After reviewing film on the Saints, here are some things that stood out.
Where the Saints were exposed by the Falcons in Week One
1) Lack of a consistent pass rush from New Orleans led to big passing plays
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan sat in the pocket for days as he picked apart the Saints' secondary. The New Orleans defense was only able to sack Ryan once, and its inability to generate consistent pressure had a trickledown effect. Ryan threw for 448 yards and five different Atlanta receivers were able to haul in catch of at least 20 yards.
How this impacts the Browns: If the Saints' pass rushers were unable to penetrate the Falcons so-so offensive line, they'll have a much tougher time against the Cleveland's stalwarts on the left side – Joe Thomas, Alex Mack and Joel Bitonio. Check out Bitonio's block below that freed Terrance West on a big run.
2) Missed tackles
A problem that also plagued the Browns against the Steelers in Pittsburgh actually might've been worse for the Saints on film. On two of Atlanta's touchdowns, it looked like players in the Saints' secondary gave up on the play, or expected someone else to make the tackle.
How this impacts the Browns: One of Atlanta's strongest strategies became throwing the football over the middle of the field. This forced New Orleans defenders to actually make the open-field tackles, instead of forcing players out of bounds. Look for Cleveland to target the slippery Andrew Hawkins in space.
3) *The Saints' running game *
Mark Ingram ran better than his statistics indicate (13 carries, 60 yards), but pounding the rock is not where the Saints make a living.
How this impacts the Browns:Making the Saints a one-dimensional offense is a risky proposition, but the Browns have the talent up front to make sure the New Orleans ground gain isn't problematic on Sunday.
Most dangerous Saints players outside of Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham
WR Brandin Cooks – You can already tell from one game the rookie wide receiver from Oregon State is going to be a star with Brees slinging him the rock. New Orleans head coach Sean Payton is using Cooks in a Percy Harvin role, giving him the ball in the backfield and in situations where he can run after the catch.
RB Pierre Thomas – I don't remember Thomas being this electric with his speed, but he hurt the Falcons quite often in the passing game. The Saints like spreading the defense with four receivers and then dumping the football to Thomas on a flare pass. His six catches for 58 yards seemed like a lot more when looking at the tape.
S Jairus Byrd – One of the biggest NFL free agent acquisitions showed up early in the game. Byrd stripped Julio Jones near the goal line, preventing what would've been a touchdown. He changes the game with his ball hawking eyes for the football.
Famous Cleveland chef giving free meal to Isaiah Crowell
Outside of LeBron James, one of the most famous Clevelander's in the country is Michael Symon. The award-winning chef has been featured on television shows, has written books and he owns and creates the menu for several popular restaurants.
Browns rookie running back Isaiah Crowell tweeted that he's looking to for some good eats in town to show his parents this weekend. And according the tweets below, it sounds like Symon is going to take care of the check, too.
What else is happening outside of football
The Browns entire front office and Billy Winn gathered together at the Walton School yesterday to recognize students who have been postiive role models. The Browns served ice cream to the students and gave away back packs.
Donte Whitner!(/team/roster/donte-whitner/0919eb0f-fc7b-4972-b8f4-8c52d756f9b4/ "Donte Whitner") is competing in a GQ best dressed competition. Vote here.