The Falcons never really had a chance. At least that’s how it looked this storyline would play out after almost two quarters. But we know better. This is Saints/Falcons. All the games are close. This early lead surely wouldn’t last…
The Saints were up 13-0 and 20-7, but a defense with more holes in it than a Lakeview street was too much to overcome. Beginning with 20 seconds left in the first half, the Saints were outscored 30-14.
Rob Ryan’s vaunted unit, fourth in total defense in the NFL last season, gave up 568 yards of total offense to their “little brothers.” Matt Ryan threw for 445 yards and did whatever he wanted.
Whatever. He. Wanted.
Julio Jones had 7 catches for 116 yards. Devin Hester had 5 for 99; Roddy White had 5 for 72; Harry Douglas had 6 for 69; Antoine Smith had 1 for 54.
I’m a big Rob Ryan fan, but the defense’s performance Sunday was indefensible. Embarrassing.
Patrick Robinson isn’t the answer at cornerback, even if the Saints start him every week from here until eternity. He has never shown enough on the field for anyone to consider him the answer. Corey White probably isn’t either. Champ Bailey? I don’t know. The Saints cut him for a reason and no one has signed him yet. At this point it seems the Saints have to live with Robinson and White. That’s not comforting after Sunday’s debacle.
The defensive front four hardly put any meaningful pressure on Ryan. Tyrunn Walker got in for a sack on Ryan late, but that was pretty much it. Linebacker Junior Galette had four tackles. Defensive end Cam Jordan had one.
Oh, and no one could tackle.
Outside of safety Jairus Byrd, no one on the defense was very good. Byrd made two huge plays — forcing a Julio Jones fumble early and making a key third down stop late. That’s all there was to brag about.
The Saints’ offense put up 34 points and had 472 yards of its own, 333 of them coming off the arm of Drew Brees. Rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks was amazing (7 catches, 77 yards, one touchdown) . The offense wasn’t perfect, but Sunday’s output should be enough to win on the road against a division rival.
Ugly, ugly, ugly.
The defense, from which much is expected, didn’t show up for a huge season-opener in a year many are picking the Saints to go to the Super Bowl. Right now, that’s laughable.