Looking back at last night, I don't feel David Foucault didn't play any worse than Byron Bell. Admittedly, that isn't high praise, but considering Foucault is an UDFA it speaks better of him than it does Bell.
I can definitely see Foucault catching on as a backup left tackle tackle, with Bell being no more than a backup right tackle in a Panthers utopia. His size and athleticism is superior, and his play will only get better with experience.
BTW, the Panthers helped him out quite a bit last night, chipping the defensive ends with Deangelo and Stewart. Pictured below Deangelo gets a really nice shot on Galette. They may want to consider keeping this in for Bell when he returns.
Overall it was a well played, clean game by them. They are clearly the best team in the south right now and most likely on to the division title. Unless things change dramatically, I do not see any way the Panthers overcome this deficit given the remaining schedule and the state of the offense.
While standing on the sidelines last night near the Saints bench, I looked over at Sean Payton who was reading his large play card, looking over which plays to call next.
On top of the card in hand written bold red letters and underlined was the word "TEMPO".
I thought to myself, yes, that is it. That is a big part of what distinguishes the explosive Saints offense from the slovenly Panthers offense. It's the tempo. Yesterday we saw Thomas Davis blitz and get to Drew Brees immediately after the ball was snapped. Unfortunately, Brees had already checked down that blitz and threw a completion within less than one second.
Fast forward to the fourth quarter when Cam Newton, under heavy pressure, is forced to wait for four entire seconds while his receivers run long, slow developing ineffective routes. Routes that the defensive players were actually running for them. The result? A feeding frenzy for the Saints defense featuring Cam Newton as the main course.
Sadly, it is too late to fix this issue this season. An up-tempo aspect of the passing game is something that has to be implemented in May during OTA's and practiced throughout training camp. Remember all of those comments and tweets about how dreadfully long each passing play took to develop this offseason? How every other pass completion would in reality be a sack? It is painfully obvious now that what we were then witnessing then is now one of many big issues with Mike Shula's offense.