More nerves more drama and Saints football is well and truly back. The Saints opened up the first monday night football with what could already be the game of the season. The Houston Texans came to town ready to show the world that they are ready to take the next step and try and win their first Super Bowl, meanwhile the Saints began their revenge tour after the famous NOLA no call ended the dream of a Super Bowl for Payton and his men.
The Saints won a nail biting game 30-28 with a performance that Saints can take away some promise and maybe as well some concerns going into a hard stretch of games on the road.
POSITIVE: A win is a win and finally winning an opening game means that the jinx of not winning an opening game in the last 5 years is over and for once we are not playing catch up on the rest of the NFC and also have a 1 game lead in the south following the weekends results.
NEGATIVE: Our run defense looked very questionable allowing the Texans 180 yards of rushing with Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson punching it through our D line. However fans must remember that the depth on our D line was very thin with Rankins injured and David Onyemata serving his one game suspension. Clearly a healthy Rankins and Onyemata on the line would havehelped and maybe stopped some of those penetrating runs up the middle.
POSITIVE: Our offensive line is still good and our rookie centre might be the real deal. McCoy was the first ever rookie centre to start for the New Orleans Saints and he was very impressive looking back at the film he was moving his man where he wanted to go and looking like a veteran in the trenches. But the headline man HAS to be Ryan Ramczyk who battled fellow ex Wisconsin player and all pro wrecker JJ Watt in a master class of tackle play. He didn't allow Watt a single hit or tackle all game, the first time Watt has been denied that for 105 games. Ramczyk could be on his way for a big year again at right tackle.
NEGATIVE: We have two target men on defence it seems with Eli Apple and PJ Williams, Deshaun Watson seemed to pick on them most of the night to move the ball. With Patrick Robinson back from injury I wonder how long it will be to see him back in the slot ahead of PJ.
POSITIVE: Pass rush seems to rolling, we are always going to create pressure agajnst the T|exans but 6 sacks for the defence is an excellent total but the Saints maybe should of come up with more if it wasn't for the elusiveness of Watson who I thought had a great game for Houston last night.
NEGATIVE: 3rd down was an issue for the Saints defence and getting off the field seemed difficult with some penalties thrown in didn't help. I think we could put some of that down to being rusty on week one and something they should clear up on in week 2.
POSITIVE: Offensive is still clicking after a shaky start that I'm putting down to being week 1 rust but once they got going they showed how dynamic they can be with Murray, Kamara, Thomas, Ginn, Smith, Cook, and of course Taysom Hill. Brees has a number of weapons and can still go long when needed. Cook will improve and it was good to see Smith get a TD and hope to see a lot more of that in the future.
NEGATIVE: 2 minute offensive still looks horrendous and the way Watson moved the ball down the field so easily with 50 seconds left and no time out's is outrageous and not acceptable and is happening far to often with this defence and a fix needs to be found as it could cost us down the stretch in tight games. Last year the Browns let us off and so did the Ravens but we can't rely on dodgy kickers all the time. Luckily Watson moved the ball down the field a little to quick........
POSITIVE: Will Lutz got paid in the offseason and he earnt that pay check last night after missing a similar kick at the end of the first half, to be so calm to hit the game winner and career long 58 yarder showed exactly why you don't let a kicker like him leave the building. The way Brees moved the ball to get in position for that attempt was pure class and shows why even at 40 he is still an elite QB.
Onto week two now and a trip to face the LA Rams in a rematch of the NFC championship game. No extra motivation needed...... IT'S RAMS HATE WEEK!