Y Factors 2017: Patriots at Saints

-by DNOMN8R314

For the past few seasons, my Y Factors articles have been rather formulaic: I pick three to five of the back-end roster players and say how they might impact the game; if they don’t, that’s unsurprising, and if they do, I look extremely smart. But now I think it’s time to change the way I write these.

Y Factors articles will now be more like “keys to the game” articles. I’d like to keep the focus on keys which may be ovewrlooked in other articles, but I think that will be unlikely as there is usually a general consensus among team followers as to what needs to be done to win any particular game. I’m keeping the name as I still feel the term “X factor” in game previews is more commonly used to refer to players.

Anyway, let’s get started.

QB-pass catcher chemistry: Once Danny Amendola left the Chiefs game, the Patriots’ offense crumbled as Tom Brady desperately tried to connect on deep passes. Fortunately, there are ten days until the next game, meaning a little more time to get things right. Of course, it takes more than one (long) week to develop chemistry, especially with the ultra-precise Brady, but the extra time should help Brandin Cooks and Phillip Dorsett. In a worst-case scenario, Brady can always throw to James White and Dion Lewis out of the backfield. It worked in the Super Bowl.

The Saints have fast guys too: The New Orleans signing of Ted Ginn was widely seen as an attempt to re-acquire the speed lost in the Cooks trade, and after the Patriots gave up touchdowns of 75 and 78 yards last week through the air, it should be expected that Brees will heave it a few times. Of course, Ginn isn’t even the Saints’ top receiver – that would be sophomore Michael Thomas – and their other pass catchers (6-foot-6 wideout Brandon Coleman and expensive tight end Coby Fleener) can also get downfield and get the ball. The secondary will need to do a much better job, and I’m pretty sure Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia are going to get on their cases to make sure they do.

Duel of the pass-catching backs: One of the other preseason-touted rookie running backs was Saints third-rounder Alvin Kamara, and though he only totaled 38 yards in his Monday night debut, he’s still a dangerous backfield weapon for Brees. New England linebackers did a particularly awful job covering Kareem Hunt last week, and they are another positional group I suspect will have their derrieres handed to them by Patriots coaches on the practice field this week. I have no idea who will be in charge of keeping their eyes on Kamara or other players New Orleans tries to target out of the backfield – and I have players I certainly hope it is not – but I’m sure the responsible parties are trying to find a solution. (I have been having “2014 offensive line” flashbacks in regards to this defense since last week. I hope that solution doesn’t take long.)

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2550 Comments on "Y Factors 2017: Patriots at Saints"

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BoSoxJim
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On the bright side, this game should be a confidence booster for the defense. Other than Hopkins, this offense doesn’t present a real challenge.

zoocore
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So, if Cannon misses this week, it looks like Watt will get his confidence back going against Fleming/Waddle.

BoSoxJim
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Thanks. I just got out of the shower and WAS feeling better after my mini-rant. 🙂

BoSoxJim
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Please let Cannon practice today. Please let Cannon practice today. Please let Cannon practice today. Please let Cannon practice today. Please let Cannon practice today. Please let Cannon practice today.

bring
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You should be concerned with Cannon’s well-being

BoSoxJim
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If Cannon practices, that means he is out of the concussion protocol.

If you were really concerned with the players’ well-being, you would push to have the sport banned.

bring
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He should sit out a week, like Dola

BoSoxJim
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If he doesn’t pass the tests, then he’ll obviously sit out a week. If he does pass, then he’ll play. Pretty simple.
This isn’t the same situation as HT, where they can afford to let him sit out for a few weeks.

bring
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They will be ok

BoSoxJim
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Did I miss the moment in time that Fleming became a capable starting OT in the NFL? One capable of handling Watt and Mercilus?

BoSoxJim
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Not to mention that Solder has sucked so far this season and will have to handle Clowney.

BoSoxJim
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I mean Watt hasn’t looked like himself (pass rush) the 1st 2 weeks, so that is a good thing. But it’s Fleming.

