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Film Study: It happened again - the Saints get burned for a big play

Even against Nick Foles and woeful Bears passing attack, the Saints secondary’s incompetence shined

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s just get right to it.

For one, give it up for the terrible All-22 cameras at Soldier Field.

Secondly, there are two ways to look at it. The first way to look at it is that Janoris Jenkins gets absolutely cooked by Darrell Mooney. The only reason this pass isn’t an easy six is because Foles underthrew this and Mooney had to slow down enough for Jenkins to catch up to him.

The second way to look at it is that in this scenario, unlike the myriad of blown coverages detailed last week, this wasn’t a blown coverage! It was just Janoris Jenkins not being great. With this secondary, you take the good with the bad. Everyone did what they were supposed to here, it’s just that they didn’t do it well. Whether you think that’s a good or a bad thing is up to you, dear reader.

The other purely optimistic way of looking at the next play is that they didn’t give up another 50+ yard pass, because all it took was 24 yards for criminally underrated Allen Robinson to glide past Marshon Lattimore with ease and make a slick diving catch for the touchdown. The Bears passing offense, one of the worst in the NFL, going 74 yards in two plays on a secondary that has seen brighter days.

Foles on Sunday ended up going deep four times in the game, completing three of the passes for 102 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT. Despite the win, this was far from a hallmark performance from the Saints secondary in that their deep pass struggles continued against a QB ranked 23rd in the NFL on passer rating on deep passes (20+ yards). Part of the reason for this was that the Saints, like many other teams this season, just didn’t have an answer for Allen Robinson.

Here, we see the Saints deploying a Cover 3 look with Marshon Lattimore responsible for the side of the field that Robinson lines up on. Fast forward a bit, and we see Robinson delicately turning Lattimore into a pretzel and getting an easy 20-yard catch. Lattimore’s had a down year, but this was one of his worse outings of the season as he let up 5 catches on 6 targets vs Robinson, letting him go for 80 yards and scoring the aforementioned touchdown.

A promising takeaway from this game from the Saints secondary was the proficiency in stopping old friend Jimmy Graham. It’s no secret that the Saints have had issues covering tight ends in the past, so with many expecting Graham to have a big game against his former team, Malcolm Jenkins stepped up to the task. Graham was targeted three times with Jenkins in coverage on him, and Jenkins was able to record two pass break-ups on those three throws. With a big game coming up against the Buccaneers this coming Sunday, the Saints will need Jenkins and the rest of the secondary in top form if they want to complete their season sweep of Tampa.


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