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Saints Defensive Grades Trending Up in Sunday's Win Versus Buccaneers

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Below are the defensive grade from Sunday's game.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

A better game by the defense overall, but the secondary still a major concern. the team gave up 248 yards passing and 66 yards rushing for a total of 314 yards. The bright side was limiting the run game to 66 yards. Biggest defensive players in the game, the penalties negating huge gains, by the Buccaneers. Believe it or not, the defense did bring a lot of pressure in this one, but Mike Glennon was able to step up at times, or roll out  and made some unbelievable plays down field.

The DBs:

Rafael Bush: The Stats. 4 tackles with 1 assist. Bush played pretty solid as the starting free safety, and I didn't miss Jairus Byrd in this one. Made some key saves by making tackles after blown coverages by Corey White, and even Keenan Lewis. It looked like at the end of the game, Rob Ryan switched White and Bush out to cover Vincent Jackson. Bush played the receiver and White had the over the top zone. Didn't matter. Same results. A missed coverage allowing a TD also hurts Rafael's grade, but overall a good performance. Bush also limited some of the rushes for short gains.

Grade B- (2.7)

Keenan Lewis: The stats. 3 tackles with 1 assist. A pass breakup on Vincent Jackson to start the game, but Lewis did little after that to stop Jackson. In all fairness Vincent is a hard WR to cover, but that is why we signed Lewis. Still I was glad he was the one assigned to the big WR, and he did keep most of the gains in front of him. A couple of missed tackles also, but Rafael Bush was there to clean it up.

Grade C- (1.7)

Kenny Vaccaro: The stats. 4 tackles with 2 assist. Kenny actually played a pretty strong game. 2 penalties giving the Buccaneers 1st downs and extending drives hurts his grade. Kenny actually played SS for most of the game, rather than the hybrid role Rob Ryan has had him in and it showed. He was able to bring pressure, make plays in the running game, and solid support in the passing game, in effect preventing larger gains.

Grade C+ (2.3)

Patrick Robinson: The stats. 1 tackle and 1 interception. This was a very good game for PRob, and it was good to see him make some plays. He also had a pass breakup, and was solid tackling.

Grade B (3.0)

Corey White: The stats. 3 tackles and 1 pass breakup. Unfortunately the tackles were after big gains given up by the CB in coverage. It wasn't all bad, but Corey is definitely a weak link in the secondary, and a favorite target by QBs. He gave up a TD and allowed big gains, specifically one that set up another TD, this one against Vincent Jackson, which he never should have been tasked with.

Grade D+ (1.3)

The Linebackers:

Curtis Lofton: The stats. 4 tackles  with 1 assist. A quiet game for Curtis, but he was key in run support  along with Parys Haralson. He even had a pass breakup. Brought pressure a few times as well and didn't make any mistakes.

Grade B- (2.7)

David Hawthorne: The stats. 3 tackles with 3 assist. A good game by David. He made some key plays, limiting runs, and key tackles in underneath throws for short gains.

Grade B (3.0)

Parys Haralson: The best linebacker on this day in my opinion. Brought pressure on blitzes. Made stops on the runs. A pass breakup, and always around the action. His only fault lies with a penalty during a return by Brandin Cooks.

Grade B+ (3.3)

Junior Galette: The stats. 2 tackles and 1 sack, for a safety. I have trouble listing Junior as a typical linebacker, but that's what they call him. This year it's a little hard to call him a pass rush specialist, but that's how they pay him..

He did have a pretty good game and brought pressure a few times. He needs to learn more than one move. Some one should teach him the old wax on, wax off move Mr. Miyagi made famous in The Karate Kid. He might then be able to break free from some of those holds.  Junior even caused an incomplete pass. Who says he can't cover? Junior did draw a penalty for roughing the passer, with a slap to the head. That was a weak call in my opinion as well and I won't dock him for it. A much worst hit to the head was not called when Drew was in.

Grade B (3.0)

The line:

Cameron Jordan: The stats. 4 tackles. A disappointing year thus far for Cam. No sacks again for last years pro-bowler, but he did get penetration on a running play to make a tackle for a loss. He also came all the way over to the other side to make a tackle on another run. Wasn't much that went by him, but he just isn't getting the push we have come to expect. He did pressure a couple of times, but couldn't close the deal.

Grade: C- (1.7)

Glenn Foster: The stats. Well he didn't have any, but he did get some good pushes, particularly at the beginning of the game. He also caused an incompletion  on a QB pressure.

Grade: D+ (1.3)

Brodrick Bunkley: The stat. 1 assist. Bunkley is another one who is disappointing this year. Very little from him in this one, in fact, he was often pushed back or to the side, out of the play.

Grade D (1.0)

Akiem Hicks: The stats. 1 tackle and 3 assist. Hick was constantly pushing the middle. Listed as a DE he really played DT in this game. DTs are not known for getting many sacks, but he did what he was supposed to, and pushed the pocket back. Helped make some tackles against rushes. He did get washed out a couple of times as well.

Grade C+ (2.3)

John Jenkins: No stats. Jenkins' return to play is nice to see. He played much better than Bunkley when he was in, and was able to push the pocket. He should concentrate on getting into the backfield though, because it was funny watching the big man try to throw his hands up, and hop about 3 inches off the ground to attempt to pass block.

Grade C (2.0)

Special teams:

Kickers:

Thomas Morstead: No glaring problems with Thomas' kicks this week. He made 7 kicks with all 7 to the end zone, including 4 touchbacks. His punting average was 48.5 on 2 punts.

Grade A (4.0)

Shayne Graham: Shayne was 3 for 3 on field goals from, 30, 29 and 44 yards out. He was also 2 out of 3 on extra points. The last was a 2 point conversion attempt. Nothing real challenging this week, but it was good to see last week didn't get in his head.

Grade A (4.0)

Coverage: ( I included our returns with the offensive player grades.)

Ramon Humber: Ramon blew up Solomon Patton at  the 15 yard line on a kick return.  I didn't grade Humber in the defense. With Hawthorne back I just didn't notice him during the defensive snaps. That is neither good or bad.

Grade B (3.0)

Josh Hill: Josh made a tackle at the 24 yard line on the next kickoff return.

Grade B- (2.7)

Kyle Knox: Knox made a tackle on the 19 yardline on the next returned kick.

Grade B (3.0)

Austin Johnson: Limited Solomon Patton to only 11 yards, on Thomas Morstead's worst punt of the evening, (37 yards).