It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but Sunday afternoon Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to improve to 2-0 and further solidified their possession of first place in the NFC South. With Tampa Bay and the Carolina Panthers both falling to 0-2, it looks early on that the Saints will only be challenged by the up and coming Atlanta Falcons for the division title.
The offense seemed to be hit-or-miss and up-and-down all day, with Brees only completing on 26 of 46 passing for 322 yards and an uncharacteristic two interceptions. Brees was also sacked four times which, while a bit unnerving, shouldn’t be a cause for concern just yet. The one bright spot for New Orleans’ offense was tight end Jimmy Graham, who made 10 receptions for 179 yards and a touchdown. Graham was targeted a total of 16 times, which accounted for 36% of targets for all receivers.
For the second week in a row we also saw a running game that was a bit anemic, with Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas were limited to 20 rushing attempts for a total of just 75 yards. As the season goes on this is could become an area of concern as it is best to not have to rely too heavily on the passing game, even one that can be as potent as New Orleans’.
All in all, a win is a win is a win and Saints fan should continue to be excited for the 2013 season. With New Orleans hosting the 1-1 Arizona Cardinals next week at home, there is a very good chance the Saints could improve to 3-0 and continue to have sole possession of first place in the NFC South.