Drew Brees was able to shake off any remaining doubts that he was a bit rusty in training camp and the preseason by throwing for over 350 yards with two touchdowns and a 74.3 completion percentage. We also saw a healthy Jimmy Graham haul in a touchdown catch in a year where he is no doubt playing for a big contract.
Marques Colston also became the Saints’ all-time receptions leader when he dove for a 25-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. Even rookie receiver Kenny Stills got in on the action with a 67-yard reception in the second quarter that also highlighted great fundamentals by Stills, tucking the ball away as he was about to be overtaken from behind.
All this being said, the running game still needs improvement.
New Orleans rushed for only 78 yards, with Pierre Thomas racking up the most with 43 yards. Fresh and healthy coming into the season, former Heisman winner Mark Ingram rushed for only 11 yards on nine carries for an average of 1.2 yards per rush.
In short, not very impressive for a team that wanted to become better on the ground heading into the season.
Granted, this was also a tough divisional game during the first week of the season, but the running game still needs some tweaking. The Saints don’t need to have an excellent running game — it’s been apparent for years that they are a passing team. They just need to have a decent running game to better compliment their dominant passing attack.