Preseason games in the NFL don’t teach us much, especially when the team’s best players don’t even play a full quarter to begin the season. But some things are hard to overlook – Drew Brees looked sharp as always and the Saints, despite everything that went down this summer, are going to be dangerous thanks to him.
Kevin Kolb didn’t even finish the game, and the Cardinals will have plenty of problems, once again, on the offensive side of the ball. The defense and the protection for any quarterback should be a little better this season for Arizona, despite Kolb going down with a chest injury.
Drew Brees looks like… Drew Brees
After a record breaking season and a problematic (to say the least) summer, Drew Brees got to play one series for the Saints, connecting on 4-5 for 41 yards in a drive that eventually led to a touchdown. If there’s one thing that kept this team together after the whole Bountygate affair which has left Sean Payton and players out of contention this season, it’s the fact that Drew Brees eventually got to sign a contract. No matter how bad things get, having Brees gives this team a chance to compete in the NFC.
Obvious quarterback problems in Arizona
Kevin Kolb’s first attempt at keeping or winning the starting quarterback job for the Cardinals didn’t go so well on Sunday night. He attempted only four passes, completing only one. His first pass was intercepted; His second pass was overthrown; his third pass was another in completion as the offensive line couldn’t handle the pressure; the fourth did result in a completion, but Sedrick Ellis got to Kolb and knocked him out of the game with a chest injury.
Cardinals offensive line without Kolb
Didn’t do too bad actually. Ken Whisenhunt, looking less and less of an offensive genius with every year that goes by, tried to defend Kolb and downplay John Skelton’s decent debut (4-6, 32 yards) by saying it took time for the O-line to adjust: I think it’s a little bit unfair to Kevin because we weren’t doing as good a job up front early in the game. Then we settled down and played a little bit better. But he’ll get his opportunities when we go forward. That’s why you don’t, it’s careful to make judgments on that first experience.
Adam Snyder got his first test of Cardinals football at right guard after being a free agency signing from the 49ers. Young Brian Massey is expected to take over the right tackle position from Jeremy Bridges at a certain point, hopefully sooner than later. That’s a whole new right side for the Cardinals did pretty well when looking at the entire game, without paying too much attention to the Kolb injury.
Mark Ingram and hopefully a healthy season
Ingram scored the opening touchdown and finished with 14 yards on 4 carries. His rookie season for the Saints could have been better, battling with injuries throughout the season, resulting in 122 attempts for 474 yards. It’ll be interesting to see how Ingram fits in with the crowded backfield of Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas.
After four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Lofton changed sides in the NFC South and looks like he’ll be much more productive than any other linebacker the Saints had last season in terms of big plays and tackles for a loss, which makes a big difference because of the whole Jonathan Vilma situation, which has yet to be fully resolved.
Didn’t look too bad at all during the game. It’s always a mess against Drew Brees, but after that they did pretty well, hoping that the duo of Patrick Peterson, projected to become a pro bowl caliber player this season by the coaching staff, and William Gay, will be much harder to crack than what last season had to offer.