Well, that certainly didn't really live up to what I think we were expecting. The NFC Championship in January was an edge of your seat game that was back and forth. Both teams trading touchdowns and either of them on the cusp of victory. The game we watched on Thursday night was nothing like that. It was the same two teams and almost the same rosters except for Minnesota missing Chester Taylor (Chicago) and Sydney Rice (hip) and New Orleans without Darren Sharper (knee). I wouldn't have wanted to see any other game to open the season but would have like to have seen more offensive fire power on display. What can we take away from this game:
- The Saints opening drive was methodical and precise. It seemed as though the Saints were going to have their way with the Vikings all night if you based it on the way Drew Brees drove them down the field. He was 3-4, 69 yards and a TD, connecting with Colston, Lance Moore and then Devery Henderson for the score. The Saints were very pass heavy in the first half, rushing only three times.
- Percy Harvin was drilled hard in the second quarter. Corner Malcolm Jenkins made the hit after Harvin had his legs taken out while running for a first down. He quickly hopped up and shook his head at the defenders. Harvin had only the one catch for 12 yards and a short run for 2 yards.
- Brett Favre did not look right for most of the game. It's hard to say if it was rust from not joining the team until after training camp or because he's getting older. His passes looked very forced and like they did not have a whole lot of velocity on them. It's something to watch for in the coming weeks, whether he regains his old form. He did have a very nice strike to Visanthe Shiancoe for a TD just before halftime. He put it right where it needed to be and it seemed as though things were going to heat up in the second half. One thing to note is that the Vikings seemed to really emphasize protecting Favre throughout the game.
- The kickers for both teams had their struggles. Garrett Hartley missed two field goals (32 and 46 yards). It would have been interesting to see what would have happened, if it had come down to a last second Saints FG to win. Ryan Longwell had an XP blocked by a surging Saints special teams unit.
Players of the Game-
Minnesota Vikings: TE Visanthe Shiancoe- 4 rec for 76 yards and a TD
New Orleans Saints: QB Drew Brees- 27-36 for 237 yards and a TD