The New Orleans Saints (6-1) will return to the road for week nine to close out the first half of their 2013 regular season when they face the New York Jets (4-4) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Saints will travel to the northeast to close out their 2013 AFC East Slate after they improved to 6-1 following a 35-17 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints lead the all-time series 6-5, the most recent being a 24-10 win on Oct. 4, 2009 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Seven of the 11 meetings in the series have been decided by seven points or less.
Last Sunday against Buffalo, New Orleans stormed back from a 10-7 deficit with under five minutes left in the second quarter to score 21 unanswered points, including scoring two touchdowns before the first half concluded. QB Drew Breesengineered four quarters of turnover-free football for the Black and Gold as he completed 26-of-34 passes for 332 yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 146.1 passer rating. The Saints improved to 10-0 alltime when Brees has a passer rating of 140.0 or better, including 2-0 in 2013. Currently he ranks third in the NFL with a 109.2 passer rating.
But Brees wasn't alone in creating the offensive fireworks. After missing the last three contests with a hand injury, WR Lance Moorereturned to action and posted a 15-yard touchdown reception. Rookie wideout Kenny Stillsenjoyed a breakout performance with three receptions for 129 yards (43.0 avg.) with touchdown grabs of 69 – and 42 yards, his yards per catch ranking fourth in club records. TE Jimmy Grahamfought through an aggravating foot injury and contributed with a pair of touchdown grabs to up his team-leading total for the season to eight.
The defense came up big as they surrendered under 20 points for the sixth time in seven games. OLB Junior Galetteand DE Cameron Jordaneach recovered one fumble apiece in the first quarter, with each one also providing a quarterback takedown and CB Keenan Lewissealed the victory with a fourth quarter interception, his team-leading and career-high third pick of the season. A stingy pass defense held the Bills to 234 net passing yards. Overall in the 2013 season, the Saints are tied for ninth in the NFL in opponent net passing yards per game.
The 6-1 start ranks among the best in franchise history. New Orleans started 13-0 in 2009 en route to the Super Bowl XLIV title, went 9-1 in 1991 when the club won their first division championship and went 7-1 in 1988 and 6-1 in 2002.
The Jets dropped to 4-4 with a 49-9 loss at the Cincinnati Bengals, but they remain firmly in the thick of the AFC East race in second place behind a defense that is ranked sixth overall in the league and first against the run. Offensively, rookie QB Geno Smithis the only signal-caller since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger with four game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in his first seven career contests.