I just got home from what was an AWESOME game to witness in person. After that BS we suffered through in Seattle last Monday, it was a pleasure to see the Saints bounce back and absolutely pummel a team that had won eight streak games and was being drooled all over by national media. Oddly the Panthers were up 6-0 in this game, with two drives ending in a field goal after the Saints went three and out. The Saints then ran 31 straight points on the Panthers, before the final score ended as 31-13. Below are my bullets on the game:
- Marques Colston was ridiculous. By far his best game of the season. Drew went to him early with poor results, and then he came up with a big catch on a 3rd and 9 to give the Saints their first first down. That catch may have looked easy, but it was a tough over the shoulder catch. That first down was critical as it started the offensive onslaught. A drop there sends them further into a spiral. 9 catches, 125 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had two touchdowns called back, one by penalty and one by being called down at the one.
- The defense was SICK. The pass rush was incredible, led of course by Cam Jordan and Junior Galette. Those two continue to just be incredible. They have combined to give the Saints an elite pass rush. And then you've got Keenan Lewis in coverage shutting down receivers.
- Steve Smith had a garbage time touchdown which was tough to swallow. Before that he had 5 catches 32 yards. In particular Lewis manhandled a Lafell block to destroy Smith on a screen pass.
- Other than a 38 yard scamper by Sproles, the run game was embarrassing. Luckily the pass was working because take away that 38 yarder and a 4 yard reverse by Meachem and the Saints had 15 carries for 27 yards.
- Remember when Mike Mitchell called Drew Brees "soft"? Brees roasted him repeatedly. He was embarrassed.
- The times the Saints' back end was tested, Kenny Vaccaro and Malcolm Jenkins were excellent tacklers.
- Cam Newton was GARBAGE in this game. He held on to the ball too long, he was horribly inaccurate, settled for short throws and made very few plays. As good as he's been this season this was a disaster performance for him.
- Thomas Morstead saved a touchdown by grabbing Ted Ginn's facemask. The 15 yard penalty was worth it.
- I never heard anything about the record but the Dome was loud. In the 3rd quarter it was loudest of the game. But in my opinion the Vikings NFC Championship and the Falcons post Katrina game were louder.
- Drew Brees was close to flawless.
- I have to hand it to the o-line. The Panthers' front 7 is very good and they handled them in pass protection all day long. Kudos to them and a nice bounce back after the Seahawks.
The Saints are now 10-3 and in control of first place in the NFC South. But beware, they still have to win 2 of their last 3 to secure the 2nd seed. WHO DAT!