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Monday, 10 October 2011 15:30

New Orleans Saints First In NFC South After Nipping Panthers, Now Face Tampa Bay

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The Saints moved into sole possession of first place in NFC South with the victory over the Panthers. Tampa Bay (3-2) lost to to San Francisco 48-3 and fell a game behind the Saints. In another division game this Sunday, Atlanta (2-3) is hosting Carolina (1-4). The Saints go to Tampa Bay next week. The Bucs, who obviously took on plenty water in the 49’ers game certainly plan to redeem themselves after drowning near the Frisco Bay.

 Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are making last-moment comebacks a regular occurrence. 

On Sunday, Brees took the team down-field and scored with only fifty seconds left in the game which touchdown won the game for New Orleans. 

This is how Brees described the experience:   

I just remember looking at the clock and knowing there were a little over seven minutes left. I knew we were down by four and needed to go down and get a touchdown and win this thing. It was methodical. One play at a time. It was a good mix of pass and run and getting everyone involved. We had to convert some pretty critical third downs, which we did. Some were long-yardage and some were short-yardage. All in all, I thought it was a very effective drive. One in which we had all the confidence in the world that we were going to go down and score. Obviously you are trying to manage the clock, because you want to score and give them as little time left as possible. Sure enough, we scored with 50 seconds left and our defense did a good job of coming out, stopping them and winning the game. 

After the Saints scored the touchdown to go ahead for the last time, the Panthers manned a comeback which was snuffed out forcing Newton to try a successful desperation pass which ended the game. 

Panthers coach Ron Rivera had a different take on the last drive of the game:

RE: What went wrong with the final drive of the game
We got a couple of big throws that we were looking for.  We were able to move the ball and got up to midfield.  Unfortunately, we got a penalty. We had a couple drops. We missed a throw.  Then he got some pressure where he got hit as he threw the ball. On each of those instances, when we look at it we will see we had a chance.  We had a guy that was coming free or was free.  It was a matter of having that extra second or not dropping the ball which we did a couple times. Then again, it’s a part of it. You would love to make those catches and you would love to have them and unfortunately we didn’t. 


Jeremy Shockey made an obscene gesture toward the Saints bench after the Panthers scored a touchdown on Sunday. He went straight to his locker room after the game with talking or shaking hands with his former teamates. Where's your class Jeremy?...

Actually Shockey was valuable to the Panthers off the field.  Perhaps more than he was on the turf.

In a post-game media conference, Panther coach Ron Rivera said:

What Jeremy was doing was really, that as he watched, he saw some of the things they were doing. He was letting us on to it, which was helping us. Again, when a guy has that type of experience and that much knowledge of the game, it is invaluable.  When a guy can sit there and tell you when they are giving this, this is what you are going to get, so we pass it on. A lot of times you think they are going to change things. Apparently they didn’t change a couple things and Jeremy was able to pass it on to us.

 by Ed Staton

Payton, Brees, Graham Talk About Cam Newton and Saints Win Over Panthers

New Orleans Saints Brees gives Panthers, Cam Newton Lesson On Comebacks

by Ed Staton

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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. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.