Sunday, December 30, 2007

Victory at Bears Is Last Hope For Saints

Okay, Saints, you MUST beat the Bears.
You must.
It wasn't that long ago, in a driving snow, that New Orleans struck fear in the most sturdy of Chicago fans: Reggie Bush took a swing pass, swerved past one defender and sped into the end zone and pulling the Saints to within two points in last year's playoffs.
Speaking of the P-word, the Saints (7-8) can still get back to the playoffs as a wild card if they win and both the Redskins and Vikings lose later in the day, but the Bears (6-9) were eliminated from playoff contention two games ago.
It’s a rematch of last year’s NFC title game, but neither the Saints nor the Bears are headed back to the game. The Bears come off an upset win, while the Saints come off an upset home loss to the Eagles as a disappointing season closes out.
As New Orleans heads to the Windy City, they have gameplanned to watch Bears kick returner Devin Hester.

“You have to pay attention to what he can do — he can single-handedly change a game,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “There’s no question that he’s one of the best return guys that this game has seen. From a return standpoint, it’s been a while since this league has had someone of his magnitude.”
Hester has 11 returns for touchdowns in 34 NFL games. As a rookie last season he set an NFL record with six returns for touchdowns — three punts, two kickoffs, and a field goal. He became the first player in NFL history to return the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl for a TD.
The guys responsible for covering the Saints’ kickoffs and punts know they have to get to Hester as fast as they can, surround him, and be disciplined in their tackling.
“You can either not kick it to him, or if you kick it to him, you just have to be sound in your coverage,” safety Kevin Kaesviharn said. “You try and play the way you’ve been taught to play, the techniques you’ve been taught to play, and that should take care of it.
“I think in that situation, if you do kick it to him, you need to have everyone running to the ball because he’s a guy that can make you miss and obviously he’s got 11 touchdowns already, and it’s his second season. He’s pretty darn good.”

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