With all of the excitement of Marques Colston's and Jeremy Shockey's return to the lineup, no one expected the awful effort displayed by the Saints in a embarrassing 30-7 loss to the NFC South leading Carolina Panthers.
Actually, by the end of the game, Colston and Shockey proved to be non-factors. Colston, who was coming off a broken thumb, was wearing a splint and dropped both balls that came his way, causing me to wonder why he was even in the lineup.
Meanwhile, Shockey allegedly re-injured his hernia and that's not even the worst of it. According to him, the Saints are to blame for his re-occurring injury problems, as evidenced in this quote from the Sporting News:
"I'm worried that this thing could have been taken care of in camp, like it should have been," said Shockey, who the Saints acquired from the New York Giants in July for two draft picks. "If it wasn't misdiagnosed in camp like it was there'd have been no problems...Next time I know. When I get hurt I'll get three or four opinions besides just the team's."
He then went on to say it's more of a five-to-seven week recovery period and not three weeks, alluding to the Eagles Kevin Curtis, who had hernia surgery back in August. I wonder, if he was not ready, why didn't the idiot just say something?
In the game, Drew Brees was uncharacteristically bad, going just 21-for-39 with just 231 yards passing and one interception. This can be attributed to the big loss of Reggie Bush, who will be out at least four to six weeks with a knee injury.
Not only did Bush's injury hurt the Saints in this game, but with him out for an extended period of time, the Saints will have to look for others to step up in his place such as Duece McAllister and Pierre Thomas. Also expect Colston to be much better next week when the Saints take on San Diego in London.
On the other side of the field, the Panthers looked like the exact opposite team from a week ago when they were embarrassed themselves in a 27-3 loss at Tampa Bay. They came back this week and arguably played their best game of the year.
Jake Delhomme finished 14-for-22 with 195 yards passing and two touchdowns. Steve Smith led the receiving core with 122 yards on six catches and one touchdown, while Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart split the running duties with each picking up over 60 yards in the game.