Stayin’ ALIVE

Saints need to win next five games

By Mike Detillier

November 19, 2008 at 5:29 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

It wasn’t a pretty win or one measured on style points, but the New Orleans Saints’ 30-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs puts them back at the .500 mark (5-5) with six games left to play in the 2008 season.

It will be difficult for the Saints to get back into playoff contention unless they can win five of the next six games.

And that’s a pretty tall order for a team that has yet to win two games in a row this season.

The Saints have dug themselves the hole they are in and are trailing three games behind the NFC leaders, the Carolina Panthers - who sport an 8-2 mark and are two contests behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who possess a 7-3 win-loss mark.

The most important part of this “stayin’-alive” win over the 1-9 Kansas City Chiefs was the fact that some new faces played a huge in the team’s win in Kansas City.

The Saints went back to running the football against the worst-rated running defense in the league and on 28 carries the Saints runners rushed for 103 yards.

It was Pierre Thomas who rushed for 88 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. He led the ground attack and his presence in the lineup may be extended in future games due to the hamstring injury sustained by Aaron Stecker and the probable suspension of Deuce McAllister by the NFL.

Quarterback Drew Brees played another strong game throwing for 266 yards and one touchdown. Reliable wide-out Lance Moore caught eight passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. But it was a breakout game in Saints’ uniform for former New York Giants All-Pro tight end Jeremy Shockey.

Shockey caught six passes for 29 yards and he provided Brees with a reliable target over the middle. While still not 100 percent due to a groin injury, Shockey displayed some of the big-time skills expected from him after the summer trade to acquire him.

Reserve Saints defensive end Jeff Charleston provided some needed pass rush pressure and he recorded two quarterback sacks against the Chiefs’ quarterback Tyler Thigpen.

The kicking game, which has been a season long merry-go-round of sorts, was very good against the Chiefs.

Punter Glen Pakulak averaged 48.5 yards per punt and rookie place-kicker Garrett Hartley hit on all three field goal attempts, with great range on all of his kickoffs.

It was nice to see the total team effort in this victory over the Chiefs, but this is just one win and it is not a streak.

Let’s be honest, the 2008 season has been a disappointment and the rarefied air we all breathed in that miraculous 2006 season has now disappeared.

Tougher competition is right around the corner with the Green Bay Packers Monday-night match up and one more game against the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons.

But for one Sunday the Saints played well in just about every phase of the game and maybe, and I say maybe, it can spark a team in desperate need of quite a few more all-around good games.

Jefferson gets to play against Troy

Former Destrehan High School standout quarterback Jordan Jefferson finally got some extended playing time in the LSU Tigers 40-31 victory over Troy.

In the most remarkable comeback in LSU history, Jefferson threw the football six times and completed one for five yards. He also rushed the ball seven times for 17 yards and scored one touchdown. The first touchdown of his college career, but the story of the game was redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Lee.

Lee had a horrendous first half, before heating up in the third and fourth quarters. Lee completed 20 of his 34 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown, and led the Tigers to 31 fourth quarter points to overcome a very tough Troy football team.

For LSU fans you saw the worst of Lee in the first half and the best of Lee in the second half, but also Tiger fans got a glimpse of a future star player in Jefferson and expect to see more of him in the remaining games against Ole Miss and Arkansas.




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