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New Orleans Saints Offensive Line Hurt After Win Over Houston Texans
Written by  // Monday, 26 September 2011 10:23 //

PaytonSaints starting RT Zach Strief (right knee) and starting C Olin Kreutz left the game with injuries. Sean Payton declined to discuss the  injuries. The Saints wore throwback mustard yellow pants that resembled what they wore in the late 1960s.

Two more fumbles for Reggie Bush despite touching the ball only 12 times. He's moth-balling himself in Miami.  Dolphins rookie RB Daniel Thomas had 95 yards rush on 23 carries. The rookie is making Bush all but irrelevant...Trivia answer: San Diego...

 Kevin Walter starred in a remake of the Immaculate Reception on Sunday against he Saints. The Texans WR may not have the play of the year in the NFL, but to no avail as the miracle catch wasn't enough to take down the Saints. Saints LB Jonathan Cassillas appeared to have the interception and watched the ball bounce around before Walter came through with the reception...

Here are highlights as per the New Orleans Saints website:

Saints scored a team record 23 fourth quarter points

*The Saints surpassed the 40-point barrier for the first time since a 46-34 win over Miami in 2009.

*The Saints rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter by scoring a franchise record 23 fourth-quarter points. The previous fourth-quarter  high for the Saints was 22 on three occasions, most recently against Miami in 2009.

*The Saints have scored 30 or more points in each of their first three games this season for the first time in franchise history.

*The Saints had a pair of two-point conversions in a game for only the second time in franchise history. The other 2-point duo came on Nov. 11, 2007 vs. St. Louis.

*QB Drew Brees completed 31 of 44 passes for 370 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He finished with a passer rating of 99.6.

*Brees has thrown a touchdown pass in 30 consecutive games, tied for the third-longest streak in NFL history with Dan Marino. Johnny Unitas holds the NFL record of 47. Brett Favre is second with 36.

*Brees is now tied for 16th in NFL history with 244 career touchdown passes. He tied another former San Diego Charger QB, John Hadl, with his three TD tosses Sunday.

*Brees threw his first interception of the season in the second quarter, on his 95th pass attempt of 2011. Counting last year’s playoff game at Seattle, Brees went 169 attempts between interceptions.

*RB Darren Sproles scored the Saints’ first touchdown on a 30-yard run in the second quarter. He has scored a TD in each of New Orleans’ first three games – one by rushing, one by receiving and one by punt return. The last Saint to score TDs in each of the first three games of the season was Reggie Bush in 2008. Bush also had all three types of scores (rushing, receiving, return).

*RB Mark Ingram’s fourth quarter touchdown, which proved to be the game-winner, was his first career TD.

*WR Lance Moore had a career-high nine receptions, including a 16-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. His catch total does not include his pair of two-point conversions. Moore’s previous career-best was eight catches on two occasions, most recently vs. Carolina in 2008.

*WR Robert Meachem’s third-quarter touchdown reception was the 20th of his career, breaking a tie with teammate Devery Henderson to take over sole possession of 10th place on the Saints career list.

*TE Jimmy Graham’s 27-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was the longest TD catch of his career (previous long was 19 last season at Carolina) and his sixth touchdown catch in the last six games. He caught four TD passes in the final three games of 2010 and has two this season.

*Graham’s 100 yards receiving marks his first career 100-yard game.

*LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who started in place of an injured Jonathan Vilma, led the Saints with 10 tackles and had two passes defensed.

*CB Jabari Greer’s fourth-quarter interception was the Saints’ first of the season.

Media Inerviews post Saints-Texans game:

HOUSTON TEXANS COACH GARY KUBIAK

“We had a chance to score more. We had a lot of opportunities in the red zone. I look at the game, and I told the guys that if we would have played better in the red zone, we probably would get out of here with a win. If we would have played better defense late in the game, we get out of here (with a win). If we cover a little better, we get out of here (with a win). They (the Saints) are a great football team. It’s got to take a special effort. I thought our effort was tremendous. There were a lot of great things going on in the game, but when it mattered most in the end they made the plays and we didn’t. It’s very disappointing because they left it out on the field, but that’s part of this league.

(on if the team had trouble defending the Saints’ empty backfield) “It looked like to me that they just put the game in Drew’s hands. They spread the field and let him go to work. We got them in some tough third down situations, but they just seemed to convert them all. They were over 60 percent on third down. When that is happening, it’s going to be tough. They made some big plays. We had ourselves in good shape as a football team (to win).

