Sharper still on top of his game

NEW ORLEANS – Saints safety Darren Sharper continues to amaze.

During a season in which he already has returned an interception 97 yards for a touchdown, Sharper picked off a Mark Sanchez pass intended for Dustin Keller at the Jets’ 1-yard line Sunday and took it 99 yards to the house for his 10th career interception return for a score. That moved Sharper ahead of Deion Sanders for the second-most interceptions returned for touchdowns. Hall of Famer Rod Woodson holds the record with 12.

Sharper, who has four interceptions this season and 58 in his 13-year career, rarely is mentioned among the best defensive backs of all time. However, he certainly has proven himself to be one of the most valuable defenders to all of the teams (Packers, Vikings, Saints) for which he has played.

Meanwhile, Sanchez made a bad play worse for himself when, during Sharper’s return, he dove at Saints LB Jonathan Vilma’s knees, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Sanchez could be headed for a fine because he submarined Vilma, who didn’t take too kindly to the rookie QB’s actions.

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