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New Orleans Saints’ Joe Vitt on Loss to Giants: We Knew What was Coming and Couldn’t Stop It

December 11th, 2012 at 8:30 AM
By Dan Benton

Any time a team loses by a score of 52-27 their head coach is not going to be happy, but for New Orleans Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt, Sunday's loss to the New York Giants was exceptionally embarrassing. Not just because they had been demolished on the field, but because they knew exactly what to expect coming into the game and still couldn't stop it.

'Eli Manning warms up passing' photo (c) 2012, Marianne O'Leary - license:

"I’ll tell you what’s disappointing about that. We emphasized to our football team all week long how good Eli was particularly in the first half of two-minute drills. He was leading the league. We had a blown coverage in that situation on a switch route. If you blow a coverage, you’re not going to give yourself a chance to compete," Vitt said. "We knew the situation we were in and we knew the quarterback."

Although Eli Manning did make a few poor decisions that led to two interceptions, he also tossed four touchdowns while completing nearly 63% of his passes. But it wasn't just the Giants' captain that ran away with the game; it was a total team effort that saw contribution from offense, defense and special teams.

"That was an embarrassment," Vitt added. "Here's the key, we can't have four turnovers in a game, especially on the road against a good football team. We can't allow them to have the returns that they had and score touchdowns on returns and have a chance to win on the road against a good football team."

If nothing else, at least Vitt and the Saints acknowledge they were beaten by a good football team. After all, it has become commonplace for teams (see: Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers) to claim they "beat themselves."


Tags: Eli Manning, Football, Joe Vitt, New Orleans Saints, New Orleans, New York, New York Giants, NFL

39 Responses to “New Orleans Saints’ Joe Vitt on Loss to Giants: We Knew What was Coming and Couldn’t Stop It”

  1.  Levito says:

    Fair statement too. The Giants love the switch release, Cruz makes some of his biggest plays out of it, it’s well documented and discussed around the league.

    Although it’s not a good sign if other teams know exactly what’s coming, it’s a great sign if they still can’t stop it. Fooling the other team is always a big part of winning in football, but if you out-execute, you’ll win every time.

  2.  JimStoll says:

    Pats certainly made a statement last night demolishing the Texans
    a weird season this year
    the two teams with the best records, Atlanta and Houston, look like paper Tigers
    The next best team, so-called, SF, has a self-created QB controversy and an offense that just isn’t very good (if they fall to NE ala Houston, there will be huge questions about them); Baltimore is collapsing; the Packers have no defense at all
    The two best teams in the AFC look clearly to be the Pats and Colts and it is looking like a showdown in foxboro for a trip to NO (good for my pocketbook as I get to sell 2 sets of Pats playoff tix)
    and in the NFC the two best teams (or at least the two hottest) might just be Washington and Seattle


    •  fanfor55years says:

      You cannot ignore the Broncos in the AFC and our own Giants in the NFC. Throw out the close loss to the Skins (who ARE playing good ball) and two of our last three games have been blowouts against good teams.

      If the Giants win their way into the playoffs rather than back in, no one is going to want to see us in the tournament. And the Broncos look to me like the most balanced team in the AFC besides the Pats.

      I’ve been hoping for a Manning Bowl for about a month. But Indy, Texas, and especially New England, look like they’ll have plenty to say about that. In reality, as great as I think Andrew Luck is going to be, I don’t give the Colts much chance in the playoffs this season. He is, after all, still a rookie and has to carry that team. Rookie quarterbacks, even the greatest of them, cannot carry a team to the Super Bowl. They will run into a coaching staff that will confuse them and beat them in the playoffs somewhere along the way. The Texans may not be very good in their defensive backfield, but if the playoffs started today they’d have home field advantage throughout and in all likelihood would see one of New England and Denver lose to the other before they’d have to play them. So they’re not dead yet.

      •  Levito says:

        ff55, as cool as the Manning bowl in New Orleans would be, the only way I see Denver getting there is if someone else takes out New England for them. I just don’t think their defense has enough to slow down New England, especially once Gronk is back.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          In the first game a Mcgahee’s fumble saved the game from getting really interesting. Peyton had a poor start but started to figure out NE. Plus Denver’s defense has gotten much better and they have a game wrecker in Miller.

          The Colts are a nice story but a team with a lot of holes. Asking Luck to win in the playoffs at Bmore or Denver is asking a lot of any QB especially a rookie. Even a special rookie.

          I don’t think you can discount Houston. Houston is a team that is totally different down early. That PI that allowed the Pats to get to 21 early gave them no chance if they had one to begin with. NE is not as good on the road. When is the last time NE had to win a big playoff road game? If Houston gets the #1 seed they still have a good chance because the team they play will be much less difficult than a Pats vs Denver (assuming denver gets the #3 seed) battle royale.

