The New Orleans Saints edged out another close victory to improve to 2-4 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It would not have happened however without an incredible defensive play.
The Saints defense had been struggling all day to contain the run and contain Bucs wide receiver Vincent Jackson.
In the third quarter, Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman found Jackson who worked himself open and was wide open on his way to a touchdown.
Seemingly out of nowhere, safety Malcolm Jenkins comes into the frame and tackles Jackson before he can make it to the endzone.
That tackle not only denied the Bucs a touchdown; it denied them points on the drive when they failed to convert on 4th down.
On NFL Network’s Around the League the following day, Saints wide receiver Lance Moore said that the tackle had another effect on the team.
There are some plays that are game-changers and then there are plays that are season-changers. I really felt like that was a season-changing play. – Lance Moore
Moore had said that after the play on Sunday, he had gone up to Jenkins and thanked him and the very next day he was still all smiles.
Despite middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma being active against the Buccaneers on Sunday and possibly active against the Broncos, the Saints don’t have an on-the-field leader to rally them when they need a big defensive play.
Jenkins needs to step up and be that leader on the field by showing that incredible hustle and determination to never let the other side win.