- The Saints were a desperate team, and needed to come up with their best effort; they delivered on both sides of the ball.
- The Saints’ offensive game plan was diversified and smartly featured Ted Ginn, who may have had extra motivation in facing his former teammates. Their offense was in a good rhythm all game, and was breaking the huddle at a consistent time on the play clock.
- The Saints’ defensive game plan seemed more aggressive than in weeks 1 & 2; perhaps this was a function of players gaining more trust in each other.
- The Panthers’ offensive game plan featured a lot of misdirection and lateral plays – they just didn’t really want to go down the field much. This could be a function of QB Cam Newton still not at 100% health.
- One interesting decision to discuss was Saints Head Coach Payton’s call to attempt a 51 yard FG with about 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter, up 27-13. A miss gives the Panthers the ball on their 41 and a good chance to make it a one score game. Saints K Will Lutz did miss the kick, but this time, the Saints defense held. In Week 1, Payton gave the defense an opportunity in a crucial situation against the Vikings to show Payton he could trust them – but they didn’t succeed in Week 1. On this occasion, the Saints defense executed successfully. If you’re a Saints fan, the growth of the Saints defense (if any) will be the key to this season.