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Saturday, November 21, 2009

NFC South Week 10 Wrap Up

  NFC South Week 10 Wrap Up

By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer
Southeast Region

New Orleans 28 St. Louis 23
This was not supposed to be this hard for the Saints, but with the kind of football they have played recently, it’s no surprise that it was. Drew Brees started the year blowing defenses away with accuracy and hardly any mistakes. These past few games he has shown many flaws that can cost the Saints down the line come playoff time. So they came in to this with the chance to find their offense again. To put together four quarters of Saints football that add up to points. What they did was continue to make the mistakes that have made the past three games harder on them. The Rams had more first downs, more passing yards and more total yards. That is some of the things that have not happened to the Saints all year. They turned the ball over three times in all. Brees threw two more picks and was 18-26 for 223 yards. He also threw for two touchdown but once again was unable to dominate a lesser team. Reggie Bush had two scores for the first time since last year and Courtney Roby returned the second half kickoff 97 yards for another score. All of this was needed to hold off a 1-8 team that has not put up much of a fight against most opponents this year. The defense is really becoming an issue they must address now. The Rams were able to run with Steven Jackson (26-131 and a touchdown), and pass with Marc Bulger (26-40 298 and 2 scores with one pick). If the Saints are hoping to overtake the likes of Indianapolis, New England or defending champion Pittsburgh they have much work to do. They did rush for over 200 yards but must find a balance of pass and run to be more effective. They will have to tighten up on defense, as the elite teams will eat them alive in the postseason with their failures and mistakes.
Carolina 28 Atlanta 19
The theme of a Panthers win is simple these days. Don’t let Jake Delhomme get rattled and provided him with some defense to help. For the third game in a row he was turnover free and finished 15-24 for 195 yards and two touchdowns to Steve Smith. The running game was just as effective with DeAngelo Williams getting 92 yards on 19 carries and Jonathan Stewart adding 82 with two scoring runs. Carolina used the hurry up offense with Delhomme calling the plays and it worked pretty well. The Falcons on the other hand had their issues and the first one was the injury to running back Michael Turner’s ankle. He had already rushed for 111 yards when he got hurt and is now questionable for this week. Quarterback Matt Ryan had a horrendous first half and finished up 22-41 for just 224 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He has now thrown as many picks as last year and is suffering from the so-called sophomore jinx. The defense was shorthanded and they were out of sync all day. Jason Elam is one of the most sure fire kickers in this league and even he missed a 34-yard field goal that would have put the Falcons in the lead. Still Carolina found a way to keep Atlanta in the game until Richard Marshall intercepted a Ryan pass and then Stewart ran away with the game on his 45-yard scamper to end it.
Miami 25 Tampa Bay 23
Well it looks like the Bucs may have found their future quarterback in a season otherwise lost. For the second consecutive week Josh Freeman led his team on a fourth quarter comeback but fell just short this time. He was 16-28 for 196 yards with a touchdown and an interception but showed why this team chose him. He was also harassed by the Dolphins defense as he fumbled a snap to stop a drive and fumbled two more while being sacked but kept those. Still he had those shining moment you love to see out of an underdog type player like his scoring strike to Maurice Stovall to end the first quarter. The way he can keep his cool long enough to lead this team to the comeback when they really have no business being in the game. Kellen Winslow continues to improve getting over 100 yards receiving for the second time this year. Still head coach Raheem Morris continues to look for the right personnel to make this team click. Freeman is gaining confidence while learning the game of the NFL. His teammates are impressed with his ability to keep his cool in the line of fire. Kicker Connor Barth had field goals of 51,49,50 and 54 yards showing that the team has a kicker they can count on for the long one.


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