St. Charles Herald-Guide

Saints hit bye week in prime position

Mike Detillier - October 18, 2013

With less than two minutes left on Sunday, it looked as though the Saints would be 6-0 for only the third time in the history of the franchise. But Tom Brady played great when it mattered the most as the Patriots came from behind to beat the Saints 30-27.

Brady’s numbers were modest for him - 25 of 43 attempts for 269 yards and a touchdown. However, without Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Danny Woodhead it came down to Brady throwing a 17-yard touchdown pass to rookie free agent wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins in the final seconds.

That is the bad news.

The good news is that the Saints hit the bye week with a 5-1 record and the loss was to an AFC team. If I had told that to just about any Saints fan in late July, virtually everyone would have taken that deal.

It was a heartbreaking loss, but the Saints still have an explosive offensive team and they have improved defensively. Last season the Saints were only able to register 30 quarterback sacks. Through six games this season, they already have 20 sacks.

The Saints are relatively healthy with 10 games left in the season and are in a prime position to not only win the NFC South, but end up in the No. 2 position in the NFC come playoff time.

The Saints did run the ball better against the Patriots, gaining 131 yards on 26 carries, but we all know this is not a strong point for this football team. They will win with Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, a good array of wide receivers and halfbacks and a very stingy defense.

How about those Tigers?

The Tigers won an unconventional 17-6 game over the Florida Gators. Like the Saints this is a great start for the Tigers, considering the team’s massive amount of losses to the NFL and graduation.

LSU is loaded on offense with the potential of four first round selections in quarterback Zach Mettenberger, wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, and offensive tackle La’El Collins.

Against the Gators, the Tigers were great on defense, getting pressure and tackling better than they have all season. They will have to keep up that defensive effort against another tough team in Ole Miss. The Rebels are a good offensive team, but they are average at best on defense.

Wins against Ole Miss and Furman set the Tigers up well as they enter a tough stretch by facing Alabama and Texas A&M in back-to-back games.

The Saints winning big on defense and the Tigers winning with their offensive firepower - what a switch.