Thursday, September 6, 2007

Notes On The NFL, Day 1

Super Bowl preview? Doesn't look like it. The Saints got hammered by Indianapolis tonight, 41-10, and America's Team doesn't look ready to challenge for the trophy quite yet. Then again, it's Week 1. I never put too much stock into the first week of the season, in any sport. Every player reacts differently to the transition from preseason to regular season. It takes a little time to get things together. That being said, Sean Payton better get things together, and considering his next two opponents are Tampa Bay and Tennessee, it's a pretty safe bet that he will. One thing he has to fix is what I feel was the turning point of the game: punting the ball on fourth and one with 12:50 left in the fourth quarter, down by 17.

Alright, I know they were down by a lot, but you can't tell me last year's top rated offense couldn't have mustered two touchdowns and field goal in a quarter. How can you punt on fourth and one? The way corner back Jason David was just letting anyone he covered blow by past him, there is no reason to give back Peyton Manning the ball. Speaking of David, I guess we know now why the Colts got rid of him. He was horrible. Maybe he had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne on his fantasy team. Which reminds me, have you noticed how many players talk about owning fantasy teams? Gambling is a huge violation for professional athletes, but somehow a form of gambling that involves the achievement of players in the same league is standing unopposed. Even if there isn't any "gambling" involved, anyone who plays fantasy sports knows the biggest triumph is being able to brag to the other owners. It's not hard to believe that if a game is at a point where it's unwinnable, that a corner will "trip" while covering his #1 receiver. This is considerably overlooked by the league.

Alright, back to the game. What bothers me about New Orleans is that their offensive line couldn't keep anybody off of Drew Brees. I know blocking Dwight Freeney isn't the easiest task in the world, but they have got to figure something out. What helped them last year was the threat of Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister, which kept defenses off balance. You could chalk it up to the Colt's defense, but I don't buy it. If you recall last year's NFC championship game, Sean Payton completely got away from what got them there in the first place. I think that is what happened here. This better not be a trend for Payton, because it looks like he gets a little gun-shy in big games. I mean, he punted on fourth and one. These aren't the high fliers of 2006, and the Saints need an identity quick. Oh yeah, and they need to fire Jason David.


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