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.Report

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

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

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.Report

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

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.Report

bring
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He should sit out a week, like DolaReport

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.Report

bring
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They will be okReport

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?Report

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

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.Report

MasterAndCommander
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WAKE UP!!!!Report

NewEnglandBlight
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There’s your 100 yard bonusReport

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 GoffReport

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.Report

NewEnglandBlight
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Brady would have helped them with the callReport

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.Report

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

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

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

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

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

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.Report

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

LaFeteMattDog
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AHHHH 49ers!!!!Report

NewEnglandBlight
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ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?Report

bring
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Another onside kick?Report

NewEnglandBlight
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And it worked!Report

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

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

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

LaFeteMattDog
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What a game! Go 9ers!!!Report

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

NewEnglandBlight
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wow.. Hyde..Report

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!!!Report

LaFeteMattDog
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49ers baby!!!!Report

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

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

bring
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Nope it’s called winning palReport

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.Report

NewEnglandBlight
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AgreedReport

LaFeteMattDog
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49es ball@!!!Report

NewEnglandBlight
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This game is BANANAS!!!Report

LaFeteMattDog
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Banana yellow like the Rams unis!!!Report

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!!Report

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

LaFeteMattDog
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Haha, everyone except the center!Report

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.Report

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

LaFeteMattDog
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Low blow, dude.Report

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.Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
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And they missed the XP lmaoReport

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

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.Report

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

LaFeteMattDog
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Big time throw by Hoyer.Report

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

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

LaFeteMattDog
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But Malcolm gonna Butler.Report

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

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.Report

LaFeteMattDog
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Yay, not Gurley!!!!Report

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.Report

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

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

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

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”.Report

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.Report

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.Report

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.Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
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both of these running backs belonged in the 90sReport

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.Report

NewEnglandBlight
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The Uni-CoacherReport

LaFeteMattDog
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Brian Hoyer is gonna steal his pot of gold.Report

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

LaFeteMattDog
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F$ck you Todd Gurley-MannReport

bring
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He’s making me big pointsReport

NewEnglandBlight
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HE wants to pump.. YOU UPReport

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

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

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

LaFeteMattDog
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Calipatsfan3473
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Fumble by SF- Rams recover.Report

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.Report

Calipatsfan3473
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Ok- I’ll leave.Report

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

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

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?Report

Calipatsfan3473
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You’ll be fine.Report

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

Calipatsfan3473
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LAR 14 SF 7Report

Calipatsfan3473
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TD Rams- Gurley. Nice drive.Report

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

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

Calipatsfan3473
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LAR 7 SF 7Report

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