Saints-Panthers Thumbs up, thumbs down

n THE SUPERDOME ATMOSPHERE: One week after being traumatized on the road against a team with a 12th man, the Saints made the young Carolina Panthers see how they felt last Monday night in Seattle. Playing in front of an incredibly loud, white-towel waving crowd in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Panthers wilted.

n SAINTS WR MARCUS COLSTON: Colston became the team’s first player with more than 8,000 yards receiving, and he caught two touchdown passes in the second quarter. This was by far his best game of the year.

n SAINTS QB DREW BREES: Brees surpassed the 50,000-yard passing mark in the fourth quarter, further showing why he may be the best free agent QB pickup in NFL history. He also eclipsed the mark in the shortest amount of games. Also credit the offensive line for giving him enough time to pick Carolina’s secondary apart.

Thumbs down

n SAINTS RUN DEFENSE: The Carolina Panthers had success running the ball up the middle, and that’s not good. because that’s straight through the heart. The only thing that stopped Carolina from scoring more was their inability to use conventional play-action passes and their lack of game-breaking receivers. This could be an issue for the Saints in the playoffs.

n SAINTS START: Granted, the home crowd was going to be there through out the game regardless. Still, a slow start at home wasn’t good. The Saints seemed ill prepared for what the Panthers did to them in the first quarter, which was run the ball effectively.

n SAINTS TIME OF POSSESSION: The Saints came up short here, and that’s how teams are going to have to beat them in the future. Remember, any time that Drew Brees is on the sideline seething and waiting for a chance to get on the field is a good time for the opponent, especially when that opponent can score touchdowns.

Pierce W. Huff