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QBREES9 11-06-2010 11:18 AM

Saints must avoid letdown
Coming off maybe their most impressive and complete defensive performance in recent memory, and on the verge of a bye week that could help get the team healthy, now is not the time for a New Orleans Saints letdown.

The Saints reestablished themselves as one of the NFL's elite teams on Sunday night with a 20-10 home victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers despite missing their best two runnings backs (Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush), their two best cornerbacks (Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer) and losing another key corner (rookie Patrick Robinson) in the game.

The Saints have beaten people with better talent, coaching and playmaking ability during wins the last couple of seasons, but on Sunday, they beat a quality Steelers team on sheer determination and grit, and it was good to see.

But the NFL is a week-to-week league, and next up for New Orleans (5-3) is a trip to Carolina for a date with the NFC South rival Panthers, who are 1-6 overall and coming off a 20-10 loss at St. Louis.

There are a ton of reasons you can't count this as an easy win for the Saints.

First, it's been my experience that most games in the NFC South seem to come down to a field goal no matter what the records of the teams involved may be.

And while Garrett Hartley looked good last week and has made the biggest kicks in Saints history, Carolina's John Kasey is the model of consistency when it comes to clutch kickers.

The worst thing you want to see as a Saints fan is Kasey lining up for a potential game winner as time expires or in overtime.

Saints must avoid letdown |

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