MasterAndCommander
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WAKE UP!!!!

NewEnglandBlight
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There’s your 100 yard bonus

bring
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For a sec there – didn’t think they’d get the ball back – 45 points

Todd Gurley 113 rushing yds (11 pts)
Todd Gurley 113 rushing yds (5 pts)
Todd Gurley 36 receiving yds (3 pts)
Todd Gurley 5 receptions (5 pts)
Todd Gurley 2 rushing TDs (12 pts)
. . . Todd Gurley II 3 yd rushing TD
. . . Todd Gurley II 2 yd rushing TD
Todd Gurley 1 receiving TD (9 pts)
. . . Todd Gurley II 7 yd TD pass from Jared Goff

LaFeteMattDog
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Michael Lombardi ✔ @mlombardiNFL
Triplette’s crew should be ashamed of themselves tonight. Bad calls all game and a horrendous one to decide the game.

NewEnglandBlight
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Brady would have helped them with the call

LaFeteMattDog
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Weak sauce. Why was that an OPI call??? Looked very benign. On one of the most important plays of the game? Just let them play, refs! Thhat was ridiculous.

NewEnglandBlight
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agreed.. but he did push off on the DB’s hip

BoSoxJim
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Then they could throw a flag on practically every route Edelman runs. 🙂

hugowasmyhomeboy
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They didn’t show it from the right angle. Couldn’t see his arm.

Opinion Slayer
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The story of Hoyers life, always close but never close enough.

NewEnglandBlight
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C’mon Hoyer.. you can’t shit the game away like that

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Something about getting the onside kick and squandering it is so much worse than just losing. Like, you had luck on their side.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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If Barron doesn’t make that tackle that’s like 25 yards

LaFeteMattDog
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AHHHH 49ers!!!!

NewEnglandBlight
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ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?

bring
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Another onside kick?

NewEnglandBlight
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And it worked!

bring
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Jesus Christ – I’m sitting here waiting for the Rams to get the ball back…..

LaFeteMattDog
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Why didn’t he keep going? No one out there! Bad play design.

NewEnglandBlight
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Bad clock management.. if Hyde hadn’t flexed his muscles they might have gotten the play off

LaFeteMattDog
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What a game! Go 9ers!!!

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Thought #92 was in the backfield? Sounds kinda like they just wanted to put away the flag haha

NewEnglandBlight
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wow.. Hyde..

LaFeteMattDog
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I root for all ex-pats to some extent but Hoyer more than most. I always liked that dude. Win it baby! For the Pats fans that still root for you!!!

LaFeteMattDog
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49ers baby!!!!

bring
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WTF just happened? I need Gurley to get over 100 yards for a bonus

NewEnglandBlight
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You can’t complain about Gurley’s point output tonight.. that’s just pure greed

bring
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Nope it’s called winning pal

Opinion Slayer
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These teams aren’t going anywhere this year but I have to say this has been the most entertaining Thursday night game in a very long time.

NewEnglandBlight
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Agreed

LaFeteMattDog
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49es ball@!!!

NewEnglandBlight
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This game is BANANAS!!!

LaFeteMattDog
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Banana yellow like the Rams unis!!!

LaFeteMattDog
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The best of the Brady backups is putting on a show tonight after a bad INT on the first play. I’m proud of that dude and the way he’s responded. Now go out and win the game, Hoyer!!

NewEnglandBlight
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Niners-Rams game fun to watch, at least!

LaFeteMattDog
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Haha, everyone except the center!

NewEnglandBlight
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I am a fan of the fact that extra points are no longer guaranteed.. there’s a lot more suspense surrounding them now.

Opinion Slayer
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I hate it when kickers Gost the extra point.

LaFeteMattDog
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Low blow, dude.

Opinion Slayer
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It’s sad that that was the first thing that came to mind. He used to be so money with the extra point but he’s declining at a faster rate then Brady.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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And they missed the XP lmao

LaFeteMattDog
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BB loved Gould. Should we start questioning his judgement?