          I like the Bengals as a sleeper if they get in. I think their defense has played really well after a rough start. They have a top pass rush and good DBs. Their offense is good not great. I think the game vs us was some us but it also showed what they are capable of. I don’t think they can win the conference but a game or two.

    •  Levito says:

      Indeed. Good time for a team to be coming together. I’m really interested in seeing what happens in the SF-NE game next Sunday night.

      I think the Texans can bounce back. It’s not like they’re a bad team. When the Pats are on, they can put a beat down on anyone.

    •  rlhjr says:

      And then there are the Giants. Although lacking a statement game by their defensive tackles.

      But having that game this Sunday just might make them the team to beat. And that is also something all the NFC teams can see coming but are powerless to stop as well.

      If the middle of this defense can come alive, and Nicks can stay serviceable, things are going to get very tight for the “other” NFC contenders. A good game out of Rivers, Williams and Pysanger will help alot.

      The Giants have a big test waiting for them in Atlanta Sunday. The birds just might still be feeling very embarrassed by their one n done playoff cameo.

      You know the Giants would be wearing their collective hearts on their sleeves if the roles were reversed.

      But the Giants are a different breed of cat for sure. The whole team is just a little bit left of center. Kind of phyco these kids are.

      They run off of pure emotion. And when one player catches fire, the rest follow like a gang. That is why they are so up and down. It’s also why when they get on a run, they are impossible to stop. It like unleashing an atomic reaction, you cannot reverse it. In fact, to date they have never been stoped once on a run.

      That is except for Eli, who like Mr. Spock runs of off the logic he derives from X’s and O’s. But E does benefit from the emotion of his teammates.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Simply put no team in the conference can beat our A game. And we are healthy enough to play an A game.

  3.  JimStoll says:

    As I see it right now, here is the playoff seeding


    1. NE; 2. Houston; 3. Denver; 4. Baltimore; 5. Indy; 6 Pitt

    WC Round

    Pitt v. Denver — Denver wins
    Indy v Balt. — Indy wins

    Div. Round

    Indy v. NE — NE wins
    Denver v. Houston — Denver wins

    AFC Championship —
    Denver v. NE — ??????????


    1. Atlanta; 2. GB; 3. SF; 4. Giants; 5 Seattle; 6. Washington

    WC Round

    Seattle v. Giants — Giants
    Washington v. SF — SF

    Div Round

    Giants v. Atlanta — Giants
    SF v. GB — GB

    NFC Championship

    Giants v. GB — /////////////

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think Houston still gets the number #1 seed. Indy twice and Minn are teams they match up better with. As good as Luck is he’s a rookie that has been prone to make mistakes and I think Houston’s defense forces enough mistakes to beat them twice. Minn can’t pass which is the Houston weakness.

      I think RG3 is out at least the Browns game and will be hampered when he plays. I agree Chicago is in free fall but looking at the key injuries to Was and Dal, I think they hang on.

      I just realized if Seattle sneaks and wins their division we probably host SF. If SF losses at NE, Seattle controls it’s own destiny if they can win at Buffalo with 2 home games.

  4.  rlhjr says:

    Coughlin is going to have impose PLAXICO rules on Nicks and Bradshaw.

    Neither of them can practice other then streaching and walk-throughs.
    And perhaps Eli and Hakeem going over routes alone at full speed. They cant risk either geting hurt at this point.

    If Rivers gets hurt again, I strongly suggest he be sent home to his mom for some TLC.

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    I just realized that if we win out the #2 seed is not out the question. Chicago at home or someone else needs to beat GB and SF would have to lose at NE and at Sea. Now I wouldn’t call this happening likely but certainly possible. If we just win our games things can really fall into place. We have tie breakers over GB, Chi and Seattle if we end up tied with any of them at 11-5.

    •  demo3356 says:

      Chicago isnt beating anybody, much less Green Bay. Stick a fork in Da Bears. I see the Pack Winning out and taking the #2 seed. I also see this NYG laying one more egg before the Playoffs. I think we trounce the Falcons this week and then either mail one in vs Baltimore or Phily. Maybe we win the next two and rest peole like Braddie, Nicks, Tuck and Bennett for the playoff run. Who knows but for some reason I’m seeing 10-6 #4 seed

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Chicago isn’t very good now I agree. But GB has looked very beatable too. A division game at home is not a game that they can’t win. GB’s OL is bad too and Chicago’s defense could dominate. I also see the last game at Minn as a tricky game for GB.

        I think we will beat Atl. Bmore we win if either Dal or Was win. But if both lose it would be like us to lose because it’s not necessary.

