Saints fans, I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted in awhile. The day job is just stealing all of my fun lately! I’m still around, and I’m still watching the Saints. But, for now, I’m on a little hiatus from writing. When things slow down a bit, I’ll be back in that groove again
Still, it’s plain to see that when quarterback Kurt Warner retired after the 2009 season, he took the franchise’s identity with him.
Warner’s performance the past three seasons were reminiscent of his early days in St. Louis. The Cardinals, much like the Saints, had one of the most feared passing attacks in the NFL. He led them to two straight division titles and a berth in the Super Bowl. Sadly, when Warner left, the passing attack left with him.
It was widely believed that former 1st round pick Matt Leinart would take over for Warner. But Leinart was never able to seize the opportunity and the team parted ways with him in training camp. So veteran Derek Anderson has taken the reigns and has been anything but impressive.
Anderson is completing just 51.8% of his passes and has thrown 3 touchdowns against 5 interceptions. His 59.5 quarterback rating puts him at 30th in the league, just behind Panthers rookie Jimmy Clausen. That’s almost unthinkable, considering this team still has outstanding receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston (who admittedly has been injured).
True, former go-to guy Anquan Boldin is now catching passes in Baltimore. But the Cardinals still have enough firepower to score more than 14.5 points per game (29th) and throw for more than 150 yards per game (30th). Even an adequate quarterback should be able to put up some decent numbers with this group.
Anderson was pulled from the lineup last week during the 41-10 thrashing Arizona took from the Chargers. Rookie Max Hall now looks like he may be the man coach Ken Whisenhunt looks to for a spark. They raved about Hall during training camp and now the youngster out of BYU will get his opportunity.
If Hall plays some decent football, the Cardinals still have a shot to put together a winning season. In the NFC West, that may be all it takes to win the division.
The Cardinals will host the Saints this Sunday.
- Another heart-attack inducing game for the Saints! While yesterday’s win against Carolina wasn’t pretty, I can’t complain about a 3-1 start. They’re doing what they need to do. Still, they must stop turning the ball over on promising drives. The 2 turnovers they had yesterday cut short drives that looked like they would have put points on the board. You can’t do things like that against good teams.
- It was almost sad to see Panthers receiver Steve Smith rendered useless by the lack of an experienced quarterback. But I’ll take it over watching him blow by the New Orleans secondary as he did in so many games past.
- I’ll give Jimmy Clausen credit in that he didn’t make any crucial mistakes. I don’t know that you could have asked much more from him. But at some point, the Panthers will have to let him loose and take some chances.
- Is John Carney a long-term (i.e., rest of the season) answer for the Saints? He looked good yesterday. But his lack of range is something this team has to be concerned about.
- You almost did it, 49ers. It would have been nice to see them pick off the Falcons.
- The NFC West is hilarious. 3 teams are 2-2, and the one most people picked to win (San Francisco) is sitting at 0-4.
- Suddenly, the 2-2 Rams are looking like a possible competitor. Sam Bradford is improving weekly.
- Carson Palmer may not be as done as I thought he was. He played some excellent ball yesterday. How in the world did the Bengals lose to the Browns?
- For goodness sakes, Detroit Lions – win one already! How many heart-breakers can this team have?
- Denver takes down the Titans - color me surprised.
- I would love to see the Ravens play a team that doesn’t have a great defense. Maybe then I can judge if their offense really is any good. If they keep playing the defensive elite, I have to give them a free pass.
- The Steelers are alive and well, even with the loss yesterday. I never would have predicted a 3-1 start without Ben Roethlisberger. Now that he’s back from suspension, I would think it only means good things. Even if I think Ben is a fool.
- Houston moves to 3-1 after a surprisingly close game in Oakland. They’re all alone in 1st place at the quarter poll.
- Meanwhile, the Jags stunned the Colts. I wouldn’t hit the panic button in Indy just yet. But 2 losses within their division this early is a surprise.
- I’m so happy for Donovan McNabb. And I applaud the fans in Philly for giving him a great ovation upon his return. I wouldn’t expect another one anytime soon.
- The Redskins should probably be 3-1, no? That blown lead against Houston looms large…
- It sure looks like the Max Hall show will be taking over when the Saints play in Arizona next week. I’ve trashed Derek Anderson the past two weeks, so I’ll leave him alone. I’m almost inclined to say they should have given Matt Leinart a try before cutting him loose.
- The Giants got a much needed win. And Jay Cutler got a serious beat-down. Looks like the Mike Martz tradition of letting your quarterback get squashed is alive and well. Still, the Chicago offensive line has to play better than that.
- Lastly, I want to share a link to a very touching article regarding Hall of Famer George Blanda. He passed away recently and truly was one of a kind.