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Saints Sharper Than Jets

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; All of the pre-game hype surrounding the showdown of unbeatens pitted the vaunted New Orleans Saints offense against the brilliant Jets defense. While the Saints offense was acceptable, it only produced 10 points against a Jets defense that held up ...

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Old 10-05-2009, 08:35 PM   #1
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All of the pre-game hype surrounding the showdown of unbeatens pitted the vaunted New Orleans Saints offense against the brilliant Jets defense. While the Saints offense was acceptable, it only produced 10 points against a Jets defense that held up its end of the bargain.

The real story of the game turned out to be the play of the New Orleans defense. The Saints "D" proved to be "Sharper" than that of its celebrated counterpart.

Darren Sharper continued to add to his NFL Hall of Fame resume, picking off two passes from rookie Mark Sanchez in a 24-10 Saints victory over the Jets. The first pick came at a crucial time in dramatic fashion.

With the Saints leading 3-0 starting the second quarter, the Jets were driving to make it 3-3 or to take a 7-3 lead. That's when the big swing in the game took place. Reading the eyes of Sanchez, Sharper broke on a pass to the outside, intended for tight end Dustin Keller.

He intercepted the pass at the one-yard line, and with a convoy of blockers, took it 99 yards to make it 10-0 New Orleans. The Jets would never totally recover from it. The 99-yard return for a score was the longest in Saints history. It eclipsed the 97-yard record held by Tommy Myers and Sharper, who had just tied the record a week ago in Buffalo.

Sharper now has 58 career interceptions. He passed NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Thomas (58) with his performance against the Jets. Sharper's 10 interceptions for touchdowns are second all-time in league history to NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson's 12 picks.

Sharper already has five interceptions on the season and leads the NFL in that category. New Orleans has not had a ball-hawking safety since Sammy Knight departed after the 2002 season. Gene Atkins (1987-1993), Myers (1972-1981) and Dave Whitsell (1967-1969) were the others who made plays consistently in Saints history.

Myers had 36 interceptions in his ten seasons, including two for touchdowns. He was named all-Pro in 1979. Myers was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 1990. Whitsell had 19 interceptions for the Saints in just three seasons, including 10 in 1967, when he led the league in interceptions. Two of those went for touchdowns, much as Sharper has done this season. Whitsell was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 1996.

Atkins had 21 interceptions in his seven seasons in New Orleans, including five in 1991, when the Saints claimed their first-ever division title. Knight had 23 interceptions in his six seasons in New Orleans (1997-2002), including four for touchdowns.

In Sunday's 24-10 victory, the Saints defense was superb, sacking Sanchez four times while forcing four turnovers. The Saints defense has now forced 13 turnovers, including 10 interceptions. Both totals lead the NFL through four weeks. The Saints allowed just 244 total yards.

Pierre Thomas (23)The offense, while contained throughout, did enough to win. Other than a costly turnover by Reggie Bush, they were efficient, protecting the ball and controlling the ball (32:39). Drew Brees did not throw a touchdown pass for the second consecutive game.

That the Saints won both of those games convincingly tells you about the quality of this year's New Orleans NFL team. This is a very good team. Thomas Morstead blasted four more touchbacks and punted very well. John Carney made his field goal attempt. The kick coverage teams were very good, despite missing Malcolm Jenkins. Chris Reis either tipped a punt or forced a bad one on an outstanding punt rush.

Pierre Thomas ran the football very well against a stout defense. He carried 19 times for 86 yards and a touchdown. The Saints rushed for 153 yards. The offensive line is playing at a very high level. This is the best run-blocking line the Saints have had under Payton, thanks to the physical presence of Jahri Evans, Carl Nicks, and either Zack Strief or Jermon Bushrod. Jonathan Goodwin is solid at center while Jon Stinchcomb is a fine technician.

In the final analysis, this game was all about Sharper. Along with his two interceptions, Sharper led the Saints in tackles with eight. He strikes fear into receivers crossing the middle of the field. Gregg Williams has made a tremendous difference with this 2009 Saints defense. The biggest reason is Darren Sharper.

The Saints face a bye this coming Sunday before a huge NFC showdown against the Giants in two weeks. The Giants are 4-0 and face the lowly Raiders this coming Sunday. As a result, they figure to come into New Orleans 5-0. New Orleanian Eli Manning is playing at a very high level this season, perhaps only behind the level established by his brother, Peyton and Brees in 2009. When considering that analysis, consider this.

While with the Vikings, Sharper intercepted Eli three times, including one for a touchdown, in a Vikings' victory over the Giants in 2005. In a 2007 game against the Giants, Sharper intercepted Manning again for a touchdown. The Saints are hoping that history repeats itself and that its finely-tuned football team is even "sharper" against the G-Men. Sorry, I couldn't resist!