(on the struggles converting in the red zone) “We design plays down there for certain coverages and certain things. We got the things we wanted. We didn’t execute like I think we need to, but at the same time, as a coach, I think you have to be hard on yourself …We were down there five more times (today). I think we’ve been down there more than anybody in football. We are struggling down there. It is a nice problem to have, but obviously we have to get better down there. It goes back to somehow running the ball a little bit better down there. I stayed aggressive today. I thought that our quarterback played very well. We wanted to stay aggressive in the game because you knew you had to score some points against this team.

(on if they planned to get the ball to James Casey that much today) “We came in here with two running backs and four receivers, and two of those guys were nicked up, so I had to have a plan that could get me a lot of variations of how we were going to go about moving the ball. I didn’t know how we were going to hold up or what we were going to do. James became a big part of that plan and he tends to respond all of the time. He is a fine player and is getting better every week.”

(on missed opportunities) “They (the Saints) moved the ball in the second half much better than they did in the first. The key was late when we had a chance to make a play or two to close the game out, and we just didn’t do it. You have to give them credit.”

HOUSTON TEXANS PLAYERS

QB #8 MATT SCHAUB

 “We had more than enough chances in the red zone today, and when you do that you’ve got to come away with sevens and not threes. And when you’re playing against a team like that, scoring down there even becomes more important.  We just settled for too many field goals today and we’ve got to figure out a way to come away with touchdowns.

“We have a lot of confidence as a team across the board. We have a lot of pride as a team. Now looking at them, they are a great team. We have a lot of respect for them but we think we’re pretty good too. We had a good chance to be a great team today. We have to learn to continue climbing the ladder as a club.

“As far as the red zone was concerned, we made a lot of adjustments after the second and third time down there. But it’s all about execution.  You can’t compare last year to this year. Losing is losing. And whenever it happens on Sunday it’s hard to take. But our guys battled until the very end. We played hard, but we just didn’t make the plays at the very end.”

WR #80 ANDRE JOHNSON

“This is really tough. We did not want to come in and lose this game. We knew that they are a great team. But we came into the game wanting to know where we are as a football team. Everyone battled and left it all out there on the field. But we just didn’t score seven points when we needed to score seven points. We ended up kicking too many field goals. And playing against an offense like that, you have score seven instead of three, and that was the difference in the game.”

“The Saints changed things up when they covered me more with the safety instead of playing me man-to-man. But I setill felt the difference in the game was us not scoring sevens instead of the threes we got.”

FB #86 JAMES CASEY

(on 4th quarter TD) “The coaches told me to be alert as we installed that play just this week.  And when their linebacker blitzed I found myself open.  I really didn’t look until the final moment but he (Matt Schaub) put the ball in a perfect spot for me to catch it. I have to give Matt a lot of credit on the throw.

“It’s tough. We feel like we had them on the ropes. But we just didn’t make the plays in crunch time. The game went back and forth, and in the final analysis we just didn’t respond to the last score they made.”

CB #24 JOHNATHAN JOSEPH

 “At the end of the day I’ve got to make the play, and on their last touchdown I just didn’t get it done. They made the play when they had to, to win the game, and I didn’t. There’s other way to look at it.”

CB #25 KAREEM JACKSON

“We had plenty of opportunities to make plays and for most of the game we did that. But hey, in the very end, if we had made the final play, then we would have walked out of here with a victory.”

“There’s nothing to be ashamed about with this lost. Hey, we didn’t get it done. But we can take a lot of positives out from this game and move on.”

Despite losing to LSU, West Virginia had plenty of reasons for optimism after its first ever appearance on College GameDay and Saturday Night Football. A crowd of more than 13,000 fans and students packed into Mountainlair plaza and fraternity row for GameDay filming, and a sellout crowd of more than 60,000 filled Milan Puskar Stadium. WVU officials have confirmed to the  Charleston Daily that an unidentified number of items were stolen from the locker rooms during the game. Mountaineers tight end Tyler Urban tweeted after the game that his phone had been taken...

Drew Brees (On TE Jimmy Graham) "I love the fact we can have something negative happen on the field (Graham running wrong route that led to an interception for the Texans).  Instead of getting down he comes back and makes a couple of huge catches.

"That tells me  a lot about Jimmy Graham the person. I'm going to turn that ball loose 100 out of 100 times to Jimmy Graham."

Sean Payton (On the game) "You find ways to win and you find ways to lose. It's not just dumb luck. That's happened to us early on in the process. We lost some tough games,, we hung in and did some good things. That's encouraging.You're going to get some hard-fought wins, and we were able to get this one.

(On the game) "In the first half we looked a little like the '67 Saints (smile). I was encouraged and proud of the way we fought back."

by Ed Staton

(Visit Louisiana Sports Talk.com to order your LSU and Saints shirts and treasures.)

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  

 

Website: www.louisianasportstalk.com

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