1:00 PM ET, September 12, 2004
Payton: Brees 'ready to go' after oblique strain
Drew Brees doesn't appear to be showing any rust after his two-week hiatus to rest a strained oblique.
Roger that: Megatron says no to dunks, fines
Calvin Johnson isn't interested in surrendering any of his salary to the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell, so he will forgo his plan to continue dunking over the goalpost after touchdowns.
Saints' Byrd expected to play against Colts
Safety Jairus Byrd went through full-contact team drills for the first time as a member of the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, and he's expected to make his preseason debut Saturday night against the Indianapolis Colts.
Saints' Graham: I wouldn't jeopardize team
Jimmy Graham stopped short Sunday of saying he regrets his penalty-drawing goalpost dunks from Friday night's preseason game, insisting he "would never do anything to hurt the team" in the regular season.
Alexander might be too much for Saints
As is the case in Major League Baseball, an NFL defense must be strong up the middle to be successful. If that old adage is true, the Seahawks and Saints can have all the big-name skill players they want on offense, but they must answer questions in the middle of their respective defenses before they can be considered legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
Fresh off their first 10-win season since 1986, the Seahawks enter 2004 with the bar set high. The offense, which ranked sixth in the NFL last season, returns intact and the defense should be improved in its second season under coordinator Ray Rhodes and with the additions of RDE Grant Wistrom and DC Bobby Taylor, and rookies Marcus Tubbs (DT) and Michael Boulware (SS).
However, the big question mark surrounding this team is whether it is strong enough up the middle on defense to make it even further into the playoffs or to have a legitimate shot at getting to the Super Bowl? Sunday's matchup against the RB Deuce McAllister and the Saints will help to shed some light on the subject.
Three years ago Jim Haslett was considered one of the bright young head coaches in the profession after leading the Saints to a NFC West title and the franchises first playoff win. Now, after coming up aggravatingly short of the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, Haslett's job is on the line. The Saints are looking to build on what was a strong 5-3 finish to an overall disappointing 8-8 2003 season. Much like the Seahawks, the middle of the Saints' defense, which includes DT Johnathan Sullivan, who underachieved as a rookie first-round pick last season, and Courtney Watson, a rookie second-round pick, will set out to prove it is capable against one of the game's elite running backs in Seattle's Shaun Alexander.
|Avg Points Allowed||7.0||21.0|
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||SEA|
|Rush Yds Allowed||SEA|
|Seattle leads 2-0|
|Sep 7, 2003||SEA 27, NO 10|