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New Orleans Saints 45 @ Oakland Raiders 7: Post-Game Wrap Up

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I'd like to start this whole post with a message to Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, Greg Bensel and whoever else needs to hear this: In-N-Out burgers every week for this team. Make it happen. I don't know what the hell they put in those things but the Saints played like men on fire.

There is nothing I can really say following the game that any casual observer couldn't figure out for themselves. This game was complete domination from play one. On offense, the Saints put up great numbers on the ground - without Reggie or Pierre - and in the air. They continue to be the highest scoring team in the league this pre-season. On defense, they continued their ball-stripping philosophy and created game changing turnovers to put the game out of reach early. Even special teams looked solid.

With each passing pre-season game my optimism grows and grows. How can it not? It's not the simple fact that the Saints are winning; it's how they're winning. But before we start purchasing Super Bowl tickets, let's all remember that this was the Raiders on the other side of the ball. They are not a measuring stick by which to predict an entire season. Still, a win is a win is a win and we should expect the Saints to dominate against struggling teams, not play down to their level. Right now, I couldn't be more proud of my team. They deserve those 400 In-N-Out hamburgers.

Make the jump for the rest of my notes. Then talk about the game.

  • We should all be hoping that Usama Young's injury isn't serious. He injured it making a nice leaping grab for the ball and nearly had the interception.
  • The run blocking looked good. The Raiders aren't known for their run defense so that may have had something to do with it.
  • The Saints shut down the Raiders running game, probably the strongest aspect of their offense. That's a good sign for those worried about the defense giving up too much yardage on the ground.
  • The first quarter of the game was the Drew Brees Show. Brees used his receivers to carve up Oaklands defense. Drew was so good, in fact, that instead of playing three quarters as planned, Payton pulled him in the middle of the second.
  • Randall Gay got a very good jump on the ball and nearly had an interception on that second quarter play. I still can't decide whether I like him as a player or not.
  • Very nice to see my boy Lance Moore back catching balls for Drew. He does a great job of getting his body in position and it often causes interference penalties.
  • Lynell Hamilton looked good today in his bid for redemption and a spot on the roster. I have no idea what the Saints will do in terms of keeping running backs but Hamilton is back in the mix after his two-fumble performance against Cincinnati.
  • The biggest negative of the day was probably the fit of penalties the Saints offense suffered deep in the Red Stripe red zone during the second quarter. Michael Brown was flagged for two illegal formation penalties after a Jamar Nesbit holding call.
  • I will admit that I was a late arrival to the Robert Meachem party and I never really saw anything special in him. Until today that is. Meachem's catch and run proved how good he can be and showed that extra gear he has that most other players just don't have.
  • Have I told you guys how much I like Pierson Prioleau? Let me tell you again: Prioleau is a huge addition to this secondary. He is everything Gregg Williams stands for.
  • Not much from Malcolm Jenkins today.
  • Troy Evans looked great and made a couple of nice hits.
  • The play at 11:09 in the third quarter is a perfect representation of what I think we can expect from the Saints defense in 2009. They gave up a big chunk of yardage when JaMarcus Russell completed a nice 38-yard pass to Martin but Prioleau was able to pop the ball loose before making the tackle while a quick-thinking Chris Reis picked it up and ran with it. The Saints may very well give up significant yardage playing their aggressive style of defense, but being aggressive also pays dividends in the forced turnovers department.
  • Rod Harper garnered a little bit of attention again. He looked like a Reggie Bush clone on the one punt return and made a few catches in the second half. Harper isn't perfect but he continues to make plays. I think he's got a good shot at making the team, possibly even over Arrington. Where was Adrian today anyway?
  • Courtney Roby looked very good on special teams this afternoon.
  • Only slightly better in the pass rushing department. I would have liked to have seen more, especially with a quarterback like JaMarcus Russell who has a tendency to hold on to the ball too long. Bobby McCray and Anthony Hargrove stood out the most.
  • Hartley looked much improved on kickoffs, getting the ball deep in the end zone a couple of times. Must have been a strong breeze from the bay.
  • By the end of the game it was obvious that the will of the Raiders had been completely shattered. Sad really.
  • P.J. Hill looked great in the second half. Again, the Raiders aren't the best against the run and the Raiders had all but given up so take it with a grain of salt.

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