Deke: Will the Saints take another step forward?
Ones on ones, yes, KC went 80 yards on 14 plays and got seven points. But overall you would have to say that the Saints defense played pretty good in Friday night’s preseason game. Some might say better than pretty good. After that first drive of the game, the Chiefs gained just 135 yards and picked up two field goals. In fact, I thought overall the Saints made progress.
Now can more progress be made this week as the Silver and Black come to town? All we can go by is what we see. And so far, the things that the Saints said that they needed to improve upon they look like they are making progress.
Aside from the position battles that all media, fans, and everyone is talking about, the topics of being more balanced on offense, being more aggressive and better on defense have been touched on, to say the least.
The Saints ran the ball 36 times against the Chiefs. I tend to look more at the number of attempts right now compared to yards gained. The commitment to running the football was something Coach Payton talked about all off-season.
Wouldn’t you have to say that 47 passing attempts and 36 rushing attempts is good balance? And on defense, the Saints did get better after that first drive. Chase Daniel, who supposedly knows the Saints, could only muster a five play eight yard drive on his first action against the Saints Defense.
Rookie John Jenkins got a sack, while fellow rookie in Safety Kenny Vaccaro led the Saints with six tackles. So right there you can see the impact two rookie additions made defensively made among others. There was progress made.
And remember what Sean Payton said: His team did make mistakes. But the biggest thing to keep in mind was that the preseason has a long way to go. And Payton was not hitting the panic button with that statement; instead, he was calmly saying that we (Saints) know what we have to do. And we are going to work on getting better. I believe him. Why wouldn’t I?
Now the play of the Saints special teams left some sour taste in the mouths of the Who Dat Nation. Allowing 242 yards gained combined on kick and punt returns will not be tolerated, and I would expect to see some type of improvement from week one of the preseason to week two against the Raiders.
So as we move into second week of the preseason, sure there are things that need to be improved. But I thought that this team took a step forward in their 17-13 win over Kansas City.