Saints vs. Packers. Can the Saints get a 1st quarter mulligan?

+) Supposedly, the Saints defense was fired up to avenge their poor playoff performance against Seattle last year. But all I saw was a bunch of weak tackling, a weak pass rush, no turnovers, and some weak pass coverage early. Defense will need to play better than that.

+) Darren Sproles showed everyone what Reggie Bush was supposed to be doing in the Saints offense all those years. 82 yards from scrimmage and 168 return yards, including a 72 yard punt return for TD, plus he drew a critical 4th quarter pass interference penalty on the Packers.

+) I expected a shaky first quarter for the Saints. The Packers were excited to begin their title defense, it’s the season-opening game, and they’re at home in Green Bay. But that was extremely shaky. The defense looked like crap, and the offense fumbled the ball away as soon as they could. Would love to have a do-over on the first quarter.

+) Very unusual for Colston to fumble the ball.

+) Drew Brees was as sharp as ever. Hopefully we’ll see better pass-run balance the rest of the year, but they played this whole game from behind and really needed to score as often as possible to keep up with what the Packers were doing on offense.

+) The Saints continue to struggle on short yardage plays, as they have done for years. Seems obvious the offensive line is just not built for that sort of play. That line was also spotty in pass protection, makes me wonder how good that line actually is. Evans and Nicks are supposed to be 2 of the best guards in the league.

+) I love the Saints backfield this year. Mark Ingram runs hard and can wear down a defense. Pierre Thomas is healthy and looks like his usual tricky self, breaking off surprising plays and bouncing off tackles. And Darren Sproles has the speed and big play ability that can break a game open.

+) It’s unfortunate they didn’t win this game, but looking at the Saints schedule shows they have a good chance to win all of their next 8 games, before facing off against Atlanta in mid-November.

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