Wow. What a treat. What a great way to start the new football season. The Saints won their season opener, their home opener, and they did it against the dreaded Atlanta Falcons: a division rival and conference foe. That’s a nice thing.
Sean Payton is back and his presence could be felt. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, ad the Saints defenders actually playing defense. Besides 3 quarterback sacks of Atlanta QB Matt Ryan, the “D” also had a memorable goal-line stance to preserve the 6 point win.
There’s a lot of football left, no doubt, but with the return of Sean Payton, combined with the way the new defense played, along with the fact that the Saints just beat a quality opponent – one that just missed last year’s Super Bowl and was the consensus pick to repeat as NFC south champions – yesterday’s start in the sold out Mercedes-Benz Superdome was exactly what the team and fans needed.
The Saints did it with a mix of old and new players like defensive tackle Akiem Hicks making his presence known and rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro wreaking havoc all over the field.
Drew Brees was up to his usual, playing at an incredibly high level at one of the toughest positions in sports, his starting quarterback spot. You figure there are only about 15 or 20 of these guys that are very good to excellent. Brees obviously falls into the “excellent” category.
And the biggest part of yesterday, besides the big win over the Falcons was the re-emergence of the Saints Super Bowl-winning coach, Sean Payton.
The Saints stand alone atop the NFC south at 1-0. 1 down, 15 more to go. What a great way to start the new football season.