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After Further Review...

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; In a battle of unbeatens, the Jets did exactly what they game-planned for. They contained the explosive Saints offense but still couldn’t come away with their fourth win of the season. The Saints did - thanks to timely and smart ...

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Old 10-09-2009, 11:36 PM   #1
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After Further Review...

In a battle of unbeatens, the Jets did exactly what they game-planned for. They contained the explosive Saints offense but still couldn’t come away with their fourth win of the season.

The Saints did - thanks to timely and smart plays and an outstanding defensive effort.

Let’s break it all down.

Sharper Image

What else can you say about this 33-year-old ball hawk? He’s the NFL’s active interceptions leader for a reason. Darren Sharper picked off two Mark Sanchez passes Sunday to help seal the Saints victory.

The first interception was truly the turning point of the game. Sharper’s interception came while the Saints were only up 3-0 early in the second quarter with the Jets driving deep into Saints territory. The Jets looked poised to score a touchdown or at the very least a field goal.

But after further review, you can see why Sharper is so special. First, Sanchez knew exactly where he wanted to go with the ball before he snapped it. Tight end Dustin Keller and wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery ran a route where both crossed and headed up field. Sharper cheated over and positioned himself between both receivers but favored Cotchery. Sanchez saw the look he wanted and when he gunned it to Keller, Sharper immediately broke on the ball and picked it off and raced to the end zone.

The play turned out to be a potential 14-point swing.
The difference in the game was 14 points.

What we Expected

The Saints potentially have $133 million invested in defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant. For the first time since the pair signed those contracts it appears they’re earning their money. Grant had two sacks against the Jets, while Smith had 1.5 including one in the end zone that resulted in a touchdown.

On that play, Smith sacked Sanchez and caused the fumble which was recovered by Remi Ayodele in the end zone. True, Sanchez held on to the ball too long. But after watching the tape, Smith completely manhandled left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson on the play and turned the corner very quickly.

Although they would never admit it, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that both of these guys are playing at an elite level now because they don’t have the distraction of their suspensions in their heads.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees blocks New York Jets cornerback Dwight Lowery (21) to spring running back Reggie Bush (25) in the first half of their NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009. ((AP Photo/Bill Haber))
Steady Morestead

How good is this guy? Who know a punter/kicker would have such an obvious impact? Evidently, Sean Payton.

Sunday he proved the Saints right once again not just punting but kicking off as well. He kicked off five times; four of them resulted in touchbacks. The one that Leon Washington did bring out of the end zone he returned the ball to the 13-yard line which was actually better for the Saints.

His efforts never allowed the Jets to play with a short-field and kept Washington, one of the best return men in the league, from changing the field position battle.

Brees a True Leader

For the second straight week, Drew Brees didn’t throw a touchdown pass but he made other more subtle plays in the game that allowed the Saints to come away with a victory, which is all Brees cares about.

On a Reggie Bush run in the 2nd quarter, Bush changed directions and headed up the left sideline. Brees recognized it and sprinted up field for the block that sprung Bush for the first down. After watching the tape, it appeared Bush would have been stopped for about an eight-yard gain but Brees’ block allowed Bush to gain an extra seven yards.

The Saints were just 1-3 on 4th down conversions Sunday but the one they did convert was all Brees and couldn’t have come at a better time. It happened in the 4th quarter with the Saints up 17-10. Brees barked out a hard count that forced Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins to jump offside. The reaction from Brees, Jonathan Goodwin and fullback Heath Evans after the play was priceless. It was one of excitement and confidence that that was the play to seal the win.

Another crucial play came in the 4th quarter with the Saints driving. Brees threw a pass to Pierre Thomas who was hit and lost the ball. It could have been disaster for the Saints who were only up 17-10 at the time. But when the ball squirted backwards, Brees alertly fell on it, saving the drive.


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