For most people watching the game last night against the Green Bay Packers, it probably seemed like a great effort was put forth by both teams on the field. However, for someone who watches the Saints religiously, it was anything but.
There were many mistakes made on the field (mainly on defense) that have to be cleaned up immediately, or we're going to be watching the Saints lose more games like this one during the season. Here are just a few things that need to be cleaned up in the very near future if the Saints have any hopes of returning to the feared team they were in 2009.
The Pack scored its first points in this game when they drafted Randall Cobb with the 64th pick in the 2011 draft. I knew right away this would be of great benefit to the Packers' offense and the team as a whole due to his versatility.
We all saw that last night when Cobb took a kickoff return 108 yards to the house and scored on a slant over the middle in the first half. Yes, there will be quite a lot more out of Cobb before the season is over. Great pick for the Pack and one that the Saints should have been all over. Is it too late for a trade? Just asking.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers also took immediate advantage of Patrick Robinson and Roman Harper.
Great evaluations by them at recognizing our weakness on defense. Rodgers threw to their side early and often.
Tracy Porter must be moved back to the second corner position immediately and Patrick Robinson back to nickel. Robinson showed last night that he is not capable of covering first and second receiver options and will be taken advantage of all year long if he remains in his current role.
Roman Harper was first exposed to me when I saw him run down from behind by Sam Bradford after an interception. He wasn't fully exposed, however, until the Seattle Seahawks game in the playoffs last year.
Everyone knows he was beat multiple times by the tight end and at other times by the third or fourth wide receiver. Aaron Rodgers continued on that pattern by throwing to his side all night long when the Packers had the ball. This is another area that must be addressed.
Either Harper has to get better right away or a replacement must be found.
What it was that prompted Sean Payton to give a rookie (Mark Ingram) more carries than the back that carried them to the Superbowl in 2009 (Pierre Thomas) is beyond me. Mark Ingram finished the night with just 40 yards on 13 carries while Thomas finished with 31 yards on just five carries.
Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles have to become the main weapons on this team at the running back position. And no, that's not to help my fantasy team.
Another thing that is hurting the running game exponentially is by showing our hand. I'm pretty sure that everyone is aware that the Saints are a "passing team" by now and will throw the ball 60-70 percent of the time.
So, when you come out in a "strong set," isn't it pretty obvious you're going to run the ball? I think so. What happened to running the ball out of passing formations like we saw back in 2009? When the Saints run the ball out of the spread formation, it totally takes teams by surprise and that's something we must get back to.
Now back to the basics. I know that Randall Cobb is a special player, and he's going to burn many more teams this year just as he did to the Saints.
That's no excuse, however, for the sloppy special teams play and tackling. A 108 yard kickoff return just shouldn't happen. This must be fixed and it must be fixed before week two when Chicago comes to the Dome.