        Or we could win the next 3 and possibly sit everyone.

        10-6 and the 4th seed is probably the most likely from what we have shown and our division rivals have shown thus far this year.

        •  demo3356 says:

          Its weird, for 2 years Chicago has looked like a SB team for 10 weeks only to get banged up and completely fall apart down the stretch. I see them winning maybe one game. GB is vulnerable but I think Chicago is more so right now. NOTHING would make me happier than Chicago getting the 5 seed and being our first rd opponent as I fell they are the team we match up best with

          •  GOAT56 says:

            Chicago scares me some depending how they finish.

            Seattle is a team that scares more than most. Running game, Physical CBs, Pass rush and a mobile QB.

  6.  demo3356 says:

    I have been saying for a while that everyone knows whats coming when they play us. This is and always has been the case. there is nothing tricky or cutting edge about what we do. It is all about the execution. We are running basically the same offense That TC and KG ran in Jacks and much of it is predicated off the old Run and shoot scheme Gillbride helped create down in Houston in the late 80′s. The thing is, when Nicks and Cruz are healthy and clicking with Eli it is basically unstoppable. It is also why the offense can look so bad when Eli, Cruz or Nicks are not right. It isn’t about trickery or smoke and mirrors, it is about talent and execution

    •  fanfor55years says:

      The only real changes they have made since they’ve been in New York are that once Tiki left they deemphasized the short passing game making use of the running backs, they went much harder at the big play-long ball strike, and they have stopped using as much of the pulling linemen that they used a lot when we had the O-line they inherited that is now gone with the exception of Diehl.

      But I really think that among the best teams in the league it is almost always primarily about execution. Good scouting makes fooling the opponent much less likely (although good self-scouting should lead to running certain plays out of formations that haven’t been previously used for that play and getting personnel on the field that you know “signals” one thing based upon the season’s body of work and then running something different out of that personnel mix). The beauty of Gilbride’s much-maligned offense is that when you have excellent receivers who are in sync with their QB the defense can “know” what play is coming but still can never know for sure which route options will be taken by the combination of receivers on a given play. And even if they do know, or have properly guessed, what the receiver will do, a guy like Nicks, Cruz, Bennett, Jernigan or Randle can still embarrass the defender because of his physical talents in combination with Eli’s talent and mind.

      •  demo3356 says:

        FF55yrs- That whole Tiki centric Screen game was under Hufnagels scheme, not Gillbrides. TC took over as OC in 07 when Tiki left and that’s when the offense got much more Verticle with Plax. That is my biggest complaint with KG is that we are ne of the few teams that doesn’t counter good pass rushes with screens and dump offs to quick backs

    •  rlhjr says:

      Preach brother

      The Giants have always been about as subtle as a punch in the nose. That goes for offense and defense. We still lack a little more from the defense.

      If our tackles were studlier, we could get away with playing the extra safety when teams respond to it by running. That said, if Rivers rises up and plays to potential, things will get real good real fast.

      •  demo3356 says:

        Rivers is fast as hell but not much of a thumper in run game. He’s only 6’1-6’2 and like 240. Just a little bigger than Boley and Williams

  7.  demo3356 says:

    Another thing I’ve been saying for a while is Our run defense is god awful but it is mostly by design. We play almost 70% of our snaps in some form of Nickel defense which removes a LB for a DB. The three safety look that is great vs the pass, makes it tough to stop the run. Our front 7 is one of the smallest in the league to begin with, so when you add a DB and subtract a LB it magnifies this. As long as we employ this strategy, teams are going to gash us between the 20?s, but in today’s NFL, that is better than giving up quick strike TD’s through the air. It is very frustrating to watch but big picture has been mostly successful. They are going to have to come up with another plan for the Redskins though as they are the one team that can completely expose this and make the Giants pay for this weakness.

    •  Levito says:

      It’s one of the reasons why the offense HAS to get off to a fast start and put up points early. The sooner they can get a lead, the sooner they can force opposing defenses to play into the Giants hands. If the other team falls behind, they have to rely on the pass, and the Giants can bring out the pass rushers and big nickel defense.

      •  demo3356 says:

        yep, and why we struggle vs power running teams like Skins, Steelers and even the browns till we took a big lead.

