this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The New York Jets defense, with their say-anything head coach Rex Ryan, came to New Orleans Sunday with their shirt off, ready to kick some ass. One problem. They were the ones who got their butts kicked, by a defense ...
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|10-04-2009, 10:49 PM||#1|
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The New York Jets defense, with their say-anything head coach Rex Ryan, came to New Orleans Sunday with their shirt off, ready to kick some ass.
One problem. They were the ones who got their butts kicked, by a defense much like that kid in the video: Significantly tougher than many expected.
The New Orleans Saints defense listened all last week leading up to Sunday's game with the Jets about how they were the sidelight to the mean green from the big city, but in the end the only colors that mattered were these two.
Black and blue.
That's how the Saints defense left the Jets offense in their 24-10 victory at the Superdome. The Saints, who are now 4-0 heading to their bye week, put on a defensive show that surely would have made Ryan proud were it his guys.
This is what that defense did:
• Had a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown by Darren Sharper, who leads the NFL in interceptions with five, two for touchdowns.
• Scored another touchdown on a fumble recovery in the end zone by Remy Ayodele after a Will Smith hit forced rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez to lose the ball.
• Picked off two other passes, one other by Sharper.
• Sacked Sanchez four times and hit him six times total, although it seemed like a lot more than that.
Recap: Gumbel, Dierdorf
Recap: Saints 24, Jets 10
Postgame reports: Jets | Saints
"It was kind of motivating for us to hear people talking about their defense all week when we knew we had a dominating defense," Saints defensive end Bobby McCray said. "In the end, the bread was in the pudding."
OK, so he meant proof. But you get the idea.
The Saints, under coach Sean Payton, have been known for offense the past three years. They have been one of those pretty teams, a pass-first offense that usually had to outscore the opponent. And often times did.
While quarterback Drew Brees is still the key to the team -- and by far the MVP -- the Saints now have a defense that can not only keep the team in the game when the offense isn't clicking but win it, like it did Sunday.
Soft and finesse were two words that always seemed to describe Payton's Saints, which is how most seem to describe offensive-first teams. It isn't that way anymore, if it was indeed that.
"I think we're known for both now," Saints defensive end Charles Grant said.
"We sure hope it's that way," Saints middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma said.
The Saints now have 10 sacks and came into the game leading the NFL in quarterback hits, which comes from their aggressive approach. That style is the Gregg Williams' style. The longtime defensive coordinator is in his first season with the Saints and has instilled an attacking style for this defense.
They come from all angles and aren't afraid to leave zero coverage if need be, which is no safety in the middle of the field.
That takes big ones.
"He's the s---," McCray said. "That's what I have to say about him."
Williams talks only on Thursdays, at the request of the team, so he wasn't available after the game. He isn't available much at all in fact, and there is some speculation that Payton wants it that way in part because he doesn't Williams getting too much credit.
Payton is one of my favorite play-callers in the league, the best in fact, but even he has to realize that Williams deserves a lot of the credit for this 4-0 start. Yet at the podium after Sunday's game, Payton seemed to deflect the attention away from just the defense and instead kept mentioning all three phases of the game.
He seemed like a receiver whose team won, but who caught only one pass: Happy, but not entirely happy because it wasn't the offense's day.
For the second consecutive week, Brees, who threw nine touchdown passes and for over 600 yards the first two games, was held under 200 yards passing. The Jets did a great job matching up on the Saints receivers, which led to Brees often having to pull down the ball.
"It's a team game and it is not about one side of the ball or the other," Payton said when asked about the defense.
Sorry, Sean. It was Sunday.
Williams' attack scheme has really helped the secondary. The deep four, or five, or even six, were a disaster last season. They gave up 53 passing plays of 20-plus yards last season, the third highest total in the league. They also had just 15 interceptions.
In addition to the 10 interceptions this season, they've only given up 10 20-plus passing plays in four games, including two against the Jets.
The hits on the quarterback are the key.
"It lets the quarterback know we're going to be in his face all day long," McCray said.
That's usually the specialty of Ryan's defenses, which is why the battle between the Jets defense and the Saints offense was the focal point of most of the talk coming into this one.
No wonder the Saints defenders got a little bit of inferiority complex. Then again, the success of the New Orleans offense has done that some as well.
"To be honest, we got tired of hearing about their defense," said Ayodele. "Hey, we play defense too."
Pretty well, in fact.
"It was all about going out there and showing them who the better defense was," Grant said. "Today we were the better defense."
That brash bully with his shirt off is still on the ground, just like in the video, beat down by a tougher foe in this fight.
If these new tough guys stay this way each time they're in a fight, they just might be saving their biggest fight for February in Miami.
Saints' bullying defense kicks sand in Jets' faces - NFL - CBSSports.com Football
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|10-04-2009, 11:01 PM||#2|
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Re: Saints' bullying defense kicks sand in Jets' faces