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Unbeaten New York Jets could be toughest challenge yet for New Orleans Saints


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a NO paper's take on US

By Nakia Hogan

The Times-Picayune

The plane ride home after the Saints' 27-7 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday was boisterous and energized.

There were jokes and laughter. There was talk about big plays and touchdown runs. Nearly everyone seemed ecstatic about the Saints' latest victory, one that pushed the team to a 3-0 start for the first time since the team won the NFC South and reached the NFC championship game in the 2006 season.

Such postgame euphoria wasn't possible the past two years, though, when the Saints struggled out of the gate before finishing disappointing seasons while watching the playoffs from afar.

"This is really good," Saints center Jonathan Goodwin said. "The past two years we had gotten off to slow starts and for the rest of the year we had been fighting out of holes. We were winning games, but we were fighting out of holes, so we ended up around .500. So it's good to get off to a good start. Now we've just got to maintain it."

Not long after returning to New Orleans, the players in the Saints' locker room had already started talking about preparing for Sunday's opponent - the unbeaten New York Jets (3-0).

They've certainly caught the Saints' attention.

"Everyone in this locker room knows this is a big game for us," tight end Jeremy Shockey said. "This is one of the football teams that we are going to play this year that is going to give us a test on both sides and special teams. It's going to be fun."

Led by new coach Rex Ryan, formerly the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, the Jets have attacked offenses with an array of blitz packages.

Several players said this game could be an early measuring stick for the Saints, who sit atop the NFC South.

"It's going to be a huge challenge because to be the best you have to beat the best, and right now I think we are two of the hottest teams early on in this season," right tackle Jon Stinchcomb said. "I'm sure it's going to be a hard-fought war and something that we are really going to have to prepare for."

Saints Coach Sean Payton had plenty of praise for the Jets.

"They're a team that is playing with confidence," Payton said. "They have won three games; they have a young quarterback who's playing well; they have a defense that is playing outstanding.

"All those things that teams are doing when they're winning are pretty consistent if you look around the league, and they're certainly one of those teams that are doing those things. They're protecting the football. They're creating turnovers - they had two big turnovers in the kicking game yesterday that led to two touchdowns for them. They have beaten good teams, and they feel like - as they should - that they're one of the elite teams. We're going to have to play better this weekend."

Indeed, the Saints continue to find areas of improvement.

The Saints were able to beat the Bills on a day when their high-octane passing attack was limited.

But more than anything, the Saints gave credit to their defense, which dominated the Bills while boosting the team's overall confidence.

"They did a great job," Shockey said of the defense. "They bailed us out. The defense played a perfect game.

With the passing attack bogged down, the defense tallied four sacks, had 14 quarterback hits, intercepted a pass, forced nine punts and held Buffalo to 2-of-14 on third-down conversions.

"We've done a good job of creating a culture, not only in our secondary but our defense," cornerback Jabari Greer said. "We are making sure that we are putting together the things to be successful, realizing that it takes hard work. And all these guys are willing to do it.

"We are hungry. We are hungry to be a successful defense, to be a defense that is a direct complement to our offense."

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AND #2 in rushing yards.

Of course it's a challenge. The Saints are a good team. I think the point was that I wouldn't call them an elite or dominant team yet. They haven't beaten anyone that will be in the mix towards december and jan.

It should be fun, but my feelings are the Jets will physically beat down on the Saints until they feel like they just gave birth. But ya know... without actually having a child and only having gotten beaten up on the football field by other, bigger, stronger, meaner men. :box:

I'm pumped any way you look at it.

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So are you implying that we don't have the #1 Offense? That's not a challenge?

What?

The article states that the Jets are New Orleans' #1 challenge and all I said was basically no **** sherlock when you look at the teams you have faced thus far compared to the Jets.

Bring on the #1 pass offense. Our D against your O is going to be awesome to watch.

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This may have the makings of the game of the first half of the season for the NFL, if not the entire year.

I think both teams are playoff bound and are good. Both have flaws, but so does every other team because of parity.

This is a premier NFL matchup. Football fans in general should be excited about this game. I'm doubly excited because my favorite team is finally in such a game.

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What?

The article states that the Jets are New Orleans' #1 challenge and all I said was basically no **** sherlock when you look at the teams you have faced thus far compared to the Jets.

Bring on the #1 pass offense. Our D against your O is going to be awesome to watch.

My bad, misunderstanding on my part. But your right, it will be awesome. Im ready!

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So are you implying that we don't have the #1 Offense? That's not a challenge?

The Saints have the number one offense going against three teams that 2 are horrible and 1 didnt have their offensive leader. You may think the offensive leader thing may not make sense but if McNabb was in that game their offense would have had a better chance of staying on the field longer, keeping your offense off.

You're pretending like you dont know the obvious. This is beyong implying.

McNabbless Eagles

Detroit

and "Barffalo".

C'mon Ichill. be honest.

You're going up against i believe the 6th best defense and the #3 WR in the league in receptions in Cotch, a Nightmare TE in Keller and probably the best route runner in the AFC east in Stuckey, and not to mention the Goldenboy Viva La Sanchez!

Mind you, we did this against legit teams, in comparison to the teams you've faced.

Edited by villain_the_foe
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The Saints have the number one offense going against three teams that 2 are horrible and 1 didnt have their offensive leader. You may think the offensive leader thing may not make sense but if McNabb was in that game their offense would have had a better chance of staying on the field longer, keeping your offense off.

You're pretending like you dont know the obvious. This is beyong implying.

McNabbless Eagles

Detroit

and "Barffalo".

C'mon Ichill. be honest.

You're going up against i believe the 6th best defense and the #3 WR in the league in receptions in Cotch, a Nightmare TE in Keller and probably the best route runner in the AFC east in Stuckey, and not to mention the Goldenboy Viva La Sanchez!

Mind you, we did this against legit teams, in comparison to the teams you've faced.

You my friend, are worried about the wrong things. Your busy looking at the opponents we've defeated, which has nothing to do with how we'll do against your team.

We've had the #1 offense for the past 3 years, so these 3 teams you speak of have nothing to do with it, we're just doing what we normally do. Our defense(ranked 10th) is the reason why i think we'll go far into the playoffs. We have a new coordinator and much better players in our secondary, which was has been our Achilles heel for years. So with that being said, honestly speaking, your offense does not scare me. Your defense may give us a few problems, but i still believe we have too many weapons for the Jets to just shut us down. Revis is only one CB and Harris is only one linebacker, im sure we can maneuver our way around them(or through them). Bottom line, it should be a great game and it may go down to the wire. Sunday just cannot come soon enough!

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Weren't we undefeated last year during non-1:00 games? or were we undefeated on only 1:00 games? we had some crazy record on a certain game time.

We didn't win a 4pm game at all last year, if memory serves me correctly.

Time to change that.

We changed the history of the Pats owning us in the Meadowlands, time for us to now win some 4pm games.

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We didn't win a 4pm game at all last year, if memory serves me correctly.

Time to change that.

We changed the history of the Pats owning us in the Meadowlands, time for us to now win some 4pm games.

Luckily, we'll only be one time zone over this time around, instead of going all the way to the west coast.

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