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How did the Saints' next three opponents fare in week one?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The New Orleans Saints ended up being able to sit at home on the first Sunday of the 2010 NFL season and watch the slate of games, not as prospective opponents, but as fans. Sure they were probably doing a ...

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Old 09-13-2010, 05:33 PM   #1
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How did the Saints' next three opponents fare in week one?

The New Orleans Saints ended up being able to sit at home on the first Sunday of the 2010 NFL season and watch the slate of games, not as prospective opponents, but as fans. Sure they were probably doing a bit of scouting here and there, but they could at least do it from the comfort of their own homes and not in a film room. Thanks to a Thursday night victory over the Minnesota Vikings and their second game falling on a Monday, the Saints actually ended up with over ten days until they would appear on ESPN against the San Francisco 49ers. As many of the players tweeted over the weekend, it was like an "extra bye week" for them.

Staying prepared though and focusing on their next game must always be on their minds and the time off allowed them to check out just how their next couple opponents came into the season. Of course a lot can change from one week to the next, but it would be a good idea to at least get a feel on how the next few teams to face the defending Super Bowl champions look in this brand new year. Let's take a look then at just how the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers did in their first games of the season.

~ San Francisco 49ers lost 31-6: Expected by many, including myself, to no longer ride under the radar and come out firing on all cylinders, the 49ers did nothing but come out totally flat. The Saints are going to step onto the field in San Francisco a week from tonight and face a team that was just shellacked by a Seattle Seahawks team that no-one thought would come close to contending for the NFC West crown this season. This was not merely a defeat, but a mauling as Matt Hasselbeck led Seattle up and down the field without so much as a care to what the Niners did. He passed all over them and at times made them appear as if they weren't even out there. Play like that against the Saints, and Drew Brees will have a field day against the defense in red and gold.

As for the 49ers' offense, it just wasn't there either. Alex Smith continued to look like a bust as long as he was out there but coach Mike Singletary is insisting that he'll remain the quarterback and much traveled back-up David Carr won't be moving up. Seattle doesn't even have that good a defense and they were able to hold San Francisco to only two field goals. Now they'll have to face a Saints' defense that contained Brett Favre and the Vikings' offense to only 9 points and less than 300 yards of total offense. Things are looking in place rigtht now for a 2-0 start to the Saints' season, but they'll have to be wary of a 49er team that may be looking to make things right and avenge an embarrassing loss.

~ Atlanta Falcons lost 15-9 in overtime: Talk about not seeing this one coming. The Pittsburgh Steelers are without Ben Roethlisberger. Projected secondary starter Byron Leftwich went down with an injury so in steps Dennis Dixon to lead the team against a legitimate NFC title contender. Yet this was nothing more than a defensive battle that saw only 3 field goals scored a piece to send it into overtime tied at nine. In the end, Steelers' running back Rashard Mendenhall busted free and ran for the goa-head score from 50 yards out to take the surprising win. Dixon did throw one interception, but the Falcons dropped a number of other potential turnovers that may have spun this game in their direction.

If the Falcons have anything to be concerned about, it's the incredible lack of offense their supposedly potent unit was supposed to bring. Michael Turner was hoping to return to his old form, but he didn't do it in week one. Turner rushed for only 42 yards and could never truly get going. Matt Ryan couldn't do much from under center either as the young quarterback did amount 252 yards passing but had no scoring tosses and one interception. The offense just looked truly weak and sputtered out whenever they came close to starting anything. There hopes have to lie in bouncing back in week two before heading into the Superdome for a division match-up with the champs.

~ Carolina Panthers lost 31-18: The Matt Moore era did not start well as the Panthers came out with an anemic offense and a defense that could get turneovers, but still not stop the Giants from scoring. Moore came in to take the place of Jake Delhomme and had a horrible debut as the full-time Panthers' starter. He threw for 182 yards and one touchdown but still managed to throw three interceptions. Moore even left the game once early on and then again in the final minutes due to being constantly pressured and hit by the Giants' front seven. Hoping to rely on their rushing attack more again this season proved futile as the explosive duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart could only ground out 77 yards total and no scores.

Defensively, the Panthers didn't look that bad. They contained the Giants for much of the first half while ending the game with three interceptions and a blocked punt that turned into a safety. But when not causing turnovers, Eli Manning shredded them for 263 yards. 75 of those yards, and all of Manning's 3 touchdown passes, went to Hakim Nicks who caught 4 passes. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs combined to rush 120 yards and one score through a suspect defensive line of the Panthers that lost defensive end Julius Peppers in the offseason. Things are not looking good for the Panthers and if they aren't fixed soon, then their trip to New Orleans in week four is not going to be pleasant.



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Old 09-13-2010, 05:43 PM   #2
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All three lost. LOL Too bad Cleveland couldn't hold up it's end of the bargin.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:45 PM   #3
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:59 PM   #4
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Nice write up thanks.
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