---

Scoring Summary

NO_FG Carney 34, 8:06. Drive: 13 plays, 60 yards, 6:54. Key Plays: Meachem 13 run; P.Thomas 8 run on 3rd-and-2; Bush 11 run. New Orleans 3, N.Y. Jets 0.

NO_Sharper 99 interception return (Carney kick), 14:45. New Orleans 10, N.Y. Jets 0.

NO_Ayodele fumble recovery in end zone (Carney kick), 9:00. New Orleans 17, N.Y. Jets 0.

NYJ_FG Feely 38, 1:48. Drive: 14 plays, 60 yards, 7:12. Key Plays: Washington 5 run on 3rd-and-2; Sanchez 12 run; Sanchez 4 run on 4th-and-1. New Orleans 17, N.Y. Jets 3.

NYJ_Jones 15 run (Feely kick), 7:48. Drive: 4 plays, 34 yards, 1:16. Key Plays: Lowery fumble recovery (Bush); Sanchez 15 pass to Washington on 3rd-and-6. New Orleans 17, N.Y. Jets 10.

NO_P.Thomas 1 run (Carney kick), 6:07. Drive: 11 plays, 74 yards, 6:49. Key Plays: Brees 18 pass to D.Thomas on 3rd-and-6; Jenkins 6-yard defensive offside penalty on 4th-and-1; Brees 19 pass to Meachem on 3rd-and-4; Brees 11 pass to H.Evans. New Orleans 24, N.Y. Jets 10.

A_70,009.

___

___

RUSHING_N.Y. Jets, Jones 13-48, Sanchez 4-24, Greene 4-23, B.Smith 2-20, Washington 4-17. New Orleans, P.Thomas 19-86, Bush 6-37, Meachem 1-13, H.Evans 3-12, Brees 3-5.

PASSING_N.Y. Jets, Sanchez 14-27-3-138. New Orleans, Brees 20-32-0-190.

RECEIVING_N.Y. Jets, Cotchery 5-71, Washington 4-24, Keller 3-31, Stuckey 1-8, B.Smith 1-4. New Orleans, P.Thomas 4-46, Shockey 4-34, Henderson 3-21, Bush 3-7, Colston 2-33, Meachem 1-19, D.Thomas 1-18, H.Evans 1-11, Moore 1-1.

PUNT RETURNS_N.Y. Jets, None. New Orleans, Bush 1-22.

KICKOFF RETURNS_N.Y. Jets, Washington 1-17. New Orleans, Roby 1-26.

TACKLES-ASSISTS-SACKS_N.Y. Jets, Harris 10-2-0, Rhodes 8-0-0, Scott 4-2-0, Douglas 4-1-0, Leonhard 4-0-0, Thomas 4-0-0, Lowery 3-0-0, Pouha 3-0-0, Revis 2-1-0, Coleman 2-0-0, Ellis 2-0-0, B.Smith 2-0-0, DeVito 1-1-0, Murrell 1-1-0, E.Smith 1-1-0, Cotchery 1-0-0, Gholston 1-0-0, Washington 1-0-0, Jenkins 0-1-0. New Orleans, Greer 6-0-0, Rom.Harper 6-0-0, Sharper 5-3-0, Grant 5-0-2, Porter 4-1-0, Fujita 4-0-0, Vilma 3-3-0, Shanle 3-2-0, Smith 2-2-2, Ayodele 2-0-0, Hargrove 1-1-0, McCray 1-1-0, Charleston 1-0-0, Ellis 1-0-0, Roby 1-0-0.

INTERCEPTIONS_New Orleans, Sharper 2-99, Gay 1-25.

MISSED FIELD GOALS_None.

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Old 10-06-2009, 03:49 AM   #2
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Re: Saints Sharper Than Jets

This is the best run-blocking line the Saints have had under Payton, thanks to the physical presence of Jahri Evans, Carl Nicks, and either Zack Strief or Jermon Bushrod. Jonathan Goodwin is solid at center while Jon Stinchcomb is a fine technician.
There has been a little more pressure on Brees from the left side than usual but I think missing Brown might actually help our running game. Seems like both Strief and Bushrod are better runblockers than him.
And lets not forget Heath Evans, that guy is a great blocker at FB, I start to like that move more and more.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:59 AM   #3
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Re: Saints Sharper Than Jets

Saints got better by cutting 2 players. Bullocks and what's his name....
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: Saints Sharper Than Jets

you mean....

...

...

dam I can't remember

oh yeah David
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:18 AM   #5
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Re: Saints Sharper Than Jets

Yep! That's exactly who he meant... we won't even miss his INT's with Sharper crouching in the cut. If our D-line keeps pressure all year, he may set new records.
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