Saints 20 @ Bucs 23: Making the Grade

Quarterback D


vs TAM / 11.30.08 Passing Rushing
Comp Att Pct Yds TD Rush Yds Avg TD
Drew Brees 25 47 53.2 296 2

I never thought I would ever have to give Drew a D after everything he has done so far this season but even he admits that he tried to force both of those intercepted passes. Brees' two interceptions just killed the Saints chances of winning the game. We still love you Drew. 

Running Back C

vs TAM / 11.30.08 Rushing Receiving
RUSH YARDS AVG TD REC YARDS AVG TD
Pierre Thomas 11 34 3.1 0 1 20 20.0 1

Can you believe that those are the numbers of the teams leading rusher this game? I think Pierre looked pretty good out there and could have done better had he been given the ball more. Reggie's production was just pitiful but this was his first day back. He definitely gets a buffer. The main point here though is that the coaching and strategy are hurting the run game more than the actual players performances.  

 

 

Receiving C

vs TAM / 11.30.08 Receiving
REC YARDS AVG TD
Marques Colston 6 106 17.7 0

 


vs TAM / 11.30.08 Receiving
REC YARDS AVG TD
Jeremy Shockey 4 52 13.0 0

Colston is back. He didn't score but he was Drew's go-to guy just like the good old days. Brees also looks a bit more comfortable with Shockey. However the rest of receiving corp put up mediocre numbers and there were 8 dropped passes on the day only about half of which coach Payton said could be blamed on the weather. Also, a bad Buck Ortega route could be blamed for one of Drew's interceptions.

 

 

Offensive Line C

I am not usually one who is very good at noticing what linemen are doing and whether they are doing it well or not but the fact that even I could tell Jammal Brown was not doing a good job on his side speaks volumes. Drew did not have as much time as he is accustomed to having. They also combine for two false start penalties and one holding penalty. 

 

 

Defensive Line B-

vs TAM / 11.30.08 Tackles Sacks Interceptions
SOLO AST TOTAL SACKS YDS INT YDS INTTD
Bobby McCray 2 0 2 2 3 0 0 0

More Bobby McCray goodness on Sunday. He continues to get to the quarterback better than any of the other lineman. Will Smith also had 8 tackles. Jeff Garcia escaped often and scrambled for more than 42 yards though and they still need to get more pressure. Also...no Pee-Wee Herman dance. 

 

Linebackers B+

vs TAM / 11.30.08 Tackles Sacks Interceptions
SOLO AST TOTAL SACKS YDS INT YDS INTTD
Jonathan Vilma 6 1 7 1 5 0 0 0

 


vs TAM / 11.30.08 Tackles Sacks Interceptions
SOLO AST TOTAL SACKS YDS INT YDS INTTD
Scott Shanle 8 2 10 1 6 0 0 0

Three out of the top four leading tacklers for the Saints on Sunday were linebackers. Surprisingly, Shanle is at the top of the list. It's also nice to see Vilma and Fujita actually both play well on the same day. Vilma is the star though and his forced fumble and stripped ball are more of what this defense needs. He had better be on this team next year. They don't get the A though because they also allowed Garcia to scramble.

 

 

Secondary B+

vs TAM / 11.30.08 Tackles Sacks Interceptions
SOLO AST TOTAL SACKS YDS INT YDS INTTD
Randall Gay 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 0

I really wanted to give these guys an A but Josh Bullocks came into the game and ruined it for everyone. Randall Gay and Jason David made some pretty clutch plays late in the game. In fact, the defense actually tightened up late in the game, the sign of a good defense. I'm actually starting to forget that these guys are not our starters. 

 

 

Special Teams B+

Did you see that one punt by Pakulak. He kicked the crap out of it. I think Payton is keeping him. I am even more sure that Payton will keep Garrett Hartley. The weather on Sunday was a good test for him and he passed with flying colors. No magic from Roby yet though. 

 

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