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Saints Could Benefit From “Lucky Break” vs. the Jets

Sometimes in the sport of Pro Football, winning games are all about getting "breaks". But in the case of the New Orleans Saints in their game against the visiting New York Jets this upcoming Sunday, they could be getting a "lucky break" in the LITERAL sense, as much as a figurative one.

That's because Jets starting QB Josh McCown suffered a fractured left (non-throwing) hand yesterday in a 23-0 loss to the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

ESPN Jets beat writer Rich Cimini says that McCown will have additional tests later this afternoon to determine if he can play, according to the Jets medical staff.

If he can't, back-up 2nd year QB Bryce Petty will start next Sunday against the Saints.

Cimini adds that 3rd-string QB Christian Hackenburg — who has yet to play in a regular-season game — would be the back-up to Petty at the Superdome, coach Todd Bowles told reporters after the game.

McCown, 38, is currently having a "career year" (18 TD's and 9 INT's for 2,926 yards) and after the game yesterday he broke down at his post-game news conference, pausing for several seconds when asked to describe his emotions.

He declined to rule himself out against the Saints, but he didn't sound optimistic about his chances.

"We'll see," he said. "I'll do whatever I can to get ready to go and we'll see where that leads us. We still have more tests we can do and look at. My heart is with these guys. I want to finish with these guys, so if I can be out there, I'd love to be out there."

Photo courtesy of nj.com

Bowles said he had no idea if McCown could play with a fractured left hand.

Cimini notes that McCown, who played every offensive snap in the first 12 games, went out with 2:16 remaining in the third quarter. He left hand was struck by a Denver player as he fell to the ground after releasing a pass. He was taken immediately to the locker room for an X-ray.

McCown's broken hand aside, the (5-8) Jets have other issues as well.

Cimini observed yesterday that for the very first time in what some Jets observers feel has actually been a decent and perhaps even a pretty good season by most standards, the Jets yesterday resembled a team in total "tank mode".

Cimini says that the Jets delivered one of their worst offensive performances in the team's entire 57-year history.

So of course that leads to the question: 

"Just how bad was it?"

It was their first shutout loss since October of 2014 at San Diego, as they failed to reach the red zone, ran only six plays in Denver territory and managed only 100 total yards.

Yep, that's not a misprint: only 100 yards, the 2nd-lowest total ever since the team first began playing in the old American Football League back in 1960.

Photo: Joe Mahoney, AP

Cimini says that you have to go all the way back to legendary Jets Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath's final game, on Dec. 12, 1976 (41 years ago); which was when the last time that a Jets offense played as bad as they did yesterday. The Jets only managed to gain 72 yards of offense on that day 41 years ago, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Yesterday, the Jets offense managed only one passing first down — the fewest by ANY NFL team since 2010.

Oh boy.

And now the Jets get to come to the Superdome to face what should be a very ANGRY and "pissed off" Saints team, that's still a bit peeved over the circumstances surrounding their heart-breaking and perhaps controversial loss to Atlanta this past Thursday Night.

Long story short, things could get UGLY for New York this Sunday at the Superdome; which is part of the reason why the Saints have opened as a 15 point favorite according to the oddsmakers in Las Vegas.

Photo courtesy of The Times-Picayune

For New Orleans, the game plan should be a fairly simple one: make life miserable for the Jets' young and inexperienced QB's, and execute on offense against an underrated and still-pretty good Jets defense.

If the Saints can accomplish those probable goals, then they should have a decent shot at "bouncing back" this Sunday following their tough loss last week to the Falcons, and inch ever so closer towards clinching a Playoff berth before facing Atlanta in a rematch the following week at the Superdome in what promises to be one of the most highly-anticipated games in the NFL this entire season.

But first thing first, and that's making sure to get the "W" over New York this coming Sunday.

Considering the "break" that they got yesterday at the expense of the Jets, there's definitely a chance that "Lady Luck" could be on their side.......

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Saints News Network Editor / Featured Columnist Barry Hirstius is a 51-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and columnist previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 40 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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