The offense is back, baby!
Okay, so they didn't end the game very well with two interceptions and a missed field goal on their final three possessions but that was preceded by five straight touchdown drives as the Saints converted 73% of their 3rd downs. The running game was effective, Brees went double-double to the Twin Towers and Jimmy Graham arrived on the scene. It's starting to feel like 2009 around here.
The Saints were in control of this game from the beginning and there was a permanent sense of calm among the Superdome crowd. Never once was there even a question who would emerge the victor by the end of the night. Which is exactly how the Saints should handle a weaker opponent if they ever want to be taken seriously as a contender.
Did the defense look a little soft at times? Absolutely. Some of the blame can be attributed directly to the poor play of Jabari Greer. But after taking control early, the defense went into prevent mode, stopped playing to win and just started playing not to lose. In fact, we should be excited. The defense looked a lot like last season, giving up big yardage but coming up with two clutch forced fumbles.
The bad news is that with the Falcons and Buccaneers both winning their games yesterday as well, nothing changes in the NFC South. The Saints have gained no ground.
My usual bullet points can be found after the jump. Won't you take this journey with me.
- The Imagination Movers sang the National Anthem.
- The Saints won wearing the black pants again. I think the curse may be fading.
- Heath Evans led the Who Dat chant to start the game.
- Maybe I missed something because I haven't seen anyone mention it but Usama Young appeared to have quite possibly one of his best games ever, at least in my memory. He made a nice pass breakup in the end zone on an early drive then later ran down a receiver in the end zone, timed the hit perfectly and broke up the third down play. He also let a possible interception bounce off his hands. These were the crucial plays early in the game that forced the Seahawks to settle for field goals and allowed the Saints to take control with touchdowns.
- How long are the Saints going to ignore the problems they currently have at the field goal kicking position?Since his return from hiatus Hartley hasn't missed any important kicks but it's obvious he still hasn't worked out all the kinks so I'm not sure how anyone can feel supremely confident when the time comes for him to make a crucial kick. And that time will come.
- By the way...Mare 4/4 > Hartley 0/1. [Double facepalm]
- Drew Brees surpassed Archie Manning as the Saints all-time career leader in completions with his 1,851 completion.
- If anyone on the defense deserves to be called out for poor play yesterday it's got to be Jabari Greer. On an ordinary day he's one of the better cornerbacks in the league. Yesterday he looked like...wait for it...Jason David. It looked that bad. He was burned twice in the first half by the Seahawks on long passing plays down the right sideline, one of which it appeared as though he was just standing there and watching the receiver make the catch in front of him. I've got to give Greer credit in the speed department, however. He turned on the after burners to chase down a receiver after one of those catches and saved a touchdown. No wonder his nickname is "The Jet."
- The University of Louisiana-Lafayette marching band was yesterdays halftime entertainment. They performed a tribute to James Bond.
- My feelings about the offensive lines performance yesterday are mixed. They did well keeping Brees clean and allowing Chris Ivory to be effective but Nicks and Evans were each called for 10-yard holding penalties.
- It's obvious that Payton and Brees are really starting to trust tight end Jimmy Graham and with Jeremy Shockey inactive for the game, Graham made the most of the opportunity yesterday. He finished with five catches for 72 yards. I'm not sure what his ceiling will be as far as talent and production but I very much look forward to finding out.
- Marques Colston had a huge day with eight catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Not really surprising. Robert Meachem also looked a lot like his 2009 self with two touchdown grabs. The two of them accounted for all four of Brees' touchdown passes.
- Great game today for Chris Ivory, who ran for 99 yards and his first ever NFL touchdown. Ivory has always been a powerful runner who keeps his legs churning but he seemed to do a better job yesterday of finding running room when a hole just doesn't develop. Better vision to accompany that strength. Now if he can only make it through a game without limping off the field or having to be taken to the locker room. If you listen close enough, you can hear the clock ticking on Ivory's career.
- Marvin Mitchell and Anthony Waters were both pumped and dancing like a mad man before kickoffs. They're party animals.
- If Drew wasn't playing on a completely shattered left knee and not all doped up on pain medication he probably would have had eight touchdowns. </sarcasm>
- Even though they didn't execute and I don't understand the reasoning behind it, I liked the fake extra point run by Chase Daniel. Why the hell not? (Just learned it was a bad snap. Never saw that. Special teams sucks.)
- Can't believe the sure hands of Lance Moore couldn't come down with that onside kick.