I have to admit, I wasn't completely excited about this afternoon's game last night. My store still didn't have power and I was uncertain whether I would even be able to open it on Monday. On top of that, Hurricane Ike had New Orleans right in the middle of its five day cone. Things were still looking somewhat grim, at least for me, and it was ruining was should have been a feel good time. Fortunately, when I woke up this morning and turned on the Weather Channel, Ike's projected path has shifted further westward. Around that time Erin called me and told me we now had power at the store. Things were starting to look a little better. With some weight lifted off my shoulders just in time for the season's kick off, I was again ready to get my head into football. Saints football.
This one was close. A little closer than I wanted it to be. Than it should have been. Fortunately, and I am so happy to say this, the defense stepped it up and won this game. They came through when we needed them. It was our offense that struggled most. If we can fix some of our mistakes and get both units working at the same time than this figures to be the season we are all expecting.
Below are my initial thoughts and observations from the game.
- While walking to the stadium, we were behind a guy wearing a Vilma Jets jersey. He got heckled a group of drunk guys saying, "You're at the wrong game! I think you got off at the wrong exit!"
- They announced the defense at the beginning of the game. I thought that was cool. Shows how proud we are of this defense. Randall Gay and Tracy Porter got the start. So did Kendrick Clancy.
- The Imagination Movers sang the National Anthem. For those of you who might not know them, you can catch up here.
- Saints receive the ball first. Deuce is out so Pierre gets the call for the start. I am very happy. The Saints put together a very good first drive, ending with a beautiful pass that is perfectly placed into David Patten's hands and just over the fingertips of a leaping defender. Sweetness. Unfortunately, that would be it for a while.
- On the defense also looked great on their first drive. Charles Grant gets great pressure and in Garcia's face. He would later get a sack. Grant played a great game and its good to know all that money is not wasted. Will Smith still has a bit to prove. McCray also notched a sack for himself late in the game.
- Drew throws an interception after releasing the ball as he's being hit. Buchanon picks it off and runs it back for six points. The pass blocking didn't look as sharp as it normally does. The run blocking, however, seemed quite improved.
- The first quarter was marred with penalties by the Saints on the offensive side of the ball. They were just drive killers. The offense never got anything going the rest of the first half. The penalties definitely need to be cleaned up. It was a very sloppy day.
- The offense on the whole looked a little rusty. I won't even go into that botched snap that went off before Brees was ready. There appeared to be some communication issues with everyone. That should fix itself over time. Hopefully.
- We all got our first glimpse of Shockey and the news is good. It took a while for them to go to him, but when the time came, he delivered. The crowd cheered extra hard after a Shockey reception. On his long catch of the day, the crowd got incredibly loud and Shock-ey, Shock-ey, Shock-ey chants started.
- Tracy Porter had a great game. I am really starting to like this kid. He made a big pass breakup in the end zone on third down (that probably should have been intercepted) and also had a nice pass breakup later in the game on a long pass attempt. He might be the answer we need.
- Randall Gay looked pretty decent in the backfield also. He made a nice pass breakup on a deep try by the Bucs. He left the game early and was replaced by Aaron Glenn.
- Holy crap Devery caught the ball!! And what a catch! The Saints caught the Bucs offsides and got a free play. No communication issues on this one as Devery BURNS his guy and Drew lobs it right into him. Oh man it was a thing of beauty.
- I've said it before and I'll say it again. I really think this is Reggie's year. He still doesn't look perfect and still did some dancing but he's getting there. He's just so dangerous in open space and the Saints put him in some great situations. Did you see the juke on the touchdown run. They replayed it a few times on the big screen and the crowd was ooh-ing and ahh-ing. The whole run after the catch was looked a lot like USC Reggie. I am excited!
- Guess who else looked pretty good out there. PT Bruiser. With the absence of Deuce, Pierre got to see some time. He averaged a nice 5.2 yards per carry. Unfortunately, he left the game early due to injury. No word on that yet.
- Another thing the team needs to clean up quickly is its weak tackling. They looked very sloppy out there as the Bucs were able to get a lot of extra yardage they shouldn't have. You have got to make tackles.
- No Meachem today. Is he ever going to play in an actual game? Geez.
- Colston was a non-factor today.
- Jo-Lonn Dunbar had a perfectly timed hit on a Tampa punt returner.
- Antwan Lake was down for a while with what looked like it might be a serious injury. We are getting really beat up at the DT position.
- During a TV timeout they were showing people in the crowd dancing. The camera turned on two attractive young girls who then kissed eachother. This was NOT the kiss cam. The crowd loved it.
- Bob Breck and the weather team did their usual weather update during the game. Upon mentioning of Hurrican Ike, boo's rained down.
That's it from me for now. Plenty more to get into this week. I am interested in hearing what you guys have to say about it. This is it guys. We are 1-0. How good does it feel? Also, the falcons got a big win today. Are we going to have another worst to first year in the division? Feel free to continue the discussion below. Sorry no pictures. I have some but have no way of getting them onto my computer. Hopefully soon.