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Sports Then and Now




New Orleans Saints Keep Flying High With Win Over Jets

Posted on October 05, 2009 by Richard Marsh
Drew Brees didn't throw a touchdown against the Jets, but he did other things, including throwing this block on a Reggie Bush run.

Drew Brees didn't throw a touchdown against the Jets, but he did other things, including throwing this block on a Reggie Bush run.

It’s no wonder why Jet’s coach Rex Ryan told the media this past week he wished the Jets didn’t have to play the Saints. This was very out of character for the coach, who has told his team, and the world, that they would not bow down to anyone. I wonder what made him change his strategy this week?

Whatever it was it carried right down to his team. In a complete 180 degree reversal from the previous game against the Tennessee Titans, this time it was the Saints who jumped out in front early, and although the Jets valiantly tried to make a game of it coming within a touchdown early in the second half, it was the Saints who were the dominant team on both sides of the ball in a 24-10 victory.

The Saints somewhere along the way found a lost defense, and forced four Jets turnovers.

Darren Sharper returned one of his two interceptions off rookie Mark Sanchez to a club-record 99 yards for a score. Will Smith forced a fumble in the end zone to produce a second defensive touchdown.

Sanchez definitely had his first wake up call, an unpleasant welcoming to the NFL. He definitely seemed out of sorts as the Saints were relentless in his pursuit. He still managed to go 14-27 and 138 yards, but his four turnovers were his undoing.

Drew Brees turned in just an average day for him, as he was rushed by the Jets all day long. He was held to just 190 yards on the day, with zero touchdowns. However, it was the Saints defense that completely ruled the day.

Pierre Thomas led the Saints’ offense with 86 yards rushing, and catching four passes for an additional 46 yards.

Sean Payton and the Saints handed Rex Ryan and the Jets their first loss of the season.

Sean Payton and the Saints handed Rex Ryan and the Jets their first loss of the season.

I said in the preview article that if the Jets had lost this game it would not be time to panic, or have the calling for Rex Ryan’s head. With that said however, I am at a loss for the selection of play calling on two separate occasions when, with the Jets driving on two drives, Ryan chose to have Sanchez attempt a pass on third and one yard to go for a first down. This was called twice, in spite of the fact that Thomas Jones was finding holes in the Saints defensive line for yardage gains that might have kept the drives going.

Maybe we should look at the offensive coordinator for these calls. To me they made absolutely no sense, and with two in-completions they certainly sealed the day for the Jets. I will be watching this type of play calling in future games because if this were to become a habit, there will be plenty of noise coming from this reporter.

In the meantime, the Jets 3-1 are now tied with the Patriots on top of the AFC East. Not too shabby, but still along way to go until January.

Richard Marsh is a regular contributor to Sports Then and Now.


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