August 25, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cheerleader during the second half of a preseason game against the Houston Texans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Texans 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Below are all my personal thoughts and opinions from attending the Saints 34-27 win over the Houston Texans Saturday night.
- Roman Harper was the Saints player featured on the actual game ticket this week. He also led the pre-game Who Dat chant.
- The Saints introduced the defensive starters this week during the pregame festivities.
- Some girl who was cut from the X-Factor competition show sang the National Anthem.
- Drew Brees gave a high-five to the junior tee retriever as he ran off the field following the opening kickoff. I've never seen him do that before but I kept thinking how cool of a moment that must be for that young kid. Hell, I know a lot of 45-year olds that would kill for the opportunity to slap skin with Drew.
- Youth football was the halftime entertainment, always a favorite. At one point one of them pulled a quick Heisman pose in the end zone after scoring a touchdown.
- On the whole the defense played really well. They started off slowly, blowing coverages and succumbing to the same pitfalls as recent years past. Then, sparked by Junior Galette's special teams scoop and score, the defense made the necessary adjustments and took it to the next level with much tighter coverage, a few near interceptions, six sacks, three forced fumbles, domination on 3rd down, and an opportunistic attitude. There's still some inconsistencies but overall it appears as if they're heading in the right direction. I'm pleased with what they put on film last night.
- Speaking of inconsistent, let's talk about Chris Ivory. He looked solid running the ball (7.0 ypc) but he put it on the ground once, too. In his defense, that hit he took causing the fumble was hard and I'm not sure he saw it coming. It actually looked like he was knocked unconscious for a moment, much like Pierre Thomas in last season's Divisional playoff loss to the 49ers.
- Meanwhile, Travaris Cadet put a little separation in the battle for that fourth running back spot between he and Ivory. Not only did he continue to look good as a receiving back, but he also rushed well. Before yesterday, I thought Cadet was bound for the practice squad but now I say we find out what this kid can do.
- Joe Banyard really doesn't look too shabby either. He looked really speedy out there. What the hell are the Saints going to do with all these running backs?
- The officiating. Holy christ, the officiating! The replacement refs called a pass interference on Scott Shanle early in the game that I didn't agree with. They didn't call an obvious pass interference on Jimmy Graham. There was more, that's just what I can remember off the top of my head. These replacement officials seem to call way more penalties than we're used to seeing and when they do, they aren't very confident in their call. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but: please bring back Ed Hochuli.
- Jimmy Graham will pick up right where he left off last season.
- Where was Martez Wilson? Meanwhile, I'm becoming a big fan of that Akiem Hicks kid.
- I actually left just before Garrett Hartley's came up short on his 53-yard field goal attempt. Distance has never been a problem for Hartley. I hope last year's hip injury hasn't taken some of the strength from his leg. Hartley made his other two FGs.
- Jonathan Casillas filled in admirably at the MLB spot in place of the injured Curtis Lofton.
- Cam Jordan had a hell of a game. I'm expecting big things from the first round draft pick in his sophomore season.
- I'm officially unimpressed with Joe Morgan. He had a couple of very nice catches, but it's not enough.
- I had yet another drunk idiot sitting next to me for this game. One of those guys who just keeps talking to you and giving you his opinion about the on-field action - "I told you they would come back and score on this drive!" - despite the fact that you never respond or even acknowledge his existence. Just a complete inability to pick up on normal social cues. Ugh.