Great Saints-Jets article here!
A confident, unbeaten New York Jets football team flew into New Orleans this Sunday with visions of sugarplums dancing in their collective heads, looking for a fourth consecutive win at the expense of the Pride of the South, the rugged New Orleans Saints, at the Crescent City’s shining Superdome arena.
The Jets hoped to soar heroically like majestic eagles over the home town Black and Gold team, but were instead swatted down like pesky flies, losing by a final count of 24-10.
The Saints took the opening kickoff and drove steadily down the football field for some 60 yards before settling for a John Carney 34-yard field goal that drew first blood and a 3-0 lead.
With New York in the Saints’ red zone in the opening seconds of the second quarter, Jets’ rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez tossed a pass intended for a giddy receiver high-stepping near the goal line.
But sure-handed Saints’ safety Darren Sharper stepped in front and intercepted the ball at the one yard line. The veteran cut to his right, picked up a host of Saints’ blockers, and dashed down the right sideline for 99 long yards and a captivating New Orleans touchdown.
Carney tacked on the extra point, and the Bayou Boys led 10-0 with 14:45 left in the first half.
Some five minutes later, the Saints were threatening to score once again from the Jet one. But Gang Green held for four straight downs and took over possession after two failed runs and two incomplete passes by New Orleans.
New York’s Sanchez could not stand prosperity, however, as Saints’ defensive end Will Smith savagely sacked him in the end zone trying to pass, forcing a fumble in the process. Teammate Remi Ayodele recovered the loose pigskin for the Saints on the turf in the promised land and suddenly New Orleans led 17-0.
The Jets did manage a 38-yard Jay Feely field goal to cut the lead to 17-3 at the break.
In the third period, the Jets got some help from an unlikely source, New Orleans hybrid running back Reggie Bush, who carelessly fumbled the football over to the Jets as the Saints were driving.
New York then converted the turnover into points, with running back Thomas Jones doing the honors on a 15-yard scoring run, cutting the Saints’ lead to just 17-10.
Both defenses were rock solid after that in the third quarter, with the Jets stopping a New Orleans drive on fourth and a foot at the New York 28 to prevent additional damage.
That trend continued into the fourth and final frame, but the Saints’ proved to be the better team on this day, using a ball control offense to run the clock, and more importantly, the football, deep into Jet territory once again.
A key third down pass from Brees to wide receiver Robert Meachem picked up a first down inside the 20, and then Brees connected with fullback Heath Evans for a first and goal at the Jet two.
Tailback Pierre Thomas danced over right tackle for the touchdown one play later with 6:07 remaining, and after the extra point by Carney, the Saints took a commanding 24-10 advantage as the crowd at the Superdome went hog-wild with happiness.
With the Jets driving on their next possession, that man Sharper struck again, intercepting another Sanchez pass to virtually ice the contest.
Brees was content to hand the ball to Thomas, who had 86 yards on 19 carries to lead the Saints in rushing, and after New Orleans cornerback Randall Gay intercepted Sanchez with 1:06 left, run the clock out as New Orleans went to 4-0 on the season with the 24-10 win.
The Saints’ defense proved to be superior to the vaunted Jets’ unit on this afternoon, as they intercepted three passes, sacked Sanchez four times (Will Smith and Charles Grant, two each), and blanketed New York receivers the entire contest.
The Jets managed just 132 rushing yards and 138 passing yards, while New Orleans picked up 153 on the ground and 190 through the air.
Brees was 22 of 32 with no passing touchdowns, but his leadership behind center proved to be more important than any individual statistic could have possibly been.
Thomas and tight end Jeremy Shockey led New Orleans with four receptions apiece, good for 46 and 34 yards respectively.
The Saint defense was led by the magnificent Sharper with eight tackles and two picks, while middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma, safety Roman Harper, and cornerback Jabari Greer each had six. Grant, linebacker Scott Shanle, and cornerback Tracy Porter contributed five stops, while linebacker Scott Fujita and Smith added four tackles apiece.
The game was featured nationally on CBS, so now everyone should know that New Orleans ranks with the very best in the league this season.
And if any teams doubt that assertion, all they need to do is ask the media-darling New York Jets for confirmation.
UNBEATEN SAINTS SHOOT DOWN JETS 24-10 | LakeArthurToday.com | Lake Arthur Sun Times | Lake Arthur, La.
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