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Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Saints' O-line wins Madden award

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

The New Orleans Saints’ offensive line, coming off its best game of the season, has been selected as the weekly winner of the Madden Protectors Award.

With right tackle Zach Strief returning to the starting lineup after an injury, the Saints bounced back from a rough performance against St. Louis to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The offensive line played a big role as quarterback Drew Brees was not sacked. He was sacked six times the previous week.

But Strief teamed with guards Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans, left tackle Jermon Bushrod and center Brian de la Puente to turn in what Hall of Fame coach John Madden called the best performance by an offensive line this past weekend.

The Saints also were able to move the ball on the ground. They finished with 195 rushing yards.

“When a team finds a great balance between the run and pass, you start giving out credit, and that usually starts with the offensive line,” Madden said.