Saturday, September 11, 2010

Roman Harper key to Vikings win

The Saints kicked off the season with a win against the Minnesota Vikings Thursday with some solid defensive play and the rousing backing of a sold out Super Dome. Following the coin toss Drew Brees led the Dome through the Who Dat chant which will now kick off every home appearance this season.

The game itself was a close run affair in this rematch of the NFC Championship game. After the Saints came out firing on their first drive with a Brees Henderson touchdown the O subsequently struggled to impose it's will in the half.

It was left to the D to keep the Vikes in check and they really did an impressive job. As ever Jonathan Vilma led the way directing his unit around the field to match the threats of Peterson and Favre.

Key to the units display were big time performances from Sedrick Ellis and Roman Harper. Ellis was able to fill the middle channels well and keep the Vikes famed running attack in check. The big man even ended up with a sack on Favre which was great to see.

Roman Harper was also imposing managing to pressure Favre as well as break up passes whilst chipping in with some crucial tackles. In the absence of Darren Sharper his leadership qualities in the secondary will be crucial and it was great to see him get off to a flying start.

Also of note was an improvement in the special teams return coverage. The unit looked to gang tackle on a number of occasions and if they can maintain such pressure this is one area the Saints could really benefit from.

So all in all a good start to the season against some tough opponents. Whilst it wasn't the kind of score we were all expecting it was a great team win all the same. If we can keep up that kind of effort on the D side of the ball we will be in great shape for another winning season.

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