Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
NEW ORLEANS – The Saints knew of the ability Chicago’s Devin Hester has to change a game with one play.
So Sunday, they just eliminated him from Chicago’s game plan.
New Orleans limited Hester to only four touches in the entire game, nullifying the game-changers ability to swing momentum in the Saints’ 30-13 win.
“He has been one of the best for awhile so we just wanted to make sure he didn’t do anything spectacular in our house,” New Orleans special teams captain Courtney Roby said.
Hester is tied for the most punt return for touchdowns in an NFL career with 10 and his 14 total return touchdowns is tops in NFL history.
Thomas Morstead’s job on Sunday was to keep him from having any chance in the return game.
Of New Orleans’ seven kickoffs, six went into the end zone and four were touchbacks. Hester brought two kickoffs out for a combined 47 yards.
His one chance to catch a punt resulted in a negative-four yard return and a fumble.
“I don’t know if I frustrated him but I felt like our coverage units, everybody, was really in the game,” Morstead said. “Everybody was running through the end zone like, ‘Hey you better not even think about bringing it out.’ That’s the mentality we’re trying to establish. I think the kickoff and punt units really played well.”
Hester’s chances on offense weren’t much greater.
He was thrown to nine times, but caught only one pass for 17 yards.
The secondary was helped by a defensive front that finished with six sacks and countless other pressure, forcing quarterback Jay Cutler to check off his first target and down to running back Matt Forte.
“I think it was just keeping everything in front of us,” Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “Our rush did a great job of getting Cutler down.”
He added, “DB is real easy when the quarterback has to get rid of it quick or he’s getting hit.”