New Orleans Saints: How Disappointing was Week 1 Performance?

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - AUGUST 12: Mark Ingram #28 of the New Orleans Saints looks on as his team plays the San Francisco 49ers during their pre season game at Louisiana Superdome on August 12, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Having selected the New Orleans Saints as my preseason favorite for the Super Bowl, I watched last night's loss to the Green Bay Packers with intrigue rather than expectation.

I woke up this morning and felt just as confident in that prediction as I did the day before.

The Saints may have lost, but the Green Bay Packers are a good football team considering they are the reigning Super Bowl champions and have added pieces rather than lost them during the summer months.

Despite having many issues entering the game, the Saints still were just one play away from tying it up with no time on the clock. Despite Aaron Rodgers putting up a monumental first half performance and rookie Randall Cobb making an eye-opening special teams return, the Packers just scraped by.

The Saints could have won this game despite having many more issues than the Packers. The Packers were essentially a settled team as the only changes they made from last season were the return of Jermichael Finley and Ryant Grant while Randall Cobb was added as the seemingly fourth choice wide receiver.

On the other sideline, however, there were many issues to overcome.

Marques Colston's performance was obviously impaired by his offseason of injuries, while Lance Moore missed the game completely. Mark Ingram showed flashes but looked a little overwhelmed at stages of the game, which you would expect from a rookie's first outing.

Cameron Jordan had a similar issue on the other side as he couldn't get pressure on Aaron Rodgers. Jordan was being looked to because of Will Smith's suspension late in the pre-season that came as a surprise after Alex Brown was released.

The Saints were also looking to incorporate two new faces on that defensive line in Aubrayo Franklin and Shaun Rodgers. Rodgers didn't impress last night as he was dominated by Scott Wells but the line as a whole should improve as the season goes on.

This is why Saints fans shouldn't be worried.

Each of the issues that emerged last night will be fixed as the season goes on. Well each except for the coverage of Roman Harper. Harper isn't as bad as he's been since last season's playoffs so even that may just need time, or Darren Sharper could return.

Despite having all of those issues—especially on the defensive line which is key to stopping the Packers offense—they were still in the game at the end and put up 34 points.

The Saints may have been the team with the more offseason workouts, but there is no doubt that the Packers were the more prepared team last night because they were better settled.

Settling into the season is the only issue for the Saints. It's not like they were blown out or even beaten by a bad team.

In fact they were beaten by a very good team, and a great quarterback who had a great night, but it was just one night of 16.