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Saints on pace to set NFL scoring record

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By LES EAST Special to The Advocate Published: Nov 1, 2009 Print Email Save Reprints Twitter Share Page 1 of 2 SINGLE PAGE VIEW METAIRIE — The New Orleans Saints were the highest-scoring team in the NFL last season (28.9 ...

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Old 11-02-2009, 12:21 PM   #1
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Saints on pace to set NFL scoring record

By LES EAST
Special to The Advocate
Published: Nov 1, 2009
Print Email Save Reprints Twitter Share
Page 1 of 2 SINGLE PAGE VIEW
METAIRIE — The New Orleans Saints were the highest-scoring team in the NFL last season (28.9 points per game) while scoring a franchise-record 463 points. This season they are on pace to be the highest-scoring team in NFL history.

They have averaged an NFL-best 39.7 points in rolling to a 6-0 record, having won every game by at least 12 points. That’s put them on pace to score about 635 points, which would break the NFL record of 589 set by New England when it went 16-0 two seasons ago.

New Orleans has scored 238 points — the second-most in NFL history through six games, trailing only the 262 scored by St. Louis in 2000. It scored 45 in the season opener against Detroit and came back with 48 a week later at Philadelphia, giving the Saints back-to-back 40-point games for the first time. They also became the fourth team in NFL history and the first in more than 40 years to open a season with back-to-back games of at least 45 points.

The Saints had scored 45 or more points in a game just five times in the franchise’s 42 years before this season, and now they’ve done it four times in six games.

Last season the Saints’ scoring burden fell almost exclusively on the offense as the defense didn’t score any points. In fact, from the middle of the 2003 season through the end of last season the defense had scored just four touchdowns in the last 87 games, all coming in 2007. Last season, though, the special teams did kick in three touchdowns on punt returns by Reggie Bush.

Already this season the defense has scored five touchdowns. Darren Sharper has three interception returns for touchdowns and Tracy Porter has one. Defensive tackle Remi Ayodele fell on a fumble in the end zone after end Will Smith caused a fumble by Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Additionally, takeaways by the defense — it has a league-leading 18 – and big plays by the special teams have set up 41 other points.

“If you charted the 18 takeaways and the five that have been for touchdowns and then look at the other 13 and the kind of points that they led to, it’s significant,” coach Sean Payton said. “That statistic is one area that’s glaringly different for all of us. It has helped us a bunch as a team.

“You hear each week talk about this Saints team is scoring 39 points per game, and I think the myth initially is that the offense is scoring all those points. The reality of it is that there are turnovers involved in there. There’s a lot that goes into a number like that that can get skewed.”

Linebacker Scott Shanle has three takeaways that have led to three touchdowns — an interception against the Eagles and fumble recoveries against the Giants and the Dolphins, both of which were caused by safety Roman Harper. The defense also deserves credit for stopping the Bills on downs at their 25, setting up a touchdown.

“I think something we’ve learned the hard way over the last three years is the turnover ratio,” quarterback Drew Brees said, “and I think (Payton’s) ability to really help guys understand how much that means, the difference between winning and losing according to that statistic, taking care of the football and being able to take it away on defense, is critical and it’s something this year we’ve done a great job with.”

The special teams have yet to contribute a touchdown and in fact they have hampered the scoring tally as John Carney has missed a 49-yard field goal, a 34-yarder was blocked, and Carney missed a PAT, which later led the Saints to go for two and they failed. A little better efficiency would have yielded seven more points, but that’s nit-picking.

On the positive side from the special teams, rookie Malcolm Jenkins has had a hand in setting up 10 points. He caused a fumble that Chris Reis recovered in kickoff coverage against the Eagles, setting up a touchdown. Jenkins caused and recovered a fumble on punt coverage against the Bills, leading to a field goal.

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Old 11-02-2009, 02:54 PM   #2
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Re: Saints on pace to set NFL scoring record

I truly feel that we score as many points as we do because our defense keeps giving the ball back to Drew with good field position. Our defense has also snuffed out drives inside of our 50 several times. Our D is aggressive around the red zone and can consistently force the opposition to kick a field goal.
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