01 October 2006

Panthers 21 Saints 18

DeShaun Foster broke a bunch of Saints' tackles on a key 3rd down
touchdown run at the two-minute warning

Screw moral victories. Moral victories suck. But it was one. The Saints made a bigger statement today, in my opinion, than they did last week. Because nobody can accuse the NFL of rigging this game (and for the record, the game wasn't rigged last week). This game was on the road. It was a "must win" game for a supposedly-superior team, a serious Super Bowl contender. And the Saints outplayed them for about 50 minutes. The Panthers outplayed them when it counted, but the Saints did not back down.
This game proves to me that we're not there yet. But we're not that far away. For the first time so far, I seriously believe that the Saints are just about a playoff team.

THE GOOD
  • The Saints did not give up, as Marques Colston's touchdown proves.
  • The defense had an outstanding game in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
  • Drew Brees had one of the best performances by a Saints QB I have in a while.
  • Colston: 5-132-1
  • Conwell and Campbell caught 6 passes combined. It's good to see the TEs back in the passing game.
  • I haven't complimented him here yet, but Steve Weatherford looks like he'll work out.
  • The decision to hurry up and run the touchdown play before Carolina's defense was set.
  • Mark Simoneau probably had his best game as a Saint.

THE BAD

  • The Saints left at least 6 sure points on the field. You do the math.
  • Reggie Bush's fumble.
  • I'll be the first to say it. Reggie Bush is underachieving as a runner, not as a receiver. Forget the "Big One;" it's time for a run or two over 15-20 yards. Yes, it's not entirely his fault.
  • And if Bush isn't breaking it yet, then let's get Deuce more than 11 carries, please.
  • The Panthers' offensive line did a good job on the Saints' defensive line.
  • The Saints could not stop Steve Smith (not really a surprise), especially in the 4th quarter. Fred Thomas had 12 tackles. That means guys were catching passes in front of him.
  • Omar Stoutmire got picked and was beat on the Drew Carter touchdown.
  • DeAngelo Williams had a couple of nice runs.
  • (LATE ADDITION) I forgot to mention that the defense is having trouble forcing turnovers, at least since the Packers game.
  • (LATE ADDITION) I also forgot to mention what looked like a high snap on the missed field goal at the end of the first half.

THE UGLY

  • DeShaun Foster's touchdown run. God, what a time to forget how to tackle.
  • I don't like the play call on 3rd down late in the 4th quarter. Even if Conwell would have caught the pass, it wouldn't have been enough for the first down.
  • I didn't like the challenge on DeShaun Foster's non-fumble a couple of plays later. We needed that time out. I think you should only challenge on sure things that late in the game. That was purely a judgment call that I figured they wouldn't overturn.
  • The Saints only non hurry-up touchdown drive wouldn't have happened if not for a ticky-tack illegal contact penalty on 3rd down, and a stupid pass interference call on 4th down.


TAGS: NFL, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Drew Brees, Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush

4 Comments:

At October 01, 2006 8:13 PM, Anonymous ashley said...

"I didn't like the challenge on DeShaun Foster's non-fumble a couple of plays later."

Fitch, I agreed with you at the time of the challenge, but in retrospect, I think that Payton was about ready to burn some time outs to stop the clock around the 2 minute warning anyway. It worked out OK, as we were able to get the important 3rd down right at the 2 minute warning.

So that part worked out OK.

Bush didn't work out OK, several times.

Were I Sean Payton, I would put put Reggie through some drills on Monday. None of this juking when a hole is open. Go for the hole. He needs to learn how to run South-North, and give up a bunch of this East-West crap. All he's doing is giving the pursuit time to catch him.

Glad we got Conwell back into the scheme. That new weapon will work well. Heck, everybody is in the game plan now...Stecker is an every-down weapon.

Come games 12-16, this rotation freshness will make a difference.

 
At October 01, 2006 9:11 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

I probably had the EXACT same reaction as you, Ashley. When he first made the decision, I thought he was insane. Then I saw the replay and saw what he saw. It was close, but I didn't think they would reverse it. It kinda looked like the guy got posession back while his butt was on the ground.

It was a hell of a gamble, I admit. I just didn't see it on that play.

And the timeout didn't haunt us. You were right. We wouldn't have been able to stop the clock after the on-side kick even with the extra one.

 
At October 02, 2006 2:47 PM, Blogger dillyberto said...

I think Marques Colston stealing the Rookie thunder from Reggie will be what lights the fire under Reggie.

Let's get Marques a shoe deal or something.

He is the money in the bank.

Reggie has a lot of grooming to do.
Deuce is hitting those holes, but not as fast as Reggie would. We need the combo of the two guys.
1. hit the hole fast.
2. KEEP RUNNING!

Think of where we are versus where we were:

Points left out on the field?
Such never crossed my mind in Tiger Stadium.
Now, it does every couple of plays.

 
At October 02, 2006 4:10 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I think that Bush will only reach his potential when he stops trying to fancy foot and run backwards. How many college hotshots have we seen eaten up doing this? How many yards has he given up (even if it's only 2 or 3 at a time) looking for the big run? He needs to learn to just put his head down and run rather than assume he can out foot everyone on every play.

And I see now that I read Ashley's comment before posting that we agree on that.

 

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