Saints News

Keys to the Game: Saints vs. Jets

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Oct 27, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Akiem Hicks (76) and other defenders tackle Buffalo Bills running back Tashard Choice (20) during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans defeated Buffalo 35-17. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

The defense ‘returned to form’ last week, as many were worried after the Patriots scored 30 points on the Saints. The defense had 4 sacks, an interception, and 3 forced fumbles on the day (2 recovered). Overall, it was a great showing for the Saints defense.

"“When you have the league’s worst defense a year ago and you have the same players, people think that those players that were playing in that scheme were terrible. So you get a new defensive coordinator that comes in and plays to the strengths of players in this locker room, and guys are playing out there confident, playing fast … like it’s a whole different team.” -Curtis Lofton"

I can’t agree more with Lofton’s analysis, who leads the Saints in tackles (again), with 55 on the season. Sorry Atlanta, you are really dumb for letting him go, and thinking Lofton wasn’t an ‘every down’ linebacker.

Geno Smith, like most younger & inexperienced quarterbacks, have shown their respective share of ‘rookie mistakes’, as he has tossed 8 touchdowns to 13 interceptions this season. Smith threw 2 pick sixes alone last week, in that 49-9 routing from the Bengals. The Jets dominated time of possession 33:17-26:43 against the Bengals, but only churned out 240 total yards of offense.

The key here is no secret, get after Geno Smith. Make him make bad decisions, negate his progressions, and force his throws. The Saints have done an exceptional job this season with their sack production. The Saints area also good at stripping the ball, as they are one of eight teams to be in double digits in forced fumbles, with 12. That’s actually good for #4 in the league.

As for the other, or ultimate key, it may be in another section. SPOILER ALERT.

What to Watch: Injury updates on Jenkins/Vaccaro/Harper. Each of the Saints safety is listed as questionable this week, and that means as of now, Rafael Bush & Isa Abdul-Quddus are the Saints only healthy safeties right now. Missing Jenkins and/or Vaccaro is a huge blow to the Saints, should they not be able to play Sunday. Also, in case you missed it, Jonathan Vilma has been added to the active roster (part of the reason why Chris Carr was waived). That knee must be doing extremely well, and whether or not Vilma plays will be something to follow.