New Orleans-Minnesota First Reactions: Notes About the Saints' Opening Win

Dave AuerbachContributor ISeptember 9, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings lies on the turf after taking a hard hit from Roman Harper #41 of the New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome on September 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The first game of the season is officially in the books.  While it wasn't the prettiest game we've seen by either team, there were a lot of technical battles in the trenches that looked to determine the game.  

Here's a few quick judgments that were noticed following the 14-9 victory by the New Orleans Saints.

Offensive Sync Woes

This applies to both teams.  

While New Orleans looked better between the two, the dropped passes definitely changed the landscape of this game.  If a couple receivers on either side of the ball made the catch, it could have changed the outlook of this game.  

Brett definitely did not look like he was totally together with his team in this game.  There were some very sloppy throws by Brett that I'm sure he is happy didn't turn into turnovers like they should have. This is something I expect to see cleaned up in the next couple weeks.

Saints Defensive Poise

Initially against the run in the first half, they looked to struggle.  The offensive line for the Vikings was giving Adrian Peterson some good holes for him to run with.  Peterson finished out with 19 carries for 87 yards.  

Coming out in the second half, though, the Saints seemed to keep more people up front.  The pass defense by the Saints was great all night.  They never really gave the Minnesota passing game a chance to get off the ground.

Jenkins, who filled in for safety Darren Sharper, who's out for six weeks, looked great.  I don't think you'll see the team miss Sharper too much while Jenkins is in.

Minnesota Play-calling

First half, it seemed Minnesota took a page out of the Dolphins' playbook from last season against the Saints.  

Best way to stop this high powered offense?  Keep them firmly planted on the bench.  

The second quarter, the Vikings chewed up 10 minutes of clock time to keep Drew Brees and company on the sidelines.  When the second half debuted though, they, for some odd reason, got away from this philosophy.  

Now I know the Saints did come out and use their own medicine against them by running heavily, but I don't believe they even gave Peterson a shot to get in sync.  

When your receivers aren't in sync with Brett, hand the ball off.  You have one of the two best running backs in the league.  Bad move by Childress and staff, and it cost him a chance at spoiling the party in New Orleans.

Minnesota Defensive Push

Paging the "Williams Wall." Did anyone see these guys at all tonight?  

They were virtually invisible, especially in the second half when they ran right up the gut at them on multiple occasions.  Pat looked very slow and out of place in multiple situations.  

While I understand this is the first game of the season, they had no interior pressure at all.  Drew Brees stepped up in the pocket multiple times without any real issue from him.

With the fact of those two not bringing any heat, they would use Jared Allen's tenacity and speed against him, and he was left well behind the play and out of position to help the defense.

It's just Week 1, so anything can still happen.  A lot of sloppy play all throughout this game, but when it's all said and done, it helps New Orleans' chances of trying to repeat this year.


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