Saints Show Balance on Offense and Defense with a 13-0 Shutout

After a dismal showing last week against the Houston Texans, the New Orleans Saints defense finally stepped up and played well shutting out the Bengals. The Bengals had 11 offensive series, with 10 ending in punts, and one with a turnover by interception. The Saints also only allowed the Bengals to cross mid field once while stopping Cincinnati on all but four of their third down conversions. (4-of-14-29%) and limited the home team to only 165 yards total offense.

As usual, the Saints first team offense minus Jeremy Shockey who was suppose to play his first game as a Saints tonight drove down the field on their first possession, settling for a field goal, after a third down and 10 pass to Colston in the end zone was dropped.

The Saints second possession of the night resulted in a one yard touchdown pass by Drew Brees to Ronnie Ghent, to put the Saints up 10-0 with 6:03 left in the first quarter.

The third possession was stopped short by two incomplete passes, and poor running. The Saints were forced to punt for the first time, but managed to eat up time off the clock, and allowing the defense to get sufficient rest.

Cincinnati however could not get things going in their first few possessions, all ending in punts. Tracy Porter getting the start after a horrible game last week, forced a fumble, and fought off blockers to tack on three tackles for the night. On the opposite side of the field, Mike McKenzie making his first start since a season ending injury late last year, made what looked to be a leaping interception, but was later ruled incomplete.

Jonathan Vilma had a better appearance, after his debut last week as the Saints middle linebacker, with 1 solo tackle and 3 assist. Both Fujita and Shanle had good games as well, swarming around the ball almost every play.

The defensive line gave good pressure up front stopping runs before they could get started. Kendrick Clancy had three solo tackles with two assist. Clancy saw more playing time with injuries keeping first round pick Sedrick Ellis out of the game. Orien Harris who has also had an outstanding preseason clogged up the line numerous times, allowing the second team linebackers enough time to make the stops.

The second half of football seemed to be all Pierre Thomas; he had 5 carries for 46 yds, and 4 receptions for 35 yards, he did lose one fumble, but Coach Payton showed confidence, by giving him the ball and allowing him to redeem himself which he did.

Both Reggie Bush and Marques Colston left the game early with injuries, but Coach Payton said after the game neither was serious, and that he was not worried.

Drew Brees finished the night 14/22 199yds 1 TD, Tyler Palko also had a good night going 11/16 133yds 1 Int. Palko showed leadership, and made good adjustments keeping drives alive, and even had one rush for 9 yards.

Both Robert Meachem and Lance Moore made strong cases for playing time, both finishing with 4 receptions on the night. Meachem had a beautiful grab that went for 54 yards, and Lance Morris made a 35 yard grab under tight coverage.

Game statistics highlights for the New Orleans Saints:

15 different players caught passes on 27 attempts. The Saints racked up a total of 458 yards total offense, and ran for 145 yards on the ground, averaging 6.2 yards per play.

The offensive player of the game for the Saints goes to Pierre Thomas, with the defensive player of the game going to Kevin Kaesviharn who finished the night with 2 solos and 2 assists with 1.5 sacks.


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