this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans leads NFL in takeaways, 18 Saints have scored TDs en route to 10-0 record Brett Martel, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 3 hours, 40 minutes ago METAIRIE, La. - Until now, Pierre Thomas (notes) could not recall playing for a ...
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New Orleans leads NFL in takeaways, 18 Saints have scored TDs en route to 10-0 record
Brett Martel, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 3 hours, 40 minutes ago
METAIRIE, La. - Until now, Pierre Thomas(notes) could not recall playing for a football team at any level that was 10-0, or averaged 36.9 points per game, or had 18 different players score touchdowns.
So the running back says that the New Orleans Saints' accomplishments this season have been remarkable, even if the teams they've beaten have a combined 37-63 record.
"It doesn't matter," said Thomas, who leads the Saints with 584 yards and five TDs rushing. "Every team is tough in this league. You can't take anybody for granted. If some people want to say the teams we played were not that good, they have freedom of speech. That's their choice.
That's their opinion. But we know that every team is trying to beat us and it's going to be a competitive game - always."
Of the teams beaten by the Saints, those with the best records to this point are the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, who are both 6-4.
Six of the Saints' victories have come against teams with four wins or fewer, including two one-win teams.
Their remaining opponents include a pair of 7-3 teams, New England and Dallas, starting with the Patriots next Monday night. New Orleans also will play road games against Atlanta (5-5), Carolina (4-6) and Washington (3-7), and a final home game against Tampa Bay (1-9), who the Saints demolished 38-7 on Sunday.
Reggie Bush(notes), who sat out Sunday's game with left knee swelling but expects to return this week, pointed out that the 16-0 Patriots of 2007 didn't always win by large margins and had some close games against teams with much worse records.
"We can learn a little bit from them and what happened to them and know you can't take any game lightly," Bush said. "Any given Sunday you can be beat by any team no matter what the record is. We're finding ways to win and no matter how much you win by or how (little) you win by, a win is a win in this league. … Even the worst team in the league has great all-star players."
In fact, the Saints have had few close games. Only two of their victories were by less than double digits, the closest coming at 1-9 St. Louis, 28-23. Their only other single-digit margin was a 35-27 win over Atlanta, which kicked a late field goal that proved inconsequential.
For the most part, New Orleans has been dominant, particularly as games wear on. They've outscored opponents 188-78 in the second half, and 105-24 in the fourth quarter.
Having led the NFL in offence two of the last three seasons, the Saints appeared well-positioned to once again be among the NFL's top-scoring teams.
Quarterback Drew Brees(notes) has shared the wealth effectively this season. Last weekend, his scoring pass to David Thomas(notes) made the tight end the 12th player to score an offensive touchdown.
"One of the things that our quarterback does well is read defences and recognizes the weaknesses of defences," head coach Sean Payton said.
"We've had to insert some players in because of injury, and some of those guys have stepped up. … A number of receivers have gotten their hands on balls."
The Saints also have scored once on Courtney Roby's(notes) kickoff return, while five defensive players have TDs - two on fumble returns and three on interceptions. The Saints have scored seven defensive TDs in all, with new safety Darren Sharper(notes) scoring three on interception returns.
The Saints are scoring on turnovers because they're causing a lot more of them. New Orleans leads the league with 29 takeaways, including 20 interceptions, and benefited from four Buccaneers turnovers last weekend. The Saints had 22 takeaways all of last season.
The increase in that department is no accident, said safety Usama Young(notes), who has an interception this season.
"That was the goal from the start, to create takeaways," Young said.
"Early on, we made it a habit in practice to go for the ball every chance you got. That forces you to do it in a game, and when you're trying to get the ball every play, you're going to get some turnovers."
Now the Saints are undefeated through 10 games for the first time in franchise history and can clinch a playoff spot as early as this weekend. New Orleans will win the NFC South Division with a win over New England and an Atlanta loss to Tampa Bay.
NOTES: The Saints signed veteran CB Mike McKenzie(notes) and placed CB Leigh Torrence(notes) on injured reserve. Torrence injured his shoulder at Tampa Bay. … Only three times in NFL history have two teams started 10-0 in the same season, with the Saints and Indianapolis Colts being the latest.
New Orleans leads NFL in takeaways, 18 Saints have scored TDs en route to 10-0 record - NFL - Yahoo! Sports