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Saints Versus Packers: Special Teams and Defensive Player Grades

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The special team grades are going to be easy this week. Below I'll start there and finish with the defensive player grades.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Special team play involved only 4 players.

Thomas Morstead: A (4.0) Thomas had an easy night. All kickoffs went for touchbacks, with no returns. No punts. Prefect score.

Shayne Graham: A- (3.7) Shayne made all his kicks, 3 field goals and 5 extra point kicks, but 2 of those chip shots were too close to being misses for a perfect score. Still he made all of them so he gets the A-.

Ramon Humber: Incomplete. I can't give Ramon a grade here. His only play, a ST play on a surprise onside kick was fortunate to go out of bounds and not cost the team. It was a surprise onside kick though, so I won't fail him either.

Benjamin  Watson: B+ (3.3) Ben fielded the next onside kick, which everyone knew was coming, and gets the plus for not risking a fumble by attempting a return.

Defense:

When a defense gives up 491 net yards, 402 net passing and 89 net rushing, you might expect a loss. The stats don't paint the whole picture though. The D was stout in the red zone and held all those yard to the measly score of 23 points. 2 INTs and a fumble recovery sure helped also.

Cameron Jordan: A (4.0) Finally Cam had the game we've been waiting for from last year's pro bowler. He had 2 sacks and 5 QB hurries. He was in on 62 snaps, 16 run plays, and rushed the QB 46 times. He had 1 solo tackle. He's credited with 3 stops, but the pressure brought into the backfield was important in limiting the Green Bay offense.

Akiem Hicks: A- (3.7) Akiem played 42 snaps, 13 against the run and rushed the QB 29 times. His play against the run was his strong suit in this game. He was in for an early run stop for a 3 yard loss. Had the 1 tackle and 2 assist. Was a key player stopping run plays for either a loss or short gains. He also had 2 QB hits and 2 hurries.

Kasim Edebali: B+ (3.3) Kasim made the most of his 20 snaps, notching 2 sacks, and a fumble. He also had a tackle making 3 stops total in limited play.

David Hawthorne: B (3.0) David was strong against the run, credited for 5 stops, one of which was an INT complements of Corey White, and had 7 solo tackles. He then left the game with a hand injury.

Tyrunn Walker: B (3.0) Tyrunn played 25 snaps of which 5 were run plays and he rushed 20 times. He was great against the run in his limited play, notching 2 tackles, 1 a stop for a loss, and also had a QB hurry. He also had a penalty.

Corey White: B- (2.7) Yes believe it or not Corey had his best game of the year. He gave up a few long pass plays but also was responsible for 2 INTs. 1 hit popped the ball loose allowing the David Hawthorne INT, and also had a INT of his own. He had 4 tackles and was slightly above average against the run. He also had a penalty which was declined.

Rafael Bush: B- (2.7) In for 71 snaps of which 51 were in coverage, the free safety was responsible for 8 tackles and 2 stops. He did have 1 missed tackle.

John Jenkins: C+ (2.3) John Jenkins played in 29 snaps, 9 against the run and rushed the QB 20 times. He was a factor plugging the middle and also had 2 QB hurries. At times he appeared lost in the back field though. He was the best NT on the field for the night.

Patrick Robinson: C+ (2.3) Patrick played in 46 snaps of which 34 were in coverage. The good news is he wasn't a liability. He had 2 tackles and pass breakup.

Kenny Vaccaro C+ (2.3) Kenny was in for all 71 snaps, of which he rushed once and dropped back into coverage 50 times. He had 6 tackles and 2 assist. He also had 1 missed tackle.

Curtis Lofton: C- (1.7) A fairly poor game for Curtis. He played all 71 snaps. He had 6 tackles and 6 assist. He also missed 2 tackles and had no stops. Was a liability in coverage and not a factor the solo time he rushed the QB.

Junior Galette: C- (1.7) A quiet game for Junior. No sacks, and only 2 QB hurries. He had 2 tackles and 1 stop.

Kennan Lewis: D+ (1.3) Wow, was Keenan actually the worst CB on the field. Well sadly, yes. He had no pass breakups, only 3 tackles and no stops. I don't think he was even close to 100% and expect him to return more to the norm Thursday night. Anyway I sure hope so.

Marcus Ball: D+ (1.3) I hate to grade him so hard but he did little in run defense and was a liability in pass coverage. He had 1 tackle for a stop and 1 missed tackle.

Brodrick Bunkley: D (1.0) I'm being generous to the NT as he is coming off of a concussion, but he really had no positive affects in this game.

The following players had limited snaps and neither positive or negative affects in the game. Parys Haralson, Ramon Humber, Vinnie Sunseri, and Brian Dixon.

Honorable mention: Brandon Deaderick: Brandon play in 27 snaps, and had 1 tackle for a stop. A stop for those who don't know is a negative offensive play, for either a loss or no gain.