The New Orleans Saints have been able to undergo another resurrection though this one is only in it’s early stages. We can all recall the NFL feel good story of the year as the Saints came back after hurricane Katrina made them nomads. That first game back, a win over the Atlanta Falcons, served as a springboard for a new wave of Saints fever and the path to a Super Bowl win in Miami.
The Atlanta Falcons were once again the platform for a New Orleans comeback story in the Superdome last night as the Saints pulled off a 23-17 victory on opening day in an important NFC South contest. The Falcons have been pegged as a Super Bowl favorite in 2013, having gone 13-3 last season and added Steven Jackson to their already potent mix. Jackson served up some nice plays, including a 50-yard run to help Atlanta take a lead, but it wasn’t enough in the end.
The New Orleans Saints meanwhile, come into the 2013 NFL season with some question marks. The Saints defense, as we’ve heard a million times already, was the worst defense in NFL history in 2012. The 2013 version, now operating under ex-Cowboys coordinator Rob Ryan, went into opening day of the 2013 NFL season with a huge chip on their shoulder. And came through. Despite losing a couple of defensive linemen early the Saints were able to sack Matt Ryan three times and force some bad passes and throws to avoid the sack more than once. When the chips were down, facing a Falcons offense inside the five-yard line with less than a minute, Saints rookie Kenny Vaccaro managed to tip a pass away from Tony Gonzales to force an interception and preserve the victory for New Orleans.
There will certainly be some bad days and some tough lessons along the way. There always are in the NFL. But with Drew Brees and the Saints offense clicking away, and a suddenly potentially decent defense, the New Orleans Saints have put the favored Atlanta Falcons and the rest of the NFC South behind the eight-ball.Eric Drouant