After the Saints’ exciting 35-28 win over the Bucs, New Orleans defensive back Malcolm Jenkins got on the phone for a conference call with Peter King and yours truly regarding Jenkins’ maximum-hustle sprint-and-tackle of Tampa receiver Vincent Jackson.
The effort from Jenkins prevented Jackson from scoring on what was a 95-yard catch-and-run. The Saints thereafter kept Tampa out of the end zone, stopping the Bucs on fourth and goal and then launching a 95-yard drive of their own to extend the lead to 14 points.
Was it a season-changing play, King asked? “Defensively, it was,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said he was on the other side of the field when Jackson made the short reception. Jenkins told himself “take off” and sprinted toward Jackson in the hopes of bringing him down short of the end zone. Though it looked as if Jackson slowed down in anticipation of scoring, Jenkins believed that Jackson was simply “a little bit tired.”
The effort helped move the Saints to 2-4, with a trip to Denver next Sunday night looming, and a date with Peyton Manning. “The preparation starts tomorrow,” Jenkins said.
He added that the return of interim head coach Joe Vitt, who reportedly will rendezvous with the team in New Orleans when the team plane returns, “automatically makes us better.”
They’ll need to be a lot better, on defense especially, in order to beat the Broncos. If the Saints do, they’ll be right in the thick of things for a potential wild-card berth in the NFC.