Deuce’s time has arrived
McAllister, Brees and Moore prove to be necessary weapons in winning efforts
New Orleans Saints fans have waited since Sept. 24, 2007 to see Deuce McAllister carry the rushing load for the team again.
After undergoing a second major knee operation over the past three seasons, Saints head coach Sean Payton was patient in making sure McAllister was fully ready for heavy-duty work.
And, as expected, the team’s all-time rusher came through in a big manner in his first extended action in over one year.
While McAllister may have lost a step or so speed-wise, the heavy duty running style of the former Ole Miss standout was evident again against the 49ers. Deuce carried the football 20 times for 73 yards and he scored one-rushing touchdown, along with catching one pass for 10 yards.
The spirit and enthusiasm of McAllister spread to the team’s offensive line which saw their best outing of the 2008 season in both run blocking and in pass protection.
In a nutshell the Saints’ offense takes on a totally different persona when No. 26 is in the lineup.
He adds a tough inside running style and physicality that no other back on this squad has.
And the Saints really needed a spark on offense with Marques Colston, Mike Karney, David Patten and Jeremy Shockey nursing injuries, and starting offensive guard Jamar Nesbit suspended for four games due to using a dietary supplement not approved by the NFL.
Saints fans were thrilled to see McAllister back in action and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
While McAllister supplied a needed spark in the running game, the former All-Pro back’s accomplishments almost overshadowed a tremendous performance again by Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
Brees completed 23 of his 36 passes for 363 yards, three touchdowns and one pass interception. He is doing this mainly by throwing to receivers who in the past would have been back-up performers or been inserted in role type situations.
But even with a host of injuries to the Saints receivers and tight ends, Brees has not lost a beat and right now he is playing better than any other quarterback in the NFL.
Saints-end Lance Moore had a career-game by catching seven passes for 101 yards and two scores, but it was Brees’ pin-point passing skills that have kept the Saints afloat in a storm of injuries.
Give the former Purdue star signal-caller his just due. Right now Brees with a limited cast has out performed the likes of Tony Romo, Brett Favre, Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer and even Peyton Manning in the first four games of the 2008 season.
The Saints 31-17 win was a total team effort and we did get to see the defensive line register six quarterback sacks, cause one fumble and force former Saint and current San Francisco 49er quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan to throw two pass interceptions, but the Saints would not be a 2-2 football team with the Minnesota Vikings coming to town Monday night without the skills of Drew Brees.
Brees has been the team’s oxygen needed to keep them chugging along and now he has Deuce McAllister back to help out in moving the chains and gaining those tough short-yardage and redzone spots.
It is good to see both of them playing at such a high level and maybe in a couple of weeks this team will really be able to hit on all cylinders, once Shockey, Colston, Karney and the rest of the Saints walking wounded get back healthy.
I am convinced the New Orleans Saints are a playoff team and maybe the spark of Deuce’s return will put them back in that elite company.HHS alumni blocks Rebels’ field goal
Last weekend, the Ole Miss Rebels defeated fourth ranked Florida 31-30 in Gainesville, Fla. and a hometown young man made a play that will go down in Ole Miss’ history as one of the tops in recent memory.
After 2007 Gator Heisman trophy winning quarterback, Tim Tebow led the Gators to a late touchdown that put them one point from overtime it was former Hahnville High School standout defensive end Kentrell Lockett who leaped over a blocker and blocked which would have been a game-tying extra point.
Lockett has seen extensive playing time in a rotation format for the Rebels, but it was his special teams skills that sealed the deal in one of the week’s biggest upset games and one of the great plays in recent Ole Miss history.
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