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Saints defense comes through

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By LES EAST Special to The Advocate Published: Oct 22, 2007 NEW ORLEANS — The Saints defense held the Falcons running game in check, pressured both of their quarterbacks, and kept them out of the end zone often enough to ...

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Old 10-23-2007, 02:13 AM   #1
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Cool Saints defense comes through

Special to The Advocate
Published: Oct 22, 2007

NEW ORLEANS — The Saints defense held the Falcons running game in check, pressured both of their quarterbacks, and kept them out of the end zone often enough to play a major role in New Orleans’ 22-16 victory Sunday in the Superdome.

“It was one of those games where you knew it was going to go to the wire,” linebacker Scott Fujita said. “You knew you had to come early and stay late. We made the plays when we had to. When it counted and we had to get off the field, we did it.”

Three of the four times Atlanta drove near the New Orleans end zone, it failed to get touchdowns. Morten Andersen kicked field goals after the Falcons stalled at the 20, 15, and 3.

“We couldn’t get off the field on third downs between the 20s,” safety Roman Harper said, “but eventually we got off the field. Holding them to field goals was big for us.”

The Saints also held the Falcons to just one first down, forcing a punt, after Atlanta surprised them with a second-quarter onside kick and recovered the ball at its 42.

“That was big,” linebacker Mark Simoneau said. “Their special teams made a perfect kick. It was important not to allow even a field goal. We came up with stops when we needed to today. It was a hard-fought win.”

On the Falcons’ last possession, they reached a first down at midfield, but stalled and punted. The Saints offense ran out the clock from there.

“Our offense bailed us out a lot last year,” Harper said. “We knew we had to pick it up. We got some pressure on the quarterback. We’ve got 11 guys flying to the football now.”

After limiting Atlanta to 75 rushing yards (on 24 carries), New Orleans has now held five consecutive opponents to fewer than 100 yards on the ground — the first time it has done that since 1992.

The Saints sacked Falcons quarterbacks three times and pressured them repeatedly, knocking out starter Byron Leftwich and harassing his replacement, Joey Harrington.

“They’re different quarterbacks,” Fujita said. “Byron has a big arm and they’re going to throw it down the field more with him. With Joey they’re going to run more bootlegs and crossing routes.

“We knew what they were going to do with both quarterbacks. Our mindset was to get pressure in their face and make them take a lot of hits.”

A lot of the hits came from right end Will Smith, who was matched against rookie left tackle Renaldo Foster until Foster left because of a knee injury late in the fourth quarter.

“Their left tackle was very vulnerable to the bull rush and the sprint and the stop and go,” Smith said. “I think I hit their quarterbacks a ton. We changed up the rush. They were leaving him one-on-one for most of the reps, which was cool with me.

“I think we threw off their timing because they were expecting to get hit. They weren’t planting and sticking the ball and that paid dividends. They started throwing a little bit quicker but we were still hitting them a lot.”

The Saints had just one sack in losing their first four games, but now have eight in winning their last two. The improved pass rush has coincided with an increase in blitzing by defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs.

“One of our goals was to get after the quarterback and we did that,” coach Sean Payton said. “As the game wore on we did a better job of getting to their quarterback and hurrying their quarterback. That took a toll on them and helped us toward the end of the game.

“We have a done a good job of hurrying the quarterback and handling third-down situations. We have done a much better job of keeping the ball in front of us and not giving up the big play.”

New Orleans’ defense has allowed just 16, 17, and 16 points the last three games after allowing 41, 34, and 34 in the first three games.

“Our mindset was that we were going to play with confidence and fly around and pressure the quarterback,” Fujita said.

“That created more chaos for their offense. It was a fun game to play in. It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it.”

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blacksaint is offline  
Old 10-23-2007, 02:40 AM   #2
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Re: Saints defense comes through

The defense was good.
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:01 PM   #3
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Re: Saints defense comes through

it was Atlanta.
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:12 PM   #4
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Re: Saints defense comes through

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Old 10-23-2007, 07:08 PM   #5
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Re: Saints defense comes through

the defense was decent in the last three weeks against backup qb's and makeshift lines

don't get excited until there's an above .500 winnning percentage
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:35 PM   #6
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Re: Saints defense comes through

Originally Posted by Euphoria View Post
it was Atlanta.

Falcons always seems to play the Saints tough with the exception of last season..
Going into the Saints game the Falcons lost a few games this season by only 7 points or less.

You have to give some credit to the Saints defense.
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:59 PM   #7
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Re: Saints defense comes through

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Old 10-24-2007, 08:45 AM   #8
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Re: Saints defense comes through

Hey I am excited as the next guy that we have won two in a row. However, our wins are against Seattle and Atlanta.

We almost beat Carolina, and lost to Tampa. With losing to our main competition in the division we are making awfully hard on ourselves. Granted our schedule gets much easier the second half of the season, but I am not ready to jump for joy yet. Happy? Yes. Crazy. No.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:06 AM   #9
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Re: Saints defense comes through

Ya stop the run but make every QB that plays against us look like an all star! QB's playing against the Saints D end up with a passer rating of 104.9 avg more yds per catch and score more points in the air then every other NFC team. That is sick!!!

NFL Stats: by Team Category

Last edited by BooBirdSaint; 10-24-2007 at 09:08 AM.. Reason: why not
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