Panthers 21 Saints 18
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 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 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.
- 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