Saints-Chargers: Ye Ole Saints Win Across the Pond
In a game that was a must win for both teams, the New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers both came into London, England with 3-4 records. At the end of what was the most thrilling game of the year thus far for the Saints, they come away victorious in the NFL's International Game with the score 37-32.
Quarterback Drew Brees continues to dominate the NFL in passing with yet another great game, 30 of 41 with 339 yards and three touchdowns. He would find eight different receivers, with tight end Billy Miller leading the team with seven receptions.
Brees currently leads in the NFL with 2,563 passing yards, as well as attempts and completions, is second in touchdowns, third in completion percentage, and fourth in quarterback rating.
Running Back Deuce McAllister resumes game-to-game improvement, rushing 18 times for 55 yards and a touchdown. He also had four receptions for 30 yards. McAllister's 22 touches in the offense was a welcomed addition and a good sign that he is getting his form back.
Pierre Thomas also ran the ball very well, but on few looks, with three carries for 28 yards. Aaron Stecker and Mike Karney also had two carries each, with Karney scoring a touchdown. The four running backs totaled 96 yards for the game.
But as well as the offense played in the game, 409 total net yards and scoring 37 points, the Saints' defense continued to let the Chargers come back in the game, never really putting them away until the Jonathan Vilma interception with just under three minutes to play in the game on the Chargers' game-tying drive.
The Saints gave up 451 total net yards for the game, allowing LaDainian Tomlinson to be their first 100 yard rusher of the season and Philip Rivers to throw 341 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cornerback Randall Gay looked slowed up by injury through most of the game and Usama Young looked lost while covering any receiver.
Saftey Kevin Kaesviharn gave no help up front, deep, or while covering a Charger. Roman Harper still cannot lay a good hit on a single player, nor can he contain in coverage, as he overpursued constantly. Rivers passed without fear of the Saints' safeties ever helping out on single coverage.
Kicker Taylor Mehlhaff missed an extra point in the second quarter that almost caught up with the Saints in the end. The other special-teams mistake for the Saints was allowing the onside recovery by the Chargers in the fourth quarter, which lead to a touchdown.
The Saints did show improvement. The team actually held on and won a close game! Earlier in the season, the Saints lost close games they should have won (Washington, Denver, Minnesota). This time, the team finished victorious and enters the bye week with a 4-4 record to allow the ailing Saints to rest, still with realistic opportunities of a playoff push.
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