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Armchair Quarterback: Saints vs. Titans

New Orleans picked up a win, but was it a good one?

Syndication: The Tennessean Andrew Nelles / / USA TODAY NETWORK

Finally, a real NFL football game to break down.

The New Orleans Saints hosted the Tennessee Titans to open the 2023 season at the Caesars Superdome, and it was a historic game of sorts.

Eight field goals were kicked between both teams, the most made field goals in a Week 1 game... ever. However, the Saints managed to score the one touchdown in the contest to defeat the Titans 16-15 and begin the Derek Carr era 1-0.

Here are a couple things that stood out:

Syndication: The Tennessean Andrew Nelles / / USA TODAY NETWORK

This defense is going to be special

The Saints defense held to Titans to 15 points (all coming via the field goal) while limiting Derrick Henry to 63 yards rushing and Ryan Tannehill under 200 yards passing.

But I think the biggest detail is how it almost appeared effortless for the Saints to get takeaways. The Black and Gold had three interceptions on the day, with Marshon Lattimore, Paulson Adebo, and Marcus Maye all getting in on the action. Now, say what you want about the quarterback who they were facing, but the ability to get that that many picks and make it look as easy as you did is special. The Saints had a strong defense in the second half of 2022, and they picked up where they left off Sunday.

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

Chris Olave is him

The second year phenom from Ohio State was fantastic to open the season, catching 8 passes for 112 yards, including a long of 45. He was a difference maker in the middle of the field and even when he wasn’t getting the football, the Titans defenders had to account for him which left opportunities for guys like Rashid Shaheed and Michael Thomas, who also had a big first game back. Olave was talked about all offseason as having a breakout second season and he certainly took the first step in doing that against a good Tennessee secondary.

Syndication: USA TODAY Andrew Nelles / / USA TODAY NETWORK

This Derek Carr guy? Pretty good.

Carr was very impressive in his first start for the Black and Gold. The 32-year-old completed 23-33 for 305 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

He made good decisions for the most part, spread the football out to multiple receivers, never really forced any throws (other than the pick), and showed he can run for extra yards when needed.

The biggest thing for me though was that he looked comfortable in the Saints’ offense and that is going to be huge going forward.

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