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Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints: The View from Section 108

The Saints first home game of 2008, albeit a pre-season game, is in the books. In what will become a tradition here on CSC for all Saints home games, I present to you my personal notes from being at the game and observing all that surrounded me. I have chosen not to look at other websites, read any newspapers or watch any TV yet. What follows is my unfiltered, unbiased opinion of the game. I plan on watching the game a couple of times on Tivo and getting more in depth later. Please note, some of these observations may be completely wrong upon further review, so keep that in mind. It is hard to see everything when watching from my seats. Here are all the notes I wrote (read: typed) into my iTouch during the game.

  • The boys were wearing the usual home whites with their gold pants. Pretty standard. I am always a fan of something different, like all black, but whatever.
  • The Dome seemed pretty crowded, though not completely a sell out. The atmosphere is always more relaxed for these games and nobody seems to take it as serious as the regular season. And they shouldn't
  • The first big play of the night came on a Brees pass to Patten. I know some of you think Meachem is deserving of that second spot, but Patten is a pro. The guy played for the Patriots and he's been around the league for years. He knows what he's doing, and I think it shows. I really don't think anyone is knocking him out of that second spot. I really like him. He's kind of like Colston; doesn't have a big mouth and gets it done on the field. Honestly, he may be one of the more overrated players on this team. I know he's not the biggest guy out there, but he's all professional, all the time and he's got some hands.
  • One of the other big plays on the day was the Texans fumbled punt return. Usama Young was all over the returner (don't know who it was without looking it up) but I don't think he actually touched anyone. Plays like that will be important during the regular season.
  • Dare I talk about Jason David? I guess we have to. Guys, this was really the most disappointing part of the evening. I can't tell you how helpless and frustrated I (and pretty much everyone in the Dome) felt watching the Texans do pretty much exactly what we watched them do last season. I believe it was the second Texans drive in which they picked on Jason David three times for big plays in one series, the last time being for a touchdown. Really, this was the definition of deja vu. He was getting booed loudly. I honestly don't really agree with booing your own team, but it is almost getting to the point where it is all the fans can do to let Payton and the rest of the staff know that this just isn't working. We need help here and Jason David isn't the answer. He is clearly the weak link, as I explained to Erin (thats my fiance) who was feeling sympathetic for David. The guy who has the tickets next to me was very irate. I plan to check out the Houston's passing stats, because I really don't think they ever went to Randall Gay's side (their right side). I don't think we could even evaluate him because every play was run at Jason David. Seriously.
  • Deuce is the other big story of the night I suppose. It was weird. He ran the first play from scrimmage, gaining just a few yards, then immediately ran off the field. At first I thought maybe that was going to be it for Deuce. One play then done. Maybe injury? But he wound up coming back in the second quarter. Certainly there was nothing spectacular about his play today, but it must be good that he was out there and it certainly wasn't bad. Just mediocre. In all honesty, I don't think he was getting too much help from the line.
  • Mehlhaff's kickoff's looked fine. Actually, he seems to get a lot of height and hang time on his kickoffs.I don't think any went into the end zone but all of them seemed to be within the five yard line. Gramatica nailed his field goals. I really don' feel like we have learned anything from this match up.
  • Our starting defensive line, from where I was sitting, didn't seem to be as aggressive as last week. Only one play comes to mind where we actually pressured their quarterback to throw it away.
  • Mark Campbell had a chance for a touchdown but dropped the ball that was passed his way. Looked like he took an unexpected hard hit and couldn't hold onto the ball. Probably really should have held onto it.
  • Our running game looked like crap. Still nothing to write home about there. I still think they need to start Pierre and let him get into a rhythm.
  • Jonathan Vilma was out there, but I really can't remember him doing anything out of the ordinary or special.
  • Winn Dixie always plays an ad during the game where they sing their theme song I am assuming is titled, "Getting Better All The Time." It, in fact, is NOT getting better all the time.
  • One of the positives tonight was Reggie. Did you guys see that touchdown? It was sick! Yet another Reggie Bush highlight. He hurdled right over a diving tackler and actually landed on his feet like a cat.. He could seriously be on the U.S. Track and Field team for hurdles. They replayed it about 5 times after it happened and it was very reminiscent of his USC and 2006 highlights. It's always scary when he makes those plays because one day he is going to blow out a knee. I believe it was Gayle Sayers who told Reggie a similar thing. Reggie definitely looked hungry and improved, but again, he's not a replacement or answer for a back like Deuce. He is a great weapon to have, but he needs to be used in a special way. The Saints are still in need of an up the middle runner.
  • Colston had a rare drop on a sure catch, but then made an amazing one handed catch in the end zone right in front of me. Marques pretty much snatched it out of the air. I almost had an action shot of him leaping and making the grab, but alas, it eluded me. His catch and Reggie's leap tied for play of the game. We've got some pretty talented guys on this team.
  • Aaron Glenn has a nice pass breakup and I actually thought he was going to jump the route and make the interception.
  • Brunell actually looked good. He looked like he had a bit left in the tank and some of those balls had a good bit of velocity on them. Not sure whether we would still be able to make the playoffs if Brunell had to lead us, but it certainly wouldn't be awful. We would at least have a chance. I really like him.
  • We all got the wave going in the third quarter. The upper deck was a little behind the lower level.
  • Lance Moore put an end to the wave when he caught that long pass. It was a good throw by Brunell but a better catch by Lance. The defender was all over him and he still came up with it. Lance Moore...catches...everything. I can't stress that enough. He has great hands. I know the knock on him is that he never does anything with the ball after the catch, and that is certainly fair, but at least you know he is going to come up with it. I think he may make this team.
  • Kevin Dudley finished off that 82 yard drive, pretty nice for the second team.
  • Tracy Porter looked like he still needs some work. He was the culprit on a couple of passing plays. After one play it did look like he still had a bit of a limp. I don't think he is 100%

