this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; TAMPA, FLA. - The Who Dat chants began early at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. A raucous version of the rally cry ignited midway through the third quarter of the New Orleans Saints' rollicking 38-7 rout of the Tampa Bay ...
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|11-23-2009, 09:33 AM||#1|
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TAMPA, FLA. - The Who Dat chants began early at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.
A raucous version of the rally cry ignited midway through the third quarter of the New Orleans Saints' rollicking 38-7 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was reprised throughout the fourth quarter as the Saints pounded the helpless hosts into submission.
The pirate ship in the north end zone, which fires cannon shots after each Bucs' score, had long since silenced. Now the only sounds heard in the heavy south Florida air were the chants and cheers of black-and-gold partiers in the stands behind the Saints' bench.
"It felt like a home game out there," Saints defensive back Usama Young said.
Every game is a home game for the Saints in their 2009 magical mystery tour. With the exception of the harrowingly close finish in St. Louis a week ago, each has ended the same way -- with the Saints comfortably on top and their fans ecstatically on their ears.
The Saints won for the 10th time without a defeat this season. Nine of those victories have come by eight points or more. Eight have been by double digits. The victory marked the first time in the 43-year history of the club that a Saints team has won 10 consecutive games.
"It's unbelievable," safety Chris Reis said. "It's been a storybook season so far, and we're just trying to keep it going."
The undermanned Saints vanquished the Bucs in similar fashion to the nine victims before them.
A dominant blend of balanced offense, big-play defense and solid special teams proved too much for the overmatched Bucs, who are trying to rebuild under first-year coach Raheem Morris.
The Saints spotted the Bucs an early touchdown then rolled and smoked them like a Hav-a-Tampa the rest of the way.
The scoring output was their largest in a month and it could have been worse. They took mercy and pretty much shut down the offense in the final 10 minutes.
Most important, the Saints played largely error-free football. They didn't commit a turnover and had only four penalties. They rushed for 147 yards and didn't punt once in the second half.
The defense was even more impressive. They surrendered a long touchdown drive on the opening series then basically stymied the Bucs the rest of the way. Tampa Bay gained 95 yards and six first downs on their opening possession. They mustered only 124 yards and eight first downs on their final 11 series. Four of those drives ended in turnovers; six others on punts or downs.
"We're just trying to keep this going," cornerback Randall Gay said. "It felt good to see our fans back there cheering for us and screaming Who Dat. We're going to keep trying to keep them happy."
The fourth quarter celebration was a far cry from the scene here a year ago. This was the site of one of the most bitter losses of Sean Payton's coaching tenure, an ugly 23-20 setback in a driving rainstorm which Drew Brees recently cited as a turning point for the club. That day, the Saints couldn't run the ball very well, turned it over too often, and consequently couldn't finish off the win in the fourth quarter.
"Really this season compared to last year is like night and day," linebacker Scott Fujita said. "Closing out the games and finishing strong, that's what we've done. It's been so much different from last year."
The significance of what the Saints accomplished here should not be lost. The Saints dominated a division opponent on the road with essentially five starters sidelined. What's more, they did it despite losing backup cornerbacks Randall Gay and Leigh Torrence to injuries midway through the game. The Saints were forced to play much of the afternoon with reserve safeties Usama Young and Pierson Prioleau at cornerback and nickel back, respectively.
"They were an undermanned team today," Bucs Coach Raheem Morris said. "They didn't have Reggie Bush. They're missing two of their starting corners. They went out there and played with what they had and they won the football game."
The win sets the stage for perhaps the biggest regular-season game in Saints history. It's certainly the biggest since the historic Monday night they reopened the Superdome in 2006. The 7-3 New England Patriots and 'Monday Night Football' are coming to town. The Patriots, of course, were the last team to traverse a regular season without losing. When they went 16-0 two years ago they joined the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only teams in NFL history to record unbeaten regular season. You know they'd like nothing more than to derail the Saints' chances of joining the select group.
"A lot of us are emulating them," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said of the Patriots. "We are trying to be what they've built ... somewhat of a dynasty."
The Saints will entertain the game with the proper momentum thanks to Sunday's beatdown. On this day, they looked more like the team that steamrolled their first five opponents than the mistake-riddled bunch that struggled to win the past four weeks. And they are expected be closer to full strength health-wise next week.
"We needed a day like this," Brees said. "We feel like we haven't peaked yet. We're building something special right now."
This special season could become even more special next week.
Every game a home game for New Orleans Saints: Jeff Duncan | New Orleans Saints Central - - NOLA.com
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|11-23-2009, 02:57 PM||#2|
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Re: Every game a home game for New Orleans Saints
Who Dat! Every game is like a home game....what a great feeling.