EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The New Orleans Saints knew exactly what to do against the New York Jets.
The plan was simple: Shut down the running game and force rookie quarterback Geno Smith into mistakes.
The Saints failed at both.
Chris Ivory ran for 139 yards and a touchdown against his former team, New York had seven plays of at least 19 yards, and Rex Ryan's defence held Drew Brees and the high-scoring Saints to six points in the second half in a 26-20 upset Sunday.
"You try to make them play left-handed," linebacker Jonathan Vilma said. "We didn't do that today."
Smith didn't turn the ball over for only the second time this season, finishing 8 of 19 for 115 yards and also running for a touchdown. Nick Folk remained perfect this year by kicking four field goals as the Jets (5-4) continued their trend of alternating wins and losses. They tied the 2005 New England Patriots for the longest such string to begin a season, according to STATS.
"I don't want to take away from the Jets," said Vilma, who made his debut against his former team after starting the season on injured reserve following knee surgery in August. "They did a very good job and deserved to win the game."
Interceptions by Demario Davis and Antonio Cromartie highlighted New York's solid defensive performance, as the Jets pressured Brees throughout and held the Saints to 3 of 11 on third downs.