November 16th, 2010
The Saint’s following a win over division foe, the Carolina Panthers, called there bye week welcomed. As Heath Evans describes, coming off a game in which he got his first touchdown of the season, that victory was a “stepping stone” for this season. The Saints have been devastated by injuries in 2010 but have come out 6-3, good enough for second in the NFC South. The Saints have done it with a trio of unheralded backs, first year man Chris Ivory out of Tiffin College, Ladell Betts, and former Dallas Cowboys runner, Julius Jones. Jones especially stood out and gets a chance at some revenge against his former team, the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday.
The Seattle Seahawks lead the NFC West at a mediocre 5-4 but they are considered a team on the up starting to understand a new scheme under a new coach. Coach Pete Carroll left the University of Southern California this past off season to try his hand at the NFL for the second time in his illustrious career. Sunday will also be the first time Reggie Bush will face Carroll, his former college coach.
Reggie Bush is returning from an injury he received in week two against the San Francisco 49rs. in which he broke his fibula. Reggie was limited in practice on Thursday but it seems likely that he will suit up on Sunday for the Saints. Looking forward as the Saints get Bush and Pierre Thomas back from the IR no team in the league will have a more rested backfield than New Orleans.
While the defense hasn’t been taking the ball away as much this year, with 24 turnovers at this time in the 2009 season compared to only 13 the team has racked up this season, they have played admirably and kept low scoring games close enough to give Drew Brees a chance at the end to make a play. The return of ball-hawk and former defensive player of the league, Darren Sharper will help create some of the turnovers Gregg Williams has been looking for all season.
For this fan one of the main concerns I have going forward this season is the play of Garrett Hartley. The Saints have had a number of close games this season and while Hartley played lights out in the Super Bowl last year he has been unable to continue that success this season leading coach Payton to go out and sign John Carney for two weeks.
The Saint’s schedule is very favorable the second half of the season and the spotlight on the Saints has dimmed a bit as the national attention is on the Falcons and Bears who both tout better records than the Saints. As the season moves forward look for the Saints to make a move on the Falcons and make a play at a first round bye.