So...that's what all the fuss was about.
I'm not going to lie to you guys, I wasn't really confident that the Saints would win this game. I had mentally prepared myself for the team to lose. It would take sixty minutes of nearly mistake-free football for the Saints to triumph against a team like New England and though I knew the Saints were capable of accomplishing such a task, it all depended on whether that particular Saints team would show up at the Dome last night.
Fortunately, they did. Big time. I didn't even realize the surgical precision with which the Saints carved up the Patriots until I got home after the game and flipped on ESPN. In the Dome it seemed like a solid performance. On TV, it looked like domination. And Drew Brees, oh my lord.
I was wrong and I am man enough to admit it. This game was a big deal and for all the reasons you guys mentioned. Because the Dome is a special place and a huge advantage over opponents; it will come especially in handy during the playoffs and the Saints need to keep ahead of the Vikings to assure that. Because this win answers every single remaining question any of us or the media could possibly have had about the talent, moxie, depth and drive of this entire football team and now the whole country knows it.
Actually, there is one more question left. If the perfect season didn't end last night against New England...will it ever?
To the bullets, Batman:
- It appeared that many fans heeded the warning from the organization before the game and arrived early. There was a pretty good crowd on hand well before kickoff.
- They didn't introduce players individually. That just left them more time for pre-game crap.
- Angie Stone sang the National Anthem. How do they pick and choose who and when sings the anthem?
- Before the game I noticed Jenkins and Gay getting reps with the first team and I've got to admit that I was a little worried about the status of the Saints secondary for this one. But what the hell do I know. Turns out, my fears were completely unfounded. On the whole, the Saints more than held their own against the pass. It's hard to believe the Saints beat down the Patriots. It's even harder to believe that they did it without their two starting cornerbacks.
- Mike McKenzie, of course, was the standout. The interception, the pass breakup. It was weird at first to see him back there on the field but after the first quarter, it was like he never left. Actually, it's more like he left, went somewhere, got a little more talented, then came back to play in this game. I did notice the missed tackle, however. Clean that up.
- I noticed a few missed tackles and weak attempts at arm tackles during the game.
- I can't wait to see Malcolm Jenkins develop next year. He made a great pass breakup last night and led the team in tackles. Perhaps a breakthrough performance for him. With Jenkins, Greer and Porter the Saints should be set at cornerback for a few more years.
- Drew Brees = really good. His pass accuracy is just a thing of beauty. I'm really starting to like this back shoulder throw he seems to have perfected with all of the receivers and using with great efficiency.
- John Carney certainly didn't have his best game. He barely made the first field goal and missed the last one. Is it time to think about using Garrett Hartley? Why are they keeping him around if they don't plan on ever using him?
- I can't believe in this day and age that TV crews still fumble with camera wires. Haven't they invented wireless television cameras yet?
- I said on our pre-game podcast Sunday night that turnovers would be the key in this game and that whoever won the turnover battle would win the game. I was right.
- The defense could have done a better job getting to Brady quicker but they definitely seemed to have him rattled. Brady looked like JaMarcus Russell out there, overthrowing wide open receivers at times. He really just didn't have it in him last night.
- Congratulations to Darnell Dinkins who made both his first catch and his first touchdown last night.
- Let's all take a moment to give props to Sean Payton. The Saints are a hot team on the field but Payton is in the zone on the sidelines as well. I think he's the hottest coach in the league right now and not even Bill Belichick could get his team to out perform Payton's. Every week he and his staff have the right gameplan or figure one out in game. For four years this team has been his passion, his obsession, and he has labored over every detail in meticulous fashion. There have been bumps in the road and maybe some questionable decisions but he has always had a clear vision and known what he wanted. This has to be a dream realized for Sean Payton and it deserves to be noted.
- Whenever the Patriots started to get a little life, the Saints would immediately put an end to it with a long pass play to Henderson or Colston.
- Lance who? Lance Moore? Never heard of him.
- As much credit as we give Drew, and deservedly so, all of the Saints receivers are equally talented. They looked especially good last night running after the catch and getting extra yardage. And damn are they fast.
- I certainly won't say they gave us the game but the Patriots did look a little lost out there at times. The Devery Henderson touchdown was blown coverage. I couldn't believe he was that wide open.
- I don't know if they showed it on television but Mike Bell appeared to injure himself a second time late in the game. He came off the field limping and was getting looked at until the game ended.
- Other than that, the Saints escaped from this game pretty injury free. Bonus!
- Did you see Lynell Hamilton's WWF clothesline to take down the Patriots returner on the kickoff.
- It sounded like the decibal level in the Dome probably hit it's crescendo on the Patriots 4th down pass play late in the game which Mike McKenzie beautifully broke up.
- Darren Sharper can thank Tom Brady for adding to his interception total. There was nobody in the area.
- Everyone in the Dome did a great job getting loud. If this game doesn't show you how important dome field advantage will be in the playoffs...
- Sadly, I don't think we ever made it on television. I am very surprised. I do, however, have a raging headache.
I think this was Jimmy Eat World if I'm not mistaken.
My favorite picture of the night.
I'll let you guys caption this one.
Pre-game festivities and La'Roi Glover tribute.
Even Rita's got to get a picture of the action.
The back of Teddy Bruschi's head.
Mike Bell getting checked out after his first injury.
I'm not gonna stop now!
Suzy Kolber hard at work.
This lucky bastard caught Meachem's touchdown ball when he threw it into the stands.
New cornerbacks getting acquainted.
The halftime show was a football game between kids and random NFL mascots.
The view from section 140: Backside.
Drew thanking his offensive line. All of them.
Hug it out, bitch. (Brother's don't shake hands. Brothers gotta hug)
After last night's performance, I'm worried Drew's going to get a big head.
Local news after the game.
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|Brazil meets LA||52|
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