Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sitting Pretty at 4–0

Posted By on Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 11:56 PM

click to enlarge Sanchez Sandwich

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Photograph by Jonathan Bachman

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Hot Gumbo:

  • Darren Sharper - All this man does is catch interceptions and every once in a while return them for touchdowns. He had two INTs today and his 99-yard interception return for a touchdown set a new Saints' franchise record and tied him for 9th on the NFL's career interception list. "I'd say one of my strengths is reading quarterbacks and knowing where they're going to go with the football," he said. I'd say that too, Darren. I'd say that too.
  • Pierre Thomas - It's official, the Saints again have a running game that can wear down opponents at the end of games. Thomas is a big part of that. Though he only had 54 rushing yards through three quarters, his fourth quarter touchdown and 32 fourth-quarter yards sealed the deal for the Saints. "Every time I step on the field I'm gonna go balls-out, 110% of the time," he said, which isn't that insightful but I just had to print that he said "balls-out".
  • Saints' D-Line - They were overwhelming, putting pressure on Sanchez all day and making the rookie play his age, sacking him four times and flushing him from the pocket multiple times (the Saints lead the league with hits on a quarterback, which is always good). Will Smith's second quarter sack and forced fumble in the end-zone gave the Saints a touchdown and set the tone. "I came around the corner and he was waiting there right for me," Smith said afterward. That gang-sack with 4:30 left in the fourth was icing on the cake.
  • Special Teams - Huzzah! Saints' special teams played as close to perfect as they could have today. John Carney nailed every one of his kicks and Thomas Morstead continues to kick the stuffing out of the ball on kickoffs and pushing teams back with his punt (his one shank, aside).
  • Starting 4-0 - It's just the third time in the franchise's 43-year history that a Saints team started the season 4-0. That's reason enough to celebrate. Just try to ignore that the previous two 4-0 starts lead to exactly zero playoff wins.

Spoiled Crawfish:

  • Mark Sanchez - I have a friend that calls this kid "Franchez" (Sanchez + Franchise). It's actually quite a clever nickname. Too bad he didn't show any of that today, throwing for a measly YARDS and three interceptions. Rather, it was too bad for Jets fans. Who Dat nation was probably very pleased with Sanchez's performance. Also, Mr. Sanchez? When a defensive player akin to Charles Grant or Will Smith comes at you, it's best not to run backwards. Especially if you're in the end zone.
  • Reggie Bush - Read the details of his contract and tell me if he's worth all the Saints are paying him. I dare you. Also, he's back together with Kim Kardashian. Yay?
  • The Circle K Blimp - That thing went bananas during the Jackson State marching band's halftime show and crashed into fans sitting on all three levels near the north endzone. Worse piloting than the Hindenberg (HEY-O!).
  • Jets Fans - They've invaded this town like the freakin' plague this weekend and were poised to out-cheer the Who Dats in the Dome right up until Sharper's touchdown. That shut them up good.

Room Temperature Abita:

  • Drew Brees - This is his second sub-par performance against an AFC East team in a row. But, unlike Mark Sanchez, he didn't do anything to lose the game for his team. And did you see that block in the second quarter to spring Reggie Bush for a first down?  That's called grit. "I'm trying not to make a habit out of that," he said. Oh, and right after the game he delivered a baby while simultaneously saving it and the mother from a burning building.
  • Saints Offense - So they didn't put up the numbers that Saints fans are accustomed too but they played a fairly balanced game and didn't commit any crucial errors. They did drive the field and scored the clinching touchdown, so you really can't complain.
  • Sean Payton - Going for it three times on fourth down and not converting any of them wasn't pretty. Also, the goal line play-calling was pretty questionable. "I’m worried about winning," he said after the game. "You can keep track of fourth downs." Touché, coach.
  • Saints Fans - Who Dats will always be Who Dats but I was pretty disappointed with the turnout this week. Check that, I was disappointed with  their creativity. No more than six or seven ridiculously dressed people rather than the usual dozens.

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