New Orleans Saints Defense of the 2001 NFL Season
While the 2001 New Orleans Saints season would end up one of the more disappointing to Saints fans, it did have it’s moments. One such moment was the comeback blow-out victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Saints had just dropped their 2 previous games to the Jets and the Rams and now, at the end of the 1st quarter, they were down 14-0 to Peyton Manning and his Colts. But things were about to change. Immediately following Indianapolis’s second touchdown, rookie Deuce McAllister returned the following kickoff 63 yards and Rickey Williams caught a 21-yard pass to end the quarter. New Orleans then opened the second quarter with an 8 yard touchdown pass from Aaron Brooks to tight end Boo Williams. The Saints would rip off another 27 points before the end of the game. Brooks finished the game with 2 touchdown passes – both to Boo Williams – and added another on the ground while Joe Horn gathered in 8 grabs for 148 yards. Ricky Williams contributed 120 yards rushing and another touchdown. The defense ended up with 4 sacks of quarterback Peyton Manning and Sammy Knight had 1 interception.
The victory put the Saints at 5-4 on the season and things were looking like a second post season appearance for Jim Haslett. But things began to unravel as internal problems started to surface. The Saints would only manage to win 2 games the rest of the season as well as drop the final 4 games of the year.
In the picture above, the Saints defense sets it targets on an unfortunate Colts runner and closes in. The Saint defenders involved in the gang tackle are #56 linebacker Charlie Clemons, #98 Willie Whitehead, #93 Darrin Howard and #92 Martin Chase. Safety Jay Bellamy, #20, is the one who has the Colt runner – Dominic Rhodes by the legs.