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Overreactions: Saints defense comes up big in Week 1 win

There’s quite a few things to look at from the season opener.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints picked up an ugly 16-15 win over the Tennessee Titans to open the 2023 NFL season.

A contest that included five turnover and eight field goals between the two teams, the first touchdown wasn’t scored until the third quarter. There were plenty of odd moments and ugly execution, but the Black and Gold were able to hang on to get the win.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The offense should’ve had more reps in preseason

You can look at the stat sheet and see that Derek Carr finished with 300 yards and a touchdown, which is nice. But throughout the game, there was multiple missed opportunities, poorly executed plays, and lack of communication. It showed that this offense only played one drive together in the preseason.

A lot of people will say to that “but they had all camp to build that chemistry” and they did build one. But building a chemistry in camp and developing an in-game rhythm with one another is two completely different things. The Saints will need to work out their offensive kinks quickly.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Penning isn’t him

The second-year offensive tackle out of Northern Iowa that the Saints drafted in the first round was horrible today. There’s no other way to put it. Arden Key, who has been an average-slightly above average defensive end his entire career, made Penning look like a middle school lineman this afternoon in the Superdome.

Now, Penning missed almost all of 2022 with an injury so I get the idea that’s he’s still getting used to the NFL. Believe me, I want him to be good, but I’m starting to question if he can be.

Syndication: The Tennessean Andrew Nelles / / USA TODAY NETWORK

This defense is legit

This isn’t much of an overreaction, but the point still stands.

New Orleans held Derrick Henry to just 63 yards rushing, and Ryan Tannehill didn’t get above 200 in the air while throwing three interceptions. The defensive line was able to get pressure, linebackers were great in coverage and in the pass rush, and the secondary stepped up when they needed to make the plays. I know it’s only Week 1, but we saw a lot of great things from this group that could make you think they’re in for a special season.

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