A Turning Point For the New Orleans Saints

By Omar Rodriguez

The Saints seem to have bounced back.  After a tough one-point loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 7 and bringing them to a 2-4 record, they put on quite a show against the tough Green Bay Packers and their quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The win for New Orleans was the team’s best performance in the season thus far. The Saints were able to pull away from the Packers in the second half after a dominant performance from both their offense and defense.

Then on Thursday Night Football they secured first place in the NFC South after defeating the Carolina Panthers 28-10.

In the second half against the Packers, the Saints were able to force two Rodgers interceptions.

Drew Brees and the offense scored four more touchdowns in the 44-23 win.  Brees finished 27-of-32 for 311 yards and three touchdowns.  When the third quarter started the game was tied at 16 apiece.

The only touchdowns were scored in the beginning of the game by each.  The rest of the points came from a barrage of field goals.

It looked like it was going to be a rough Sunday Night Football game after the Packers were able to score on a 70-yard touchdown from Rodgers to wide receiver Randall Cobb on the opening drive of the game.

With the win the Saints were able to show the potential of a playoff team, despite their on and off again defense.

Luckily for the Saints they are in the struggling NFC south and are now tied with the Carolina Panthers for first place with a record of 3-4.

After the win against Carolina, the Saints are back to even at 4-4. The NFC South had no team with a winning record, until the Saints’ win yesterday.

It has the 1-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 2-6 Atlanta Falcons, and the now 3-5-1 Panthers.  So even with an even 4-4 record the Saints are now the first in the division.

The offense was firing on all cylinders. This was one of their best overall offensive games, both in the air and on the ground.  Brees, who had a rough beginning to the game after a fumble and an interception in the first quarter, was able to brush it off as the game went to lead them to the win.  Leading New Orleans to scores on four out of five drives.

Mark Ingram had a superb game as well. Ingram ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns. This was his second consecutive 100-yard game after nabbing 157 in the win against Green Bay.

Ingram is starting to become the Saints go to running back after two solid performances back-to-back.

Brees went 24-of-34 for 297 yards against Carolina.  He was able to connect with Jimmy Graham for a touchdown even though Graham is battling a shoulder injury.

Despite this, he seems to be getting better as the season goes.  He was able to nab 83 yards in the game. Drew Brees also scored his first rushing touchdown of the season to put the Saints up 21-7.

New Orleans had not won a game on the road this season (0-4), before taking care of Cam Newton and the Panthers.

The Saints defense was able to sack Newton four times last night and also forced two turnovers.

Now, Cam Newton’s offensive line was missing three of its starters. As a result, Newton was only able to pass for 151 yards.  His receivers were not much help either.

For the second straight week rookie Kelvin Benjamin dropped a pass in the end zone. Jericho Cotchery also dropped a pass inside the 10-yard line in the first.

Also, Newton threw a perfect pass to Brenton Bersin that was jumbled and ultimately intercepted.  To say that the Panthers had a rough game is an understatement.

After forcing two turnovers, they were unable to capitalize on either of the turnovers from the Saints in the first quarter. The win is the Saints’ second in row.  The NFC south finally has a team that does not have a losing record.

The Saints are looking better than they have all season after these two great wins.  One win came against one of the best teams in the league, and the other win an away game against their division rival.

Next is a tough San Francisco 49ers matchup in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 9th.  The 49ers (4-3) are coming off a bye week after a dismantling at the hands of the Denver Broncos, 42-17.

Omar Rodriguez is a writer for Scouts Alley.


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