I know we're all ready to put the 2010 season behind us and start focusing on the off-season and the future but we've got plenty of 2010 season wrap-up coverage before we start looking ahead. Besides, it's a long off-season and I really need to stretch this out as much as possible.
So we're going to start a short series of posts called the Chronicle Awards and begin handing out some hardware for the best and worst moments of the season. For each post I will nominate a few specific plays/moments from the Saints 2010 season for a given category and you guys will vote for the one you feel deserves one of our prestigious awards. I'm also thinking of combining the winners of each category and having one final vote to determine the most memorable moment or something of the sort.
We're starting off today with the defense. After the jump you'll find the four plays I've nominated for this award. Then cast your vote. The poll will be open for 72 hours.
Key Defensive Play
The Jenksgiving Day Miracle
We all remember this one. Down by three points with only a little over three minutes to play, the Saints defense had the Cowboys held to 3rd and 6. But Roy Williams is off to the races after making a catch and cornerback Patrick Robinson slips. Malcolm Jenkins eventually catches up with Williams at the 20-yard line and is able to not only save a back-breaking touchdown but pop the ball loose and acquire possession himself. The Saints scored on the ensuing drive and won the game...Watch it here.
Taking a Stand vs. Pittsburgh
A Sean Payton challenge of a second quarter Antwan Randle El touchdown proved successful, giving the Steelers first and inches on the goal line instead. The Saints defense put together a marvelous stand, however, and forced the Steelers to settle for a field goal instead, effectively saving four points in what was a scoreless game until then. The stand changed the momentum of the game (the Saints went on to win) and even the season (the Saints won the next five games)...Watch it here.
Jeff Charleston's Turner Turnover
In a huge game against the Falcons on Monday Night Football the Saints were only up 10-7 early in the 3rd quarter. Atlanta was ready to punch it in from the 1-yard line and take over the lead when Jeff Charleston ripped the ball from Michael Turner's hands and the Saints were able to recover. The turnover, Turner's first of the season, saved an inevitable touchdown and gave the Saints the momentum to finish strong...Watch it here.
Malcolm Jenkins' 96-yard Pick-Six vs Rams
The end of the first half was only a minute away but Bradford and the Rams were in the red zone, trying to tie it up. Instead, Malcolm Jenkins jumped the route on a pass to the left side and ran the interception back 96 yards for the score, widening the Saints lead to 15 points and effectively putting the game away before the second half even started...Watch it here.