Brian Allee-Walsh

Here's where I stand on Saints and the NFL

Saints columnist Brian Allee-Walsh
Saints columnist Brian Allee-Walsh Biloxi

NEW ORLEANS

Breakfast at Wembley Stadium -- featuring the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins -- kicks off off at 8:30 a.m. (CDT)Sunday.

Your faithful NFL correspondent from the Big Easy will not tune in for the pre-game playing of the national anthem.

I, too, have a right to protest, and I choose not to watch the certain theatrics. If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything, right?

I am not interested in seeing how each team presents itself on the sideline or elsewhere in the stadium during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner in London, England, or anywhere else.

I am not interested in counting the number of players and coaches who choose to sit on their keisters, kneel on one or both knees, crouch in a catcher's position, stand with arms locked side-by-side, stand on their heads, or do cartwheels, back flips or juggle bowling pins while riding a unicycle.

Protest away.

I also am not interested to see who honors the U.S. flag in the conventional way -- at attention, hatless, with right hands over their hearts, perhaps even singing along to the words originally penned by Francis Scott Key in 1814 and set to the tune of a popular British drinking song.

I will leave the counting — and the subsequent narrative —to others.

But I am interested in all things football.

I want to see if the Saints can pull even at 2-2 and validate their big road win at Carolina in Week 3 going into their bye week.

I want to see if the Saints defense can do to Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler what it did to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton -- search and destroy.

I want to see if several Saints players return to the field from injuries, most notably, starting tackles Terron Armstead and Zach Strief and rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore. I want to see if slot receiver Willie Snead sees the field after serving a three-game suspension for a DWI incident in June.

I want to see how Saints coach Sean Payton utilizes running backs Mark Ingram, Adrian Peterson and rookie Alvin Kamara.

I want to see how Saints quarterback Drew Brees attacks a leaky Dolphins' pass defense that has yielded a NFL-high 79 percent completion percentage (49-of-62).

I want to see how the road weary Dolphins handle their third consecutive road game after being displaced by Hurricane Irma and losing a home game in Week 1. Miami will lead the NFL in miles traveled (15,675) by a wide margin followingSunday's game in London having played in California, New York and now England.

I want to see how Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi, a native of London, performs on his home soil.

That's where I stand in Week 4 of the NFL season.

Brian Allee-Walsh is a long-time Saints reporter based in New Orleans. He can be reached at sports@sunherald.com.

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