With the NFL lockout situation finally resolved, it’s time to get into the real action. For many fans, the NFL preseason is nothing more than filler and the real deal begins in regular season. However, for fans and critics who want to know what to expect from their respective teams, preseason is as good as the regular season.
There is no doubt that the Saints know how to defend. The team has the ability to take non-stop offense and manages to become a wall against the toughest of opponents. Many defensive lines don’t show the real deal in the preseason and it is expected that players don’t give their 100 percent. For defense coach Gregg Williams, the scenario was completely the opposite as he opted to go on a “no holds-barred” defensive strategy.
Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith, who both play as quarter back for the 49ers, didn’t see that coming. The 49ers were unable to protect their quarter backs against the brute strength of the defending team. For a team who was playing the game as a preseason match and whose offensive line had only just been established, the Saints veteran defense line proved too powerful and coordinated for anybody’s liking.
Quarterback Kaepernick showed signs of inexperience early on, as the player didn’t expect such intensity from the opposition’s defense. However, he did display some brilliance for which the 49ers drafted him in the second round this year. Instead of going through his progression, Kaepernick was seen staring down receivers and sticking with his first read. He also made a rookie mistake of forcing throws, when his team was way behind in offense.
Saints running back Mark Ingram also finally started to show the quality expected from him. He managed his first NFL touchdown into the match, following some great change of pace and agility, along with a tricky spin move. His confidence and skill made the touchdown look easy, seeming as if he had been pulling such moves off for years.
"Just being able to get in the end zone for the first time being an NFL player is special for me. I just have to thank the line for blocking great. That's what really allowed me to get in. All I had to do was make one guy miss," stated Mark Ingram, who carried six time for 23 yards.
Outside linebacker Aldon Smith managed to display a lot of quality and adaptability while playing in a 3-4 defense. The player was expected to be more accustomed to the 4-3 defensive line but was exceptional in the 3-4 scheme. He performed better than what was expected off him, as he managed to drop into coverage and also made several good stops in the running game.
The game displayed a lot of energy and vigor, with both teams showing a glimpse of their true selves in the preseason. The 49ers would be looking to learn from the mistakes from this game and be more ruthless come the next preseason game.