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Gould has repaid the “investment” in him 100 fold! Top kicker for a decade. No shame in believing in him if he turns into a pumpkin now.

LaFeteMattDog
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HOYER!!!! BEST OF THE BRADY BACKUPS!!!!

LaFeteMattDog
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Big time throw by Hoyer.

LaFeteMattDog
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Can’t keep Hoyer down for long. He’ll keep fighting to the end!

Opinion Slayer
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That’s how that play is done Mr. Wilson! 🙂

LaFeteMattDog
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But Malcolm gonna Butler.

Opinion Slayer
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I still think that was the greatest play in SB history. Still blows my mind!

LaFeteMattDog
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I think it was the greatest play in sports history. I can’t think of a single play in any sport that swung win probability as much as that one.

LaFeteMattDog
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Yay, not Gurley!!!!

LaFeteMattDog
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Please don’t let Gurley in. My fanatsy season may depend on it. I still think I have a good team.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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The 49ers are accomplishing the daunting task of making LA look like a good NFL offense

LaFeteMattDog
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But the Colts made them look amazing. Maybe they are decent to good?

hugowasmyhomeboy
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At least as long as Luck is out the Colts and 49ers have to be bottom 3 teams, no?

LaFeteMattDog
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Yes, but I still have been impressed with their offense. They were horrendous last year and now they seem to be keeping teams off-balance. I’m “intrigued”.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Same. Goff looks deceptively like a functional NFL QB. Like, not jittery. But maybe that’s just the difference in protection and having weapons who get open and he was the same all along? Football is beautiful that way.

Opinion Slayer
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You know, at first sight I thought these yellow unis were awful. Now they’re growing on me and I can’t explain it. Looks like sitting Goff and giving him time was the right move, he’s looking pretty good.

LaFeteMattDog
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California teams just have different color schemes. It works for them. The Rams look good this year. I’ve seen a good portion of two of their games so far and I’m impressed.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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both of these running backs belonged in the 90s

LaFeteMattDog
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Who the F$%k is Sean McVay? Just read his wikipedia page and I’m still not sure. How did he become an NFL head coach so soon? He must be a really impressive interview or something. And he seems to know what he’s doing.

NewEnglandBlight
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The Uni-Coacher

LaFeteMattDog
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Brian Hoyer is gonna steal his pot of gold.

LaFeteMattDog
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All of a sudden, the Rams are an interesting team and that division is up for grabs.

LaFeteMattDog
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F$ck you Todd Gurley-Mann

NewEnglandBlight
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HE wants to pump.. YOU UP

bring
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He’s making me big points

NewEnglandBlight
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i learned what a dotard is.. and if you confuse Zambia with Namibia

LaFeteMattDog
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DeForest Buckner from Waianae, HI one of the most beautiful places on earth.

TS13
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Got a stream link? I lost mine on Reddit.

LaFeteMattDog
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Calipatsfan3473
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Fumble by SF- Rams recover.

LaFeteMattDog
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Umm, are you in the future? maybe don’t spoil it for those of us that are 30 seconds behind.

Calipatsfan3473
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Ok- I’ll leave.

LaFeteMattDog
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No, just hold your comments for 30 seconds until I catch up. 🙂

TS13
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Stay right where you are! We are just lagging.

LaFeteMattDog
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Great. Opponent has Gurley and my weekend is off to a rough start. How can a team with Melvin Gordon, Zeke, CJ Anderson, Antonio Brown and Gillislee be in danger of going 0-3?

Calipatsfan3473
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You’ll be fine.

TS13
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G II is good. But it is the Niners.

Calipatsfan3473
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LAR 14 SF 7

Calipatsfan3473
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TD Rams- Gurley. Nice drive.

Calipatsfan3473
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Bengals now the only team not to have scored a TD yet.

LaFeteMattDog
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WAY TO BOUNCE BACK HOYER!!! BEST OF THE TB12 BACKUPS!!!

Calipatsfan3473
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LAR 7 SF 7