See below for my player grades for the Giants
game. Remember, the letter grade represents the grade for the game and the GPA in parentheses represents the player's cumulative GPA for the season.
Brees receives the second A+ I've given out this season. What can you say negative about his performance? It was simply flawless. He threw for 369 yards, 4 touchdowns, no interceptions and he wasn't sacked. He threw the ball at will to whoever he wanted, and was unstoppable.
Decent game by Thomas. He finished with 72 yards on 15 carries, though 25 came on a run late. He was stacked up on 4th and inches from the goal line on a play where it seemed like he could have made a better effort to finish off the run. That play could have hurt the Saints
if the defense hadn't given the offense a second chance with a forced turnover before halftime. Overall he ran with authority and kept the chains moving.
Mixed bag from Bell. Right before the 4th down Pierre Thomas run mentioned previously, he was stopped on 3rd and short from the goal line. He also converted a crucial 4th and 1 from the 2 yard line for a touchdown on the game's opening drive. He seemed to get stacked up late, but showed impressive power on some plays. He finished with 15 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown. He did have a nice run along the sideline for a touchdown which was called back by a holding penalty.
Bush had 6 carries for 17 yards and a touchdown, 1 catch for 7 yards and 2 punt returns for 0 yards. His punt returning was atrocious as always. He had a couple nifty runs, including a 9 yard run around the edge and beautiful 7 yard touchdown run. He also had his trademark "dancing" rushing attempts. Brees bypassed him wide open a couple times in the passing game.
Evans capped off the Saints' final scoring drive with a 2 yard touchdown run. Otherwise, he threw devastating blocks at times when the Saints needed it the most. He negated a Mike Bell touchdown run with a holding penalty which prevents him from receiving a better grade. He also caught a screen pass for 5 yards.
Colston receives the 3rd A+ of the season. He was Brees' favorite target all day and completely torched the Giants. They had no answer for his frame and hands. He made tough grabs in traffic, grabs downfield, ran terrific routes and showed good ability after the catch. Colston finished with 8 catches for 166 yards and 1 touchdown.
It was nice to see Moore's number called, and he responded in a big way. On the opening drive he was targeted several times, and he had a juggling reception that converted a crucial 3rd and 7 for a first down. Nice to see Moore back to his old form from a season ago. He had 6 grabs, 78 yards and a touchdown.
Just two catches for Meachem all game, but they were both huge. He finished with 2 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown, and his 36 yard TD from Brees was the best grab of the day over two defenders. His other catch went down to the 1 yard line and he would have scored but the ball by Brees was slightly underthrown. He also rushed for 2 yards on a reverse that went down to the Giants' 1 yard line.
Just 1 catch for 6 yards on the day for Henderson who was very quiet on a day where everyone else was anything but. Henderson did beat his man deep on a throw that could have been a touchdown, but Brees underthrew the ball because he was hit by Justin Tuck
as he released the pass. Give Henderson credit for a terrific block around the edge that sprung Bush's 9 yard run.
Shockey blocked well on running plays, and he was used often in the first half. He kind of disappeared in the second half, but with the Saints successfully spreading the offense out, you can't really complain about Shockey's performance. It was nice to see him score against his old team. He made a nice grab and did a good job holding onto the football going down. Shockey, true to form, ran crisp routes and showed sure hands. He finished with 4 catches for 37 yards and 1 touchdown.
Thomas did a poor job blocking on a couple plays, which allowed his man to get into the backfield. He also didn't catch a pass and he had a false start on 3rd and 7 which resulted in the Saints getting pushed back 5 yards further. Quiet day for the backup tight end.
Bushrod had, in my opinion, his best game as a Saint. He completely shut down Osi Umenyiora
's pass rushing ability. I'm starting to believe the Saints can feel safe with Bushrod holding down the left tackle spot for the rest of the season. You'll notice the Saints also attacked the left side of the field on rushing plays several times and Bushrod was effective.
We know he's a mauler and we know that run blocking is his specialty. What was nice to see against the Giants was the pass blocking he exhibited. In helping Bushrod, he knocked Umenyiora flat on his back twice showing nice athleticism and incredible strength. This guy just keeps getting better and better. What a draft choice he was in the 5th round.
The Saints didn't run many screens, so we didn't get a chance to see Goodwin pull and throw the lead blocks off the edge which he excels at. That said, he played a solid game.
Another textbook performance by Evans, who was dominating on the interior. Once again, any time Brees felt pressure on the edges he would step up in the pocket and feel zero pressure because the interior blocking was so superior. Evans did a good job springing the 25 yard Thomas run, and he hustled downfield a few times to help finish off plays.
Facing arguably one of the most dangerous pass rushers in the entire league in Justin Tuck, Stinchcomb held his own very well. His run blocking wasn't perfect, and late in the game when Saints' running backs ran behind him they struggled. Stinchcomb did show good technique as always and played a very clean game. The fact that both tackles held Umenyiora and Tuck sackless is a big tribute to the way they played.
I've given this guy praise all year for how he's done coming in as the extra tight end on blocking downs. He just didn't perform all that well today. Usually he comes in and uses his immense size to completely demolish the lighter ends as the running backs run behind him. He played a significant amount of plays in the Saints' last two drives, and that was when they struggled the most to run the ball.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Drew Brees
Check back tomorrow for my defensive and special team grades.
Grades of past games: