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Saints have answered every question after three games

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; by Guerry Smith - The Saints are 3-0 for the sixth time in 43 years, but their most impressive accomplishment is singular. For the first time ever, they have answered all the questions anyone had about them before the season ...

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Old 09-30-2009, 03:07 PM   #1
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by Guerry Smith - The Saints are 3-0 for the sixth time in 43 years, but their most impressive accomplishment is singular. For the first time ever, they have answered all the questions anyone had about them before the season started.

Finding a fatal flaw in their form is about as easy as spotting a strength in JaMarcus Russell’s game. Sunday’s 27-7 victory against the Buffalo Bills, when quarterback Drew Brees actually stayed in the background, provided the final pieces to the puzzle.

Were you waiting for the defensive line to make some plays?

Will Smith, Charles Grant and Sedrick Ellis registered their first sacks of the season. Smith also finished the most important play of the game, leaping in traffic to snag a deflected pass when the Bills were in range for a tying field goal in the third quarter.

Buffalo center Geoff Hangartner became so frazzled late in the fourth quarter that, almost unbelievably, he botched five consecutive shotgun snaps. Three of them bounced before they reached quarterback Trent Edwards, who caught the other two just before they hit the ground.

The other questions already had been answered.

Were you unsure about the revamped secondary?

Opposing quarterbacks have a 58.0 efficiency rating, the fourth lowest in the NFL and far below the 80.3 New Orleans allowed a year ago. The Saints are allowing fewer completions for fewer yards and fewer touchdowns with more interceptions.

Were you worried the Saints did not sign a free-agent running back to replace Deuce McAlister?

Mike Bell assuaged some of those concerns in the preseason, but Pierre Thomas sealed the deal against Buffalo. After sitting out the first half with the flu, he got well in a hurry, rushing for 126 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. His total was higher than any other NFL running back had for an entire game on Sunday, a performance even more remarkable considering a knee injury limited him to one touch in the first two weeks.

Were you wondering if Sean Payton ever would commit to the running game?

Payton’s critics insisted he was a pass-happy coach who abandoned the run too soon. Not this year, when the offensive line is opening up holes and the running backs are doing damage.

Bell rushed for 143 yards on 28 carries against Detroit. Bell and Reggie Bush combined for 119 yards on 27 attempts against Philadelphia. With Thomas leading the way, the Saints rushed 38 times for 222 yards against Buffalo.

Were you shaking your head when the Saints “wasted” a draft pick on a punter?

The decision appeared strange at the time, but fifth-round selection Thomas Morstead has emerged as a weapon after beating out holdover Glenn Pakulak. Morstead is kicking them long – his average of 46.5 yards is better than the team record of 45.8 for a season – and he’s booming them high – the Eagles and Bills have combined for four yards on five returns in the last two games. He also routinely kicks off into the end zone.

Did you doubt whether the Saints would do the little things right?

After losing six games by five points or fewer last year, they are putting opponents away earlier because of their attention to detail. For the second consecutive week, rookie cornerback Malcolm Jenkins stripped a kick returner (Roscoe Parrish this time), setting up New Orleans’ go-ahead field goal against Buffalo. Lynell Hamilton knocked Parrish on his back with a perfect form tackle that earned him Peter King’s co-special teams player of the week honors in his Monday Morning QB column on Si.com.

Coming out of week 3, the Saints are playing well at offensive line, running back, receiver, quarterback, defensive line, linebacker, defensive back and the kicking game.

They aren’t perfect. Sunday’s nine penalties for 97 yards will give Payton something to harp on as they prepare for the undefeated New York Jets.

But they’re sure as heck closer than any team in franchise history.

For more info: Check out New Orleans Healthy Restaurants Examiner Anne Berry's search for the best bar food as you scout out a location to watch the Saints on TV.

Linkback: The Examiner

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Old 09-30-2009, 03:55 PM   #2
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Re: Saints have answered every question after three gam

WOW!!!! That just puts it all in perspective. And pretty much confirms my opinion that this is the best Saints team to ever grace the field.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:17 PM   #3
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Re: Saints have answered every question after three gam

People always underestimate the kicking/punting game. Win the field position battle and you've won the game the vast majority of the time.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:28 PM   #4
 
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Re: Saints have answered every question after three gam

Originally Posted by Sir Psycho Sexy View Post
People always underestimate the kicking/punting game. Win the field position battle and you've won the game the vast majority of the time.
Yes Siree ..... Here's to beating the New Yorkers!
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