The Saints are 3-0 and Nola has never seen them lose a regular season game. Let’s keep this up. Here are a few thoughts on the game.
- Of course the first game I didn’t get to watch is the one with all the scoring, but I won’t complain (especially since the Ravens did what they do to the Texans, making for a pleasant Sunday in the Steele household).
- After the game I tweeted, “So, uh, I guess Mark Ingram WASN’T the problem with the run game?” The run game was stagnant, though that was apparently by design, at least in the first half. They did manage some production in the 4th quarter, but who’s to say those holes wouldn’t have been there for #22. As I’ve said, he seems to be one of those running backs who need carries to get into rhythm, but on a team with real championship aspirations the coaches can’t waste touches just to get one guy started. The goal when they drafted Ingram was to have him fill the “Thunder” roll that Deuce did back in the day, but you have to remember that for several years McAllister was THE #1 running back and by time 2009 rolled around scaling back his roll a little was, I would think, easier. By comparison, Ingram has never had that chance to establish himself, something a bad team could afford to let him do. The injuries don’t help his cause either. I can’t imaging that Sean Payton doesn’t realize this, but we’ll have to see how it plays out. The best thing that could happen is a few blowout victories in a row where Ingram is able to pound out some game clinching yards and the whole running game gets churning in time for the playoffs.
- There were reports that Ingram would seek a trade. Good luck with that right now. Coach Payton shot down the rumors after the game. It used to be that I thought where there was smoke, there was fire. I still think that, but sometimes the fires are lit by idiot bloggers (not like the super duper awesome blogger right here) and desperate reporters. Still, it’s something to keep an eye on.
- Welcome back Robert Meachem! This storyline has underrated potential – a former first round (semi-)bust finally comes of age, makes huge plays during a championship season (endearing himself to the fan base), signs elsewhere for big money (only to flame out), then returns and (if the story has the Hollywood ending) comes up big during another (finger’s crossed) championship run. He still clearly has his speed and feels at home with this team. This whole wide receiver corps is shaping up nicely, with lots of current production, as well as oodles of potential looking forward to Kenny Stills and Nick Toon. Fans shouldn’t concern themselves with Meachem “stealing snaps”; anything we get from the two youngsters this year is gravy.
- Well hello, defensive line, you are AWESOME. Really good example of the front office stockpiling assets and letting the cream rise to the top, not to mention their well documented success in getting big-time players from small schools, mid to late rounds and undrafted free agents.
- This team has also received really good safety play so far this season and the secondary overall has been a strength. I feel like Kenny Vaccaro’s presence is resulting in an increased level of play from Malcolm Jenkins and that Keenan Lewis and Jabari Greer are in one of those friendly, “Who’s the #1 corner?” competitions. It makes me wonder, if you have a dominant d-line and a good secondary, especially safeties, do you really need more than competent linebackers? Let’s hope so (though there is still some upside there if Martez Wilson can beat the injury bug).
- Football teams have different identities each year, but I wonder how often good teams morph this drastically in such a short amount of time.
- I’m sure you can argue that there is always a better use for a 5th round pick than a kicker, but Thomas Morestead is, figuratively, an absolutely lethal weapon for this team. When he was drafted I remember reading a great story about how he worked with Frank Gansz, Sr. at SMU and being really struck at how dedicated Morstead was to his craft and how he felt a responsibility to excel because of his time with Gansz. I can’t find the original story, but it comes up in this Saints Chick interview from 2009. In any case, best punter in the league for my money.
- Monday Night Football next week as Miami comes to town! Gotta admit, I’m nervous, but that’s usually a good thing.