Arena: Hometown NFL stars keep excelling

Published 11:45 pm Friday, September 26, 2014

How about those River Parish Texans? Former Destrehan star and current Houston WR Damaris Johnson scored on a 44-yard pass and former Hahnville standout Alfred Blue earned 78 yards on 13 carries in his first NFL start Sunday for Houston, the latter stepping in for the injured Arian Foster. 

Also worth noting: In Auburn’s victory at Kansas State last week, East St. John’s D’haquille Williams stood out yet again, cashing in on a 9-yard touchdown pass that turned out to be the game-winner and hauling in a late 39-yard bomb for a first down that sealed the deal. 


The best joke I saw on Twitter on Thursday night? “Cousins should be twice removed.”

I started him in fantasy. Maybe some of you guys did as well. We should form a support group. It was like watching a real life reverse Cinderella. After an explosion last week against Philadelphia where he looked like a budding star, the carriage turned back into a pumpkin. Four interceptions, all of them ugly. 

On the other hand, where did this outburst from Eli Manning come from? Why did the Redskins refuse to cover tight ends? Are the Giants actually good all of a sudden? Heck, more help is on the way in the form of Odell Beckham Jr., who should be ready to debut by this time next week. 


The Saints should be able to handle the Cowboys tomorrow, but seeing as it’s a road game, predicting anything to be easy is likely a fool’s errand. 

I feel like we learned next to nothing about our team in last week’s 20-9 win over the Vikings in the Superdome. I laughed once we went up 13-0, musing how no other team does this quite like the Saints do, struggling for weeks at a time, only for Drew Brees to return to his home planet, breathe in the atmosphere and become the best player in the universe. Then Shayne Graham missed an extra point and the rest of the day was an exercise in “please hold on to this.” The Saints needed to either fix their problems last Sunday, or survive with a win so that they could solve them later. That win was an example of the latter.

The Vikings have looked fairly frisky on defense, so perhaps I can excuse a non-dominant performance. And allowing nine points on any day is a nice performance. Minnesota wasn’t bringing much offensively, though … that team is so, so reliant on its running game to generate offense, and Matt Asiata isn’t scaring anyone. 

There were a few encouraging signs. The Saints went back to their primary three-safety alignment for more snaps, letting Kenny Vaccaro play more in the box and as a nickel corner, as he did last year. Patrick Robinson was relegated to the bench. The pass rush sacked Teddy Bridgewater just twice, but flushed him out of the pocket on more than one occasion. For the second straight week, the defense held a team to 4.6 yards per play or less. 

But this Sunday will be a much greater test. Tony Romo isn’t off to a hot start this year, but DeMarco Murray sure is. 

He’s the most dynamic rusher the Saints will have faced this season.