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News » New Orleans Saints Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-29

New Orleans Saints Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-29

New Orleans Saints Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-29

--RB Reggie Bush did not play Sunday against the San Diego Chargers after having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Oct. 20. He will likely miss at least one more game after the Saints' bye week.

--C Jonathan Goodwin was inactive for Sunday's game because of a left knee injury and his status for the Saints' next contest on Nov. 9 at Atlanta was unknown Monday.

--DT Brian Young, who has been bothered by knee and foot problems throughout the first half of the season, was inactive for Sunday's game.

--WR David Patten, who returned to practice last week after missing three games with a groin injury, did not play against the Chargers.

--DT Sedrick Ellis returned to the starting lineup Sunday after missing three games following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Oct. 3.

--CB Aaron Glenn played in the nickel package against the Chargers after missing five games with a right ankle injury.


PASSING OFFENSE: A -- After struggling in last week's loss to Carolina, the Saints were back to their normal productivity against the league's worst pass defense. Drew Brees threw at will against the Chargers, connecting on 30 of 41 passes for 339 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He wasn't sacked and was rarely hurried, which helped him finish with a passer rating of 121.9 against his former team. As usual, Brees distributed the ball well, hitting eight different receivers. Tight end Billy Miller had a team-high seven catches for 82 yards, and wide receiver Lance Moore had six receptions for 90 yards and one score as the Saints averaged 8.3 yards per pass play.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- The Saints had 96 yards and a 3.8 average on 25 carries until their last offensive play. Coach Sean Payton had Brees run backwards to take an intentional safety with just 14 seconds left and he wound up losing 26 yards. That left the Saints with 70 yards on 26 carries and a paltry 2.7 average. Still, Deuce McAllister ran effectively at times and finished with 55 yards and a 1-yard TD on 18 carries with a long of 12 yards, while Pierre Thomas added 28 yards on just three attempts with a long of 15.

PASS DEFENSE: D -- Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers struggled a little early, but he was unstoppable in the second half as he completed 25 of 40 passes for 341 yards and three TDs. He was not sacked and had a passer rating of 104.3, but his lone interception with a little more than a minute remaining cost the Chargers an opportunity to send the game to overtime. Tight end Antonio Gates caught six passes for 96 yards and a TD, while running back LaDainian Tomlinson had five receptions for 65 yards and a TD.

RUSH DEFENSE: C-minus -- The Saints gave up 100 yards to an individual rusher for the first time this season as Tomlinson had 105 yards on 19 carries with a long run of 40 yards. Tomlinson added a couple of other lengthy runs, slipping would-be tackles at the line as the Saints failed to wrap him up on a few occasions. As a team, the Chargers averaged 5.0 yards per attempt in collecting 110 yards on 22 carries.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-plus -- The return game for the Saints was poor as they had no punt return yardage and averaged just 18.8 yards on six kickoffs. On the other hand, the Chargers' shifty Darren Sproles averaged 10.0 yards on two punt returns and 25.1 yards on eight kickoff returns. The Saints did force Sproles to fumble on a kickoff return, which they turned into a TD. Kicker Taylor Mehlhaff booted a 23-yard field goal, but he also missed an extra point as his first attempt banged off the left upright. Newly-signed punter Ben Graham averaged 42.0 yards on three punts and had a net of 35.3.

COACHING: A -- Payton and his staff receive extra credit for getting their team ready after a weeklong stay in London. Coming off a tough loss at Carolina, in which the Saints scored just seven points (their lowest output in 21/2 seasons under Payton), he opened up the playbook and turned Brees loose against the worst pass defense in the NFL. Some imaginative play calling kept the Chargers off balance and made the running game more efficient.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 29, 2008

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Greg Camarillo Name: Greg Camarillo
Position: WR
Age: 26
Experience: 3 years
College: Stanford
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