Saints TE Graham huge again in win over Jaguars

Saints TE Graham huge again in win over Jaguars

New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) is tackled by Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis (27) and outside linebacker Clint Session (55) after catching a pass in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, in Jacksonville, Fla.

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by Bradley Handwerger

wwltv.com

Posted on October 2, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 2 at 6:22 PM

Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When New Orleans’ No. 80 makes a big play, you know it.

Jimmy Graham either stands up and emphatically goes through the first-down motion.

Or he’ll crawl on his knees and slam the ball on the ground with authority.

On Sunday, in New Orleans’ 23-10 win over Jacksonville, he chose another option – a dunk over the goalpost to celebrate a touchdown reception.

Graham finished the game as quarterback Drew Brees’ top target and the team’s top receiver. Brees threw to him 14 times, completed 10 and Graham finished with 132 yards, including a game-long 59-yard reception in the fourth quarter.

“He continues to get better every week,” Brees said. “Today, he got rolling. We liked his matchup, a lot of zone coverage for the most part.”

Indeed, the Jaguars’ (1-3) Cover 2 was perfectly for Graham’s comfort. The game was in his wheelhouse, you could say.

At 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, he’s a big target. With his basketball background, he knows how to use his body to get open in the middle of the field.

“He’s a threat certainly running down the middle,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “You can see he’s playing with a lot of confidence.”

He’ll only get better, Brees said.

“He knows we expect a lot out of him and he expects a lot out of himself, too,” Brees said. “He’s always asking questions to learn more about the position, the game, this route and that route. He wants to be a great player in the league and he loves football.”

A week ago, Graham finished with four catches for 100 yards and a touchdown.

He has 24 catches for a team-high 367 yards and three touchdowns this season.
 

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