Did You Notice…St. Louis Rams @ New Orleans Saints
By Keith Null
Did you notice the stellar play of second year defensive back Malcolm Jenkins was very reminiscent of that of Darren Sharper during the 2009 season.
Jenkins picked of two passes, both in the red zone, racing one back 96 yards for a touchdown that helped protect the Saints 14-6 lead over the Rams.
That particular play conjured up images of Darren Sharper’s 99 yard interception returned for a touchdown against the Jets last season as both plays happened in the end zone when both players stepped in front of opposing receivers.
Jenkins finished the game with four tackles, three pass deflections and the two key interceptions.
Did you notice that strong safety Roman Harper continues his elite level of play and march towards another Pro Bowl season.
Harper was all over the field accounting for seven tackles, one pass deflection, one sack and one forced fumble. Simply out he has been a terror for opposing offenses this year.
It looked as if Harper may have stripped Rams running back Steven Jackson again on the goal line, which he advanced 81 yards down field, but the play was overturned after review.
The entire Saints defense played very well as they were able to apply constant pressure on rookie quarterback Sam Bradford forcing three sacks for a loss of forty yards.
Rams running back Steven Jackson was held in check as well totaling only 96 yards and no touchdowns.
Did you notice the Saints receivers were uncharastically dropping passes as both Robert Meachem and Marques Colston missed several opportunities to score.
Meachem dropped a pass that would have converted a fourth down play deep in Rams territory and later dropped a long touchdown attempt in the end zone.
He was double covered on the play but Brees was able to drop the ball right over the defenders heads and into the open arms of Meachem who was unable to hold on, which is a catch he has made several times over the last few seasons.
Colston nabbed two touchdown passes in the contest but also dropped potentially two more.
However he now has seven touchdown grabs in his last seven games and this may be the season he finally gets rightful Pro Bowl consideration.
Did you notice that punter Thomas Morstead was back to handling the kick off dutiesn and not kicker Garrett Hartley, something he has not done since week nine at Carolina.
His kicks routinely found their way deep in the end zone forcing the Rams Danny Amendola to make a mad dash towards the twenty yard line which he was rarely successful in achieving.
Morstead has the bigger leg than Hartley and it was clear the Saints kick coverage benefited from the deeper kicks keeping the Rams starting field position at no better than the 25 yard line all game.
Did you notice how lethal the Saints running back core looked like with Thomas, Bush and Ivory all contributing to a 132 yard rushing day.
Thomas rushed for 39 yards on twelve attempts and also caught four passes for 29 yards while being utilized primarily on screen plays.
Bush chipped in the same amount of rushing yardage as Thomas on nine carries and also caught passes, nabbing five for 22 yards.
Rookie Chris Ivory was the teams leading rusher with 47 yards on seven totes which he did all in basically one quarter of play.
He surely would have once again had yet another one hundred yard rushing performance but the decison was made by the coaching staff to hold him out of the game after he experienced tightness in his hamstring.
Check out Keith Null’s weekly article about the Saints on NFL.com by clicking here.
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