If you didn’t stick around for the entirety of that game, you really missed out. To call the Saints @ Packers showdown a track meet would be an understatement. The Saints lose 42-34 and can live with some regrets based on questionable playcalling and execution in key moments, but the bottom line is the Saints need to look no further than their tackling as the reason they lost this game. It was a concern in preseason and now it’s becoming clear the Saints are just not wrapping guys up. The tackling in this game was so poor the Packers’ offense was often allowed to move the football at will. Frankly, the fact that the Saints actually had a shot to tie this game at the end was astounding. They really had no business having a chance to win that game, and yet the offense got down to the 1 yard line with a real shot to tie with a touchdown and a 2 point conversion. It’s a tough loss for the Saints but you have to admire their fight and their ability to get back into a game they were getting completely whipped in. The Saints’ offense is as good as ever and I think we can continue to count of them scoring points this year. The defense, on the other hand, looked arguably worse than it did in the playoff game against Seattle. The tackling was just horrendous and inexcusable.
Saints @ Packers BOX SCORE
See below for my bullet points on the game.
- Darren Sproles sure made an impression. The dude is good. The number of times I read “Reggie Who?” on my twitter feed rivals the number of times my son says the word “car” in a day. Those Reggie Who? comments were founded because Sproles had the same explosive makeup minus the negative plays. The Saints have a special player there that will make a lot of plays for them on that quick Superdome turf.
- The Packers defense was impressive. How the Saints scored 34 points on them was quite an effort. They were a couple yards away from getting close to 50, too.
- Roman Harper picked up right where he left off in the playoff game against the Seahawks. He was horrible.
- The defensive line got pushed around, generated almost no pressure, and did a poor job holding their ground against the run.
- The linebackers weren’t so much bad at tackling as they were slow to the play and unable to hold a block. Vilma and Herring especially were getting blown up left and right on running plays.
- Igram and Pierre Thomas both looked solid, but Ingram got stuffed when it mattered most.
- The receivers were up and down in the game, and the big surprise was that Devery Henderson performed the best of all of them.
- Charles Woodson should have been ejected for punching David Thomas. Period, end of story.
- I don’t agree with the pass interference call right before the last play of the game, but I was glad they threw the flag obviously.
- Chris Collinsworth is unlistenable.
- Drew Brees played a whale of a game. His down year last season is clearly behind him.
- The offensive line was up and down. Overall I thought it was a mediocre performance.
- That 108 yard kickoff return by Randall Cobb was absolutely inexcusable. Just shameful.
- The Saints better figure out how to tackle over these next 10 days and fast because the Bears are a physical team that will hit them in the mouth if they don’t improve.
That’s all I got. Player grades will be coming soon so stay tuned.