Photograph by Jonathan Bachman
Welcome back Pierre Thomas! The Saints won a defensive battle in Buffalo 27-7, thanks in part to a monster second half from the resurgent third year back. No, its not a misprint, and you may want to hold off on scheduling that annual appointment with your optometrist (at least for the moment). These aren't your grandfather's Saints. They're not just a high-scoring side-show that finds a way to manufacture a loss- these Saints are catching up to the curve knocking it out of the park.
Gregg Williams has the defense improving week to week and playing at a high caliber. The stingy Saints "D" only allowed 243 yards from scrimmage, and held the Bills' All-Pro wide receiver Terrell Owens without a catch for the first time in 185 games-ending the third longest streak in NFL history. After' forcing Buffalo to punt on their first possession, the Saints gave up what would be the Bills' only points of the game, on of all things, a fake field goal that ended in a touchdown reception for defensive end Ryan Denny.
Gimmicks notwithstanding, the Saints "D" was stifling. They sacked Trent Edwards four times and forced two turnovers-the third time in as many games the "Black and Gold" has come up with two or more.
As far as for individual performances, Thomas reminded us what all the off-season fuss was about. With Brees having a pedestrian outing, well short of the pregame billing, and leading rusher Mike Bell still sidelined with a knee injury, Thomas literally ran away with the game. After not carrying the ball at all the first two games of the season, or for that matter the first two quarters Sunday, Thomas shredded the Bills defense for a career high 126 yards on just 14 carries and scored two game sealing touchdowns.
Thomas' 9 yards a carry couldn't have come at a better time. When the Saints "high-flying offense" was grounded by Buffalos' defense, Thomas provided the leg work to get the job done. In a " what have you done for me lately" league, Thomas was quickly becoming the forgotten man in the Saints' offense. But after his performance Sunday, I don't think anyone will be forgetting him anytime soon-especially not the Buffalo Bills.
God's speed, Rodrigue
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