I have to say I walked away from this game pissed off and disappointed. Bittersweet really. The offense looked pretty good but the defense is just garbage. I am seriously afraid that this season will wind up turning out just like last year. I know we have made lots of changes to the defense, but none of it seems to be making a huge difference. I think we all need to realize that there is no such thing as a quick fix in the NFL. I thought maybe I would regret being so pessimistic in my "inspirational" post a couple of days ago, but I have to say, after this game, I may have been more correct that I ever wanted to be. The hope has certainly been taken out of this season for me and at this point, I definitely enter week one with a mindset of mediocrity.

Here are the pictures I took from the game. I hope you enjoy.


Check out the tat! You don't need to see the whole thing to know what that bad boy says! However, I think it should be a ? and a ! It's a question yet you yell it at the same time.


Walking in the concourse to my seat. This was about 20 seconds before I completely ate it by slipping on some wet tile. This camera barely made it! Believe it or not, I did NOT drink at the game. Pure carelessness.


MY seats. They are all mine, all year!! One thing I never understood is why they allowed Richard Simmons to upholster the Superdome seating. I mean, since they are spending so much money on fixing up the Dome, why not make the seats black and gold. Or even cooler, make it so that the chairs are colored in such a way as to form the fleur de lis logo in the upper deck. Anything is better than the random seat patterns consisting of incredibly curious color choices. No wonder they won't have a Super Bowl here.


The view from my seats.


More viewage from my seatage.


Get some perspective! God I love football!


For the guys.


More for the guys. Honestly, Erin and I both agreed, the Saintsations seemed a little chunkier this year on the whole. It is NOT because they have decided to place more importance on dancing ability.


For the ladies out there, let me say this: For some reason, jewelry and diamonds sparkle much more under the Dome lighting. Seriously. This picture is pretty pointless because you can't see the sparkle, but if you are recently engaged, or trying to impress a girl with jewelry, take her to the Dome. Can't lose. I don't know what hell it is, but something about the lighting in there is perfect for jewelry.

The defense. Probably about to get toasted.


Patten. Literally right before he made his big grab.


Brees congratulating Patten.

Reggie and Drew sharing a special moment right after Bush's acrobatic TD.


A dejected Jason David after getting beat...for the third that series!


Colston after his amazing catch. He is so damn awesome! That catch was unbelievable!


Mark Campbell after his big catch and run. Look Stujo, he's okay!

Here is the roll call from the open game thread. Thanks to everyone who participated. You guys might not understand, but it really is a treat to come home from the game and see you guys have all convened here, at CSC, to come talk about the game. I am so proud.

Name # of Posts
satchmo26 18
Steve the fan 17
jjwest11 14
Saintsational 1
Hollywoo! 1
Hustl504 1
stujo4 1
TexasOutlaw 1

I read over the comments from the open game thread. Thanks to everyone for participating. Next week I will join you all again. To Jjwest11: Great to have you on board and actively participating. I wish you had checked CSC earlier, because the seat went empty. I happened to stumble upon a free ticket late yesterday afternoon and, to my surprise, no friends or family were interested. If you are local, you very much could have been enjoying the game with my fiance and I.

Please leave your own comments/observations/game reviews from yesterday. Since this is my first post-game report from a home game I am definitely interested in hearing your feedback. What do you like? what do you want to see more of? What is your favorite part. Please speak up!