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Bush made things happen

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By JIM MASHEK NEW ORLEANS Reggie Bush is still learning about the New Orleans Saints' rivalry with the hated Atlanta Falcons, but you might say he's a quick study. "When you have a game like this," Bush said, "you throw ...

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Old 10-23-2007, 02:31 AM   #1
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Cool Bush made things happen

By JIM MASHEK
NEW ORLEANS


Reggie Bush is still learning about the New Orleans Saints' rivalry with the hated Atlanta Falcons, but you might say he's a quick study.

"When you have a game like this," Bush said, "you throw the records out the window."

If it were only that easy.

Bush delivered, however, as the Saints took the second step in their long climb toward the .500 mark. The Heisman Trophy winner/Subway pitchman fought through a tackle by the Falcons' Lewis Sanders for the decisive score Sunday afternoon in the Louisiana Superdome, scoring on a third-down pass to send the Saints past their traditional NFC South opponent 22-16.

The Saints won for the second time in six games, laboring throughout on third down but mustering enough offense in the second half to beat one of the NFL's worst teams. They generated some pressure on Falcons quarterbacks Byron Leftwich and Joey Harrington and put together a 69-yard touchdown drive with the game on the line.

Saints coach Sean Payton saw no reason to get carried away. The Falcons will be lucky to win more than two or three games this season. Michael Vick's impending prison sentence is only the beginning of this team's problems.

"I think it's a work in progress," Payton said. "The thing about this league is your record says what you are."

The Saints still don't know where they are, without an injured Deuce McAllister. Rookie running back Pierre Thomas made a couple nice moves on the Saints' second touchdown of the game, slicing the Atlanta defense for a 23-yard touchdown run. But the Saints pay Bush the big bucks, and they needed him to make a difference in this game.

The Saints' Drew Brees got Bush the ball in the left flat with about five minutes left, and Bush showed some grit getting into the end zone. He fired the ball into the stands and then scored on a two-point conversion, beating the Falcons' pursuit to the pylon on a nifty reverse to the other side of the field.

"That was all Reggie," Saints fullback Mike Karney said. "He willed himself into the end zone. I know the critics talk a lot about him going east and west, but I've seen him go north and south a lot in our last two games."

Not coincidentally, the Saints won those games.

Bush had two or three impressive runs wiped out by holding penalties, and the Saints lost starting center Jeff Faine to a pectoral muscle injury. They'll never be able to pound away at opponents with Bush like they did McAllister, but Bush is starting to adapt to his expanded role with the offense.

"With Reggie, I think it's more about comfort than confidence," Saints offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb said. "He's stepped into a role, and he's going to step up to the challenge."

Brees threw an inexcusable interception in the final minute of the first half but managed the game reasonably well, completing 22 of 34 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns.

"It seemed like this was a game that we were going to win," Brees said. "We believed that whole time."

Truth of it is this was a game the Saints had to win. And Bush was the guy who ultimately made it happen.

SunHerald.com : Bush made things happen

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