    •  JimStoll says:

      the way our DT’s have played, I’m guessing the Giants were right that Canty was not ready to go at the beginning of the season and may still be at 85%
      On top of bad middle run defense, we don’t get much middle pressure
      it would be nice to see that part of the defense improve

      but having Williams and Rivers both playing and healthy (at least healthy for them) is a big left; getting a healthy Kenny back for the playoffs would be good as well — assuming we get there

      •  demo3356 says:

        Again, I think it is by design. We have ends that fly up the field as edge rushers and not much beef at the LB position. That leaves Canty, Landfill and Blackburn to deal with 2 interior Lineman a full back and a RB.. I think the design of the defense invites teams to run between the 20′s. The way the league has turned into a flag football chuck and duck ariel attack, I believe Feweel is much more concerned with stopping the pass than the run

    •  fanfor55years says:

      See, here I disagree. It isn’t by design. It’s the personnel. Canty is not himself. Joseph is still learning. Bernard is old. Austin is useless at this point. The guy who was going to be the critical addition was Rogers, a classic run-stopper with a big body who could not be moved and could occupy two blockers, allowing the linebackers and safeties to shot the gaps.

      We would have been able to get away with nickel defenses and still stopped the run if Shaun Rogers were playing or if Chris Canty was able to play at 100%. I believe we will see the Giants get a BIG defensive tackle for 2013, probably through free agency but also through the draft (as a development project).

      For this season, we need Canty to play better, Joseph to put it together consistently, Tuck to contribute inside, Rocky to have his play limited so he can contribute when taking snaps, and the safeties read runs quickly and come up fast while the linebackers engage the blockers.

      •  demo3356 says:

        I agree that Rogers wold make a huge difference, hence my desire for a huge space eating run stuffing DT or NT in the draft to slow down the SKins the next 5 years. Believe me though it is design, you cant stop an NFL team from running the ball with 5 DB’s on the field and if one of your 2 LB’s being 220-230lbs. Just not going to happen. The design of our defense is to get after the QB with the DLine and a back 7 built on Speed to slow down passing games and force turnovers.

  8.  BLU-82 says:

    Man, unrelated, but waking up this AM to this on espn made me want to vomit.

    Looks like the Pats had a great game last night (I missed it because I was out celebrating a new job) but the breathless fellating this Walker guy gave the pats is embarassing. I like the patriots too, a lot actually. If I weren’t a Giants fan, i’d probably like the pats. But I am shocked he was able to see the screen through Brady’s crotch.

    •  Levito says:

      Welker didn’t do much last night.

      But anyway, this is perfect, exactly what a Giants fan should want to see. As long as the Giants play well AND fly under the radar, all is well in Giants-land!

  9.  rlhjr says:

    Lenny Joe is feeling the reduced contribution from Canty. The kid just can’t do it all alone. And 80 percent of Canty is as much help as 80 percent Tuck is to the pass rush and run stopping. Good thing Adrian Tracy is in the wings.

    You what that kid for a while and you can see that he can and should replace Tuck in the not too distant future. Adrian Tracy (AT) can play ya’ll.
    He’s strong, has length is quick off the ball and he’s smart. The D-line does not suffer when Tracy is getting snaps.

    To bad Kuhn went down. That kid had a motor and loved to play hard.
    Had no clue what he was doing, but he tried every snap. He’s a gamer.

    Austin at this point is dead to me. And I haven’t heard Rocky (freaking) Bernard’s name called in weeks.

    •  demo3356 says:

      Wish we would have put Rogers on the temp IR. He would have been a big boost down the home stretch. Guy is a MONSTER in the middle and would have been fresh and rested

      •  fanfor55years says:

        I’m not positive we could have managed that. At the time the league changed the policy I think they were still thinking Thomas was their guy until they realized he just wasn’t going to get right this season, and they certainly wanted to maintain the relationship with him because I think they still see him as an option in 2013 (I suspect they were already contemplating telling Webster he had to take a hit or leave).

        In retrospect, that would have been a great move. If we had a healthy, rested, Rogers right now I’d say we were bound for New Orleans in February. Our big weakness is that defensive middle and he was to be the antidote.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Don’t forget Ojomo. He and Tracy are both going to be getting snaps next season. And both may be very good.

      I liked Kuhn a lot. Tough, tough, kid. Could be an excellent #4 guy on the depth chart with some upside.

      The real need, as many of us are now saying, is a classic run-stopping big body in the middle. Reese and Ross need to get us a few of those guys before the start of next season.

  10.  GOAT56 says:

    Looking at the possible playoff teams most of the “elite” teams are finese in the NFC. Only SF and Seattle really run the ball. I think our weakness it hard to attack for teams that can’t also pass. I think we can stop the run if it’s our main focus. That’s why the hardest offenses for us to stop are probably New Orleans, Dallas and Washington in the conference.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      The dread I’m starting to sense around here about the Skins would go away instantly if we get a few run-stoppers at DT. Without Morris’ threat in the middle they’d have no great places to go against us. The defensive ends and linebackers could protect the edges (and RGIII will be doing much less running by next season) and they’ve given up enough draft picks that getting a lot of weapons on the offensive side is going to be tough for them.

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