’s before going into a big time fight against Arturo Gatti.

Arturo Gatti was a warrior in the ring known his punching power and strong will. Mayweather promised to embarrass Gatti and delivered on his promise by hitting Gatti with blistering head and body blows for six rounds before the referee mercifully ended the fight. Mayweather won the Super Lightweight title that night. Gatti ended his career (40-9) with 31 KO’s.

Mayweather’s popularity and star was getting bigger and bigger as his piled up more and more names on his resume. Floyd’s skill gave him the opportunity to fight Oscar De La Hoya.  Mayweather was no longer the “Pretty Boy” as the perception of him began to change and he became more flashy and flamboyant. Floyd talked a lot of trash leading up to the fight and rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

As always “Money” Mayweather backed up his trash talk and won a close fight over hall of famer Oscar De La Hoya. Oscar De La Hoya ended his career (39-6) with 30 KO’s.  This fight was the highest grossing in boxing history at the time. After the De La Hoya fight every Floyd Mayweather fight was a spectacle and huge payday for “Money”.

Mayweather would go on to beat the previously undefeated Ricky Hatton by a eighth round TKO and then took a two year hiatus from the sport. Ricky Hatton ended his career (45-3) with 32 KO’s.

After Mayweather’s break, he would come back to beat Juan Manuel Marquez in a 12 round display of boxing excellence. This is the same Juan Manuel Marquez who fought Manny Pacquiao four times and literally put Pacquiao to sleep on the fourth occasion. Marquez finished his career (56-7-1) with 40 KO’s. Marquez was never knocked out during his career.

After beating Marquez, Mayweather would fight future hall of famer Shane Mosley. Mosley came ready to fight and hit Mayweather with two vicious right hands in the 2nd round. “Money” looked to be in trouble but recovered and adjusted to win the fight easily. Mosley is currently (49-10-1) with 41 KO’s, hopefully he retires soon.

Floyd “Money” Mayweather would continue to rack up victories and checks as he got a controversial knockout win over Victor Ortiz, then beat Miguel Cotto and Robert Guerrero by unanimous decision before facing the young lion primed to take him out, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

Alvarez was no match for Mayweather as Floyd made Canelo miss all match and countered him with hard right hands. Saul Alvarez is currently (47-1-1) with 33 KO’s. Alvarez is arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the sport now.  After the Alvarez fight, Mayweather won two decisions over the hard-hitting Marcos Maidana, before entering the perceived “Fight of The Century” against Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather dominated the legend in the long awaited bout. Pacquaio only won two or 3 rounds max. The fight did not live up to the hype but that was no fault of Mayweather’s as he threw more punches, landed more punches, and landed at a higher percentage. Pacquaio is a future hall of famer who is currently (58-6-2) with 38 KO’s.  This was the highest grossing fight in history.  Mayweather only fought once after Pacquaio, ending his career, by putting on a show against former champion Andre Berto.

Any other boxer with the history, resume, and skill set of Mayweather would be beloved but Mayweather tends to show off the benefits of his boxing skill as you see above. This rubs plenty of fans the wrong way and it makes people look for reasons to not accept his greatness. A lot of people don’t like Floyd Mayweather because of his history with women and of course domestic violence is not condoned but that is separate from his boxing career. Fans will say things like he didn’t fight anyone, even though he beat several current or future hall of famers, and over 20 champions.  Mayweather’s detractors also say he didn’t fight, he ran, like dodging punches is against the rules. Other fans who dislike “Money” will say he only plays defense, which makes his fights boring. Did they forget that Mayweather has won several fights with strong offensive performances like when defeated; Arturo Gatti, Diego Corrales, Ricky Hatton, and Saul Alvarez?

Mayweather is also a promoting genius by creating the “Money” Mayweather persona, he made sure that people would turn in to see his fights. Boxing fans either hated or loved Mayweather, no one was or is indifferent about this man. Which is brilliant because all fans will tune in and pay to see Floyd Mayweather either win or lose depending on how they feel about him. Which has led to Mayweather being in the top three grossing fights of all time and four of the top ten. Mayweather found a way to make hundreds of millions dollars in a sport where the athletes are usually broke at the end. Even with his huge list of accomplishments, Floyd may never be beloved and that’s why he will go down as the most underappreciated boxer of all time.

The Real Key to Victory

By: Damian Adams

A football team is a lot like a woman. The offense is the exterior, the way she looks, the shape of her body, how she dresses and the way she carries herself. The offense is what attracts the man, makes him almost break his neck as she walks by, also makes him want to approach her and ask her out. 

The defense and special teams is the substance of the woman. The defense and special teams is the woman’s personality, her ambition, her ability to make good decisions, and the way she treats her man. The defense and special teams is what makes the man want to be in relationship, makes him introduce her to the family, makes him want to live with her, and eventually put a ring on it.

The 2015 New Orleans Saints were 7-9, ranked 2nd overall in offense, and 32nd overall in defense. Last year the team was beautiful on the outside, looking a lot like Kerry Washington. Unfortunately, the saints had no job, but were somehow always in the club. They had three kids with three different fathers and a 420 credit score. The team realizes that they are not marriage material and that changes need to be made if they want to contend for a championship and get a ring put on it. 

