NFC South: Garrrett Hartley

Rapid Reaction: Saints 25, 49ers 22

September, 20, 2010
9/20/10
11:56
PM ET
A quick review of New Orleans' victory against San Francisco.

What it means: In a lot of ways, this was just like the opener against Minnesota. It wasn’t really pretty, it was played in prime time and it was difficult. But it was a win and that’s really all that matters. People expect perfection from the Saints because they were so dominant last year. But the reality is, this isn’t college football. Style points don’t matter. As long as you win, you’re doing your job. The Saints have won two very difficult games. The time that they need to be perfect, will come, and it might come very soon. But, for now, the Saints still haven’t lost a game in a very long time.

Hero I: Garrett Hartley. He made the game-winning field goal as time ran out.

Heroes II and III: Drew Brees and Marques Colston. They hooked up on a very nice pass play to set up Hartley's field goal.

Hero IV: Courtney Roby. He’s best known as a return man and a receiver. But he made perhaps the biggest play of the game with 5:27 left as a special-teams coverage guy. After the 49ers weren’t able to catch a punt, Roby pounced on the ball to give the Saints great field position.

What I didn’t like: Seeing Reggie Bush go down with 6:58 left in the game. He was helped off and wasn’t putting any weight on his right leg. This is a guy with a history of leg injuries and this one didn’t look real promising. We’ll wait for a more complete diagnosis before getting into much detail about what Bush’s injury means. But the Saints aren’t the same team without him. Before the injury, he scored the game’s first touchdown with a reception and he had a huge punt return at the end of the third quarter.

What’s next: The Saints better hope they get a good tail wind on their flight home. They now face a short week. They also might be about to face the most difficult opponent they’ve seen. That’s Atlanta in the Superdome on Sunday. The Falcons are coming off an impressive victory against Arizona, they’ve got an extra day of rest and they played the Saints tough twice last season.

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