Six Observations to Take From Saints @ Packers
posted at 9/9/2011 9:53 AM EDT
Wow!! What a way to start off the season!
I came away from watching this game with 6 main thoughts:
1.) The Green Bay Packers are currently the NFL's best team;
2.) Forget about Mark Ingram. The guy that really makes the Saints' offense go is Darren Sproles. I was glad when the Chargers failed to resign him. Without him, the Bolts aren't going to go to the SB, as so many media types have predicted. But, I also hated it when I heard that he had signed with New Orleans. Having Sproles, provided he stays healthy, ensures that the home in a dome Saints will be a playoff team. He's that good...and that's bad, because the Patriots own the Saints' offense #1 pick in 2012.
Spoles' stats for tonight: 2 rushes for 7 yards; 7 receptions for 75 yards; 2 kickoff returns for 76 yards...including a 57 yarder; 2 punt returns for 92 yards, including a 76 yard return for a TD. In other words, he was responsible for 250 all purpose yards, and a TD
. That, my friends, is Kevin Faulk, on severe steroids.
3.) Obviously, neither defense distinquished themselves. If a team can keep Clay Matthews off their QB, and not fall hopelessly behind, due to the Rodgers' led blitzkrieg, it will be able to hang with The Pack.
4.) Don't sell Drew Brees short. Despite all the talk about Brady, Rodgers, and Rivers...Brees belongs among them as one of the games' premier QBs.
His stats for tonight: 32 completions in 49 attempts for 419 yards, 3 TDs, and no interceptions. Rodgers was outstanding too...finishing with 27 completions in 35 attempts, 3 TDs, and no interceptions.
5.) This was an extremely well played game, considering the crammed preseason, and that it was the first game of the season. That's a tribute to both of these great teams, and their outstanding head coaches. The Patriots aren't the only team in the league with a great head coach.
6.) WR/KR Randall Cobb is going to develop into a game-breaker. I really wanted to see the Pats draft him in the second round, last April. I know...hind-sight is always 20/20. But...how much better a team would the Pats' be had they signed the 28 year old Sproles as a free agent, and drafted Cobb, instead of Shane Vereen, at #56 overall?
Here are the game stats: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=310908009