The New Orleans Saints are the final stop in today's series of team-by-team mailbags.
Rum in New Orleans writes: I read the other day that Saints fans accounted for approximately 1/3 of the 94,000 fans in the Cowboy Stadium on Turkey-Day. The TV showed a lot of Who Dats, and you could even hear the Who Dat chant drowning out the Cowboys fans in the game--but WERE there really that many Who Dats in attendance?
Pat Yasinskas: I was in Cowboys Stadium that day. While I didn’t have the time to do a detailed count on how many New Orleans fans were there, I’d estimate the number you cited was probably pretty close to accurate. There definitely was a strong presence by Saints fans. I saw a lot of them tailgating as I walked through the parking lot and I saw a lot of Saints shirts and hats in the stands. This is not uncommon. New Orleans fans, probably more than any team in the NFC South, travel with their team.
James in Louisville, Ky., writes: I know it isn’t even close but I'm always looking at the draft because I'm football nut. With Pierre Thomas being "hurt" for most of this year and Chris Ivory not being a true workload back, do you see the Saints drafting someone in an early round to fill that void?
Pat Yasinskas: Entirely possible. I think Pierre Thomas will be done in New Orleans after this season. The Saints have a history of going with a committee approach at running back and Ivory has done some good things this season. Reggie Bush also can do a lot of different things and he’s going to get playing time. Plus, the Saints like Lynell Hamilton, who should be coming back from injury next season. They could just stay with that group. But the injury problems at this position have shown you can never have enough running-back depth. I think there’s a good possibility the Saints look to add another running back. It doesn’t have to be a first-round pick because I don’t think they’re looking for one guy to come in and take on all the duties at running back. I think they just might look for a guy to play a role along with Bush, Ivory and Hamilton.
Brison in New Orleans writes: Why is everybody just handing Atlanta the best record and home field in the NFC? The season has 5 games left, and the world champs are still in the hunt.
Pat Yasinskas: I can see where your perception comes from. There’s been a lot of talk about the Falcons being the best team in the NFC. They do have the best record and they are a good team. But, like you said, there still is a lot of football to be played and the Saints are right on the heels of the Falcons. Their Dec. 27 meeting could be a huge game and we’ll have to see how it all plays out.
Hank in Montana writes: Nice article about Malcolm Jenkins’ miracle play. Was that the defensive play of the year for the NFC South? Also, has Lance Moore had a drop yet?
Pat Yasinskas: To this point, I’d have to say Jenkins’ forced fumble and recovery in Dallas was the biggest defensive play in the NFC South this year. It allowed the Saints to win a game that was slipping away and kept them very much in the hunt for the division title. As far as Moore, I just looked at our weekly packet from ESPN Stats & Information. Moore still does not have a drop this season and he’s made 43 catches. That makes him one of only six receivers in the NFL that does not have a drop while making at least 25 catches.