What a start

Mike Detillier
October 01, 2009 at 11:47 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The NFL season is a marathon not a sprint race to the Super Bowl, but can you believe just how well the New Orleans Saints have played in the first games of the 2009 campaign.

Defeating the Detroit Lions 45-27 in Game No.1 was expected, but this past week the Saints laid down a similar type whipping to the Philadelphia Eagles 48-22.

The same Philadelphia Eagles football club that went to the NFC Championship game last season and have one of the most feared defenses in professional football.

All week long I heard from a number of Saints fans and some non-believers that this team was not a legitimate contender and, despite the fact that the Eagles would not have All-Pro quarterback Donovan McNabb in the lineup, the Saints would falter on the road. Many put it to me this way, “This team will not live up to the hype you guys in the media are giving them and will get beat because they are the same old Saints.”

Not this year.

The numbers the Saints have put up over the first two weeks of the season are staggering.

They have scored 93 points and scored over 40 points in their first two games. Scoring over 40 points in the first two weeks of the season has not been done since the Indianapolis Colts did it in 2001.

The Saints offense has amassed 936 yards of total offense and quarterback Drew Brees has completed 51 of his 68 passes and thrown nine touchdown passes.

In the past few years I have been critical of this football team for not having good balance on offense, but not this season. The Saints have thrown the ball 68 times in two games and rushed the football 64 times.

They have also connected on 10 plays of 20 yards or more in the first two outings of the 2009 NFL season.

And the defense has come to play also.

The Saints defense intercepted 15 passes throughout the entire 2008 season.

So far this season the Saints defense has intercepted the football 6 times in just two games.

Throughout the off-season many thought the Saints should try and replace starting weakside linebacker Scott Shanle. Well in Gregg Williams’ new defensive scheme Shanle has looked like a standout performer. Against the Eagles Shanle was in on 11 tackles and he intercepted one pass. It was his second pass interception of the season and for his career since he also picked off a pass in Week No. 1 against the Lions.

Every game is important in the NFL since there are just 16 games played in the regular season and two games truly don’t make a season, but it has been a very exciting start to what looks like a year that the New Orleans Saints may be playing football deep in the month of January.

Now, that would be one Happy New Year.

River Parishes

Former Destrehan High School wide receiver Tim Molton has left LSU and decided to transfer to Louisiana Tech. Molton, who was injured in 7-on-7 practice sessions in June was rehabbing his surgically repaired knee and he decided to leave the Tiger football team. The speedy receiver was talked of highly by LSU head coach Les Miles for his play during the 2009 spring drills.

The 6-3, 200 pound redshirt freshman will have to sit out the 2009 season due to transfer rules, but he will be eligible to play for Louisiana Tech in 2010. Molton joins two other former Destrehan standouts at Tech in linebacker Rufus Porter and cornerback Josh Victorian.

Former Destrehan High School standout and Georgia Tech All-ACC defensive tackle Darryl Richard was placed on the New England Patriots 2009 practice squad earlier in the month. The Patriots released Richard, their 7th round 2009 draft choice, in the final cutdown to 53, but after clearing waivers he was immediately signed to their 6-man practice squad.

LaRon Byrd, who was considered one of the elite wide receivers in the state of Louisiana playing at Hahnville High School, is developing into one of the top ends in the Atlantic Coast Conference also. Last week in the Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes 33-17 win over Georgia Tech Byrd caught 5 passes for 83 yards and 1 touchdown.

Former Hurricane and current Indianapolis Colts All-Pro wide receiver Reggie Wayne compared the former Hahnville High School wide-out to NFL standouts Braylon Edwards and Plaxico Burress in the 2009 off-season.

“LaRon has a chance to be a dominant college receiver,” Wayne said. “He has the size factor that Plaxico Burress brought to the table and he has the ability to out-physical and out-run defenders like Braylon Edwards does in Cleveland. You can bet it won’t take long for defenders to know who Byrd is. He is going to be a big part in bringing the Miami (Fla.) program back to prominence.”

View other articles written Mike Detillier

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Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio has quipped that he “wouldn’t want to face us,” given the dominant fashion his Tigers have stormed through the majority of its schedule.

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