Ladies please don’t take this the wrong way, you can flip this analogy and it works exactly the same.

This intense gentleman with the head set on is Dennis Allen. The new defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints. Allen is the key to making that change the Saints need. The defense needs to improve drastically for the Saints to contend for a playoff spot. Allen has a history with New Orleans. Allen was the assistant defensive line coach with the gold and black in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, the saints ranked 13th overall in defense, 12th in sacks with 38, as they finished the regular season 10-6, losing the NFC championship game to Chicago Bears. In 2007, the team slipped a lot on defense and were ranked 25th overall, 21st in sacks with 32 and finished 7-9, missing the playoffs. Allen was promoted to the coach of the secondary in 2008 and held that position until 2010. In 2008, the defense had another down season, the one bright spot was the secondary which ranked 13th in interceptions with 15, finishing the season 8-8. In 2009, the defense ranked 20th overall, but 3rd in interceptions with 26, which was a big part of the 13-3 regular season and playoff run which included a Super Bowl victory. In 2010, the defense was 7th overall, and 4th in passing defense, finishing 11-5, losing to Seattle in the wildcard game. 
In 2011, Allen left to be the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator and the Saints felt the effect of his absence as New Orleans declined in defense every year with the exception of 2013, where they ranked 4th overall. Last season Dennis Allen was added on as a senior defensive assistant but Rob Ryan had the controls of play calling for most of the season.

The improvement of the defense ultimately comes down to the players producing but having the right defensive coordinator is a major part of it. The defensive coordinator can put in the right scheme, call the right plays, and put players in the best place to succeed. For the saints sake, hopefully Dennis Allen does that better than Rob Ryan did the last two seasons. Allen wants the defense to be more aggressive and physical as he stated in an interview with The Sun-Herald, “We want to be an effective defense. We want to be an attacking, aggressive style of defense. We want to put pressure on the offense as much as we possibly can. You can make up for a lot of mistakes by playing hard and physical. Our defense is not as much about what we call but more about how we play.” 

In the first preseason game the defensive starters looked to be adapting Allen’s philosophy, as they constantly put pressure on, Patriots quarterback Jimmy Graoppolo, flew around the field and made plays.  

If Allen can help improve the Saints defense into a top 20 ranking. The Saints will have a chance to put a championship ring on it.

Feel The Brees

By : Damian Adams


In life, there are a lot of things we take for granted like, the air we breathe, the ground we walk on, and Drew Brees throwing for at least 4,500 yards. Brees has been so consistently great that we just don’t appreciate what he does each and every week. Drew Brees and Sean Payton are the two biggest reasons the New Orleans Saints are no longer the laughing stock of the NFL. Before Drew Brees came to New Orleans, the Saints had only one playoff victory in the franchise’s history. Number 9 has led the Saints to several playoff wins, including a victory in Super Bowl 44. Brees’ resume should put him in the all-time great discussions but when fans, analyst, or even players have debates about the top five quarterbacks of all time, Drew Brees is usually omitted from the conversation. 

Why is that?

When football fans and analyst list the all time greats, the usual suspects are Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Dan Marino, and John Elway among others. Brees’ stats stand up to or even eclipse all of these quarterbacks in several areas. Brees has led the league in completion percentage three times, while more highly regarded quarterbacks like Elway and Aaron Rodgers never did it, Marino and Brady only did it once, and Peyton Manning lead the league in completion percentage twice. There are several more examples of stats like these, Brees has led the league in passing yards six times, while quarterbacks who are considered historically better like; Joe Montana and Aaron Rodgers never accomplished that feat, Elway only did that once, Brett Favre and Brady did it twice, Peyton Manning did it three times, and Dan Marino led the league in passing yards five times. Drew Brees has also led the league in passing touchdowns four times, while Rodgers and Elway have never did that, and Montana only accomplished that feat twice.

Drew Brees detractors like to point out that he did not excel with stats like this until he got in Sean Payton’s system. Sean Payton designed this offense around Drew Brees’ skill set, I don’t know if any quarterbacks would be this productive in this system. Brees also has never had a great wide receiver while Joe Montana had Jerry Rice, Peyton Manning had Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and later on Demaryius Thomas, John Elway had Shannon Sharpe, Ed McCaffrey, and Rod Smith, Brett Favre had Sterling Sharpe, Tom Brady had Randy Moss and now  Rob Gronkowski. Drew Brees’ best receiver was Marques Colston, a seventh round pick out of Hofstra University.  Brees had a very productive Jimmy Graham for a few years. Drew helped cover up a lot of short comings that Graham has, which are now being exposed since Graham got traded to Seattle. The saints do have Brandin Cooks now, who may turn into a top tier receiver. Drew Brees has made a lot of receivers look very good, but once they leave New Orleans their production goes down drastically. Just ask Robert Meachem, Lance Moore, and Kenny Stills, just to name a few.

There are so many reasons that point out why Drew Brees is a top five quarterback all time. Brees has thrown for over 5,000 yards in a season, four times. He is the only quarterback to accumulate that many passing yards in a season more than once. Brees has completed 66.4% of his passes during his career, which is the best in NFL history.

During this NFL season don’t forget to appreciate the constants, make sure to stop and smell the grass, listen to the sounds, and feel the Brees.