Saints declaw Lions, prepare for Panthers this week

Mike Detillier
December 23, 2008 at 12:37 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Normally when I have talked about the New Orleans Saints being part of NFL history it has been because of something on the negative side for our guys in the black and gold.

Well, that didn’t happen Sunday as the Saints rolled to a 42-7 victory over the Detroit Lions. With that defeat the Lions became the first team in NFL history to record a 0-15 record in regular season play.

The Saints’ offense scored the first six times they had the football in the win over Detroit and quarterback Drew Brees passed for 351 yards and 2 scores. He was aided on the scoring end by rushing touchdowns supplied by Deuce McAllister, Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell and wide receiver Robert Meachem.

The Saints’ offense accounted for 532 yards of total offense and converted on an unbelievable 11 of 12 third down attempts.

Saints All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees inched closer to Dan Marino’s single-season NFL record for passing yards in a season with his 351-yard performance against Detroit, but he will need 402 yards passing in the home finale against the Carolina Panthers to break the former Miami Dolphins signal callers’s 1984 mark of 5,084 yards passing.

In a good way the Saints showed that despite being knocked out of the playoff picture they would not just mentally or physically let up with nothing to play for other than personal pride in their profession.

And more importantly, they won’t be the team to have the Lions beat them in the regular season. While it is not anything close to being in the playoff picture this was a pride game and the Saints showed a lot of heart after losing a heartbreaking game in overtime to the Chicago Bears.

While the Saints did set a new team record by scoring 53 touchdowns this season, the 2008 season will always be looked at as the “what could have been” year.

Late game losses to the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears will be hashed over like a bad dream for the entire off-season and the reason this team is watching football in January instead of playing.

A few years back I wrote that I didn’t think in the commuter world of the NFL where players and coaches constantly change, I would ever live long enough to see a team go 16-0 in the regular season or have a team go 0-16.

Well in back to back years, that theory has been thrown out of the window as the New England Patriots posted a 16-0 regular season mark in 2007 and the Lions are on the verge of going 0-16 in 2008.

As much as the league has tried to even the playing field, the really good organizations find ways to win games and the really bad ones always seem to find ways to lose games.

Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed has been selected to play in the 2009 NFL Pro-Bowl in Hawaii. Reed, a former Destrehan High School standout, was selected to the Pro-Bowl squad for the fifth time during his 7-year NFL career.

Reed has intercepted 7 passes in 2008 including 2 throws in the Ravens 33-24 victory over the Dallas Cowboys last week. The ball-hawking defensive back has intercepted 41 passes during his pro career.

Reed joins six other former Louisiana prep athletes who were also selected to play in the Pro Bowl game.

Reed, along with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, Tennessee Titans offensive center Kevin Mawae, New York Jets offensive guard Alan Faneca and Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Pat Williams were also selected to play in Hawaii in February.

Led by the strong kicking leg of Destrehan High School place-kicker Ryan Rome, the River Parish All-Stars defeated the Bayou All-Star team (26-8) in the 9th annual HTV-Lion’s Club All-Star Classic at John L. Guidry Stadium on the campus of Nicholls State University.

Rome, who has verbally committed to attend Tulane University, was named the River Parish MVP after connecting on two field goals (40 and 50 yarders) and kicked all but two kickoffs into the endzone.

Tim Taffi, the head coach at Riverside High School and head coach for the River Parish squad was very impressed with Rome’s efforts during the game.

“Rome is such a weapon to have on special teams,” Taffi said.

“Each field goal cleared by at least five yards and it didn’t matter if he was kicking with the wind or against it.

“The crazy thing is that I’m on the sidelines yelling at the coverage teams to stay in their lanes on kickoffs, but it was a mute point because Ryan kept kicking everything out of the back of the endzone.

“He is truly a tremendous football player and he did a great job for us today.”

The River Parish All-Stars pulled away from the Bayou All-Stars when they decided to go the “Wildcat” offense in the fourth quarter and they allowed East St. John running back Alex Singleton and Hahnville High School halfback Jai Steib to take direct snaps from center out of the shotgun formation.

Singleton rushed for 38 yards on 10 carries in the game and he also completed his 2 pass attempts he made during the game, and one of them was a 4-yard touchdown throw to St. James High School tight end Mason King.

Steib rushed for 46 yards on 9 carries in the All-Star game and scored 1 touchdown.

Hahnville High School defensive back Antoine Evans had the lone pass interception of the game and he also was in on 2 key pass breakups on long pass attempts.

Travis Douglas, the defensive coordinator at Central Lafourche High School and the head coach of the Bayou All-Stars was very impressed with the running talents of Steib and Singleton and the speed of the River Parish defense.

“You start to practice a little with these young men and think you can make something happen on the edge offensively, but the speed and talent of the River Parish team was too good for us today.

“Those guys can run to the football and they are a heavy impact region defensively. Steib and Singleton stole the show late and they wore us down, but they really dominated the show all day by taking control of the line of scrimmage defensively and we got nothing going on offense.”

View other articles written Mike Detillier

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Wildcats win seventh straight, best Alexandria in opening round
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