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Saints Report Card vs. Giants

Grading the New Orleans Saints performance against the New York Giants in a Week 4 loss.

Last week, Malcolm Jenkins and Marshon Lattimore told the media the New Orleans' defense is the team's strength. 

Sorry, but Daniel Jones did't get the memo. 

New Orleans yielded 485 yards of total offense to a previously winless New York Football Giants.

Jason Garrett may have called one his best games as an offensive coordinator. With every Dennis Allen gut punch, Garrett countered with smart and aggressive play calls.

If you flip the script, the Saints' offense controlled the time of possession at 37:31 to 27:35 (5:06 was in overtime). The fan chatter on social media wondered if Coach Payton "played it safe" on two consecutive fourth-quarter drives.

Nonetheless, limping out of Caesars Superdome at 2-2 instead of 3-1 has to hurt. However, in professional football, that was yesterday...it's time to move on." Thanks, John Hendrix!

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SAINTS OFFENSE

Quarterbacks (B-)

  • Jameis Winston displayed why he is special. You get the sense that he is being restrained by coaching and schemes more than his ability.
  • Winston was 73% on the day and missed only six passes.
  • The moments he could have passed to extend drives, Payton called Taysom Hill rushes instead.
  • You can't pin this loss on Winston.
  • Taysom Hill is the scatback quarterback, and his forte is not passing downfield and causing interceptions.  
  • Jameis Winston (A-); Taysom Hill (C, bad interception)

Running Backs (A-)

  • Alvin Kamara was stellar with 26 carries for 120 yards.
  • Taysom Hill, well, he was Taysom Hill with his two touchdowns.
  • The big blow of having Tony Jones Jr. carted off the stadium's turf could become problematic if it's a season-ending injury.
  • Alvin Kamara (A), Taysom Hill (B+), Washington and Jones Jr (I).

Receivers (C+)

  • Marquez Callaway finally made a game appearance. However, two targets until the second half remain unacceptable for a No. 1 receiver.
  • Deonte Harris (8 targets, 5 receptions) keeps bailing out the Saints' offense each game.
  • Again, Adam Trautman was ineffective, and Juwan Johnson's utilization was minimal.
  • For the first time since joining the Saints, KAMARA was not in Payton's in-game play calls as a receiver. It's the second time he has not caught a pass in 64 career games.

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Offensive Line (C+)

  • As a group, they protected well in the passing phase and opened lanes for Kamara.
  • Unfortunately, they could not force their will on the Giant's front to extend critical drives on 3rd downs.
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SAINTS DEFENSE

Defensive Line (C+)

  • The d-linemen limited Saquan Barkley to 52 yards on the ground and 83 yards total rushing from the Giants.
  • They controlled Daniel Jones' legs, but he ran for a 2-point conversion and had a 20-yarder for first down.
  • The line had six QB hits but could not record a sack.
  • Watch Payton Turner's maturation this season. He needs to stay healthy.

Linebackers (B-)

  • Pete Werner had an exceptional outing with ten total tackles and a TFL.
  • On the other hand, Demario Davis was "somewhat" quiet. Seven tackles and no exciting plays we are accustomed to witnessing from the All-Pro linebacker.
  • Elliss wasn't a factor; Baun was MIA - even on special teams.
  • Pete Werner (B+), Demario Davis (B), Elliss (I)

Secondary (C-)

  • The defensive back gave up way too many chunk plays to extend Giants' drives.
  • Jones passed for 402 yards and 2downs to his primary targets, Golladay (6 rec., 116 yards), Barkley (5 rec.,74 yards), Toney (6 rec., 78 yards).
  • Crucial missed tackles from a reliable defensive backfield.
  • Malcolm Jenkins had a solid day.
  • Where was CJGJ? One tackle? Wow!  This team missed his production.
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COACHING (C-)

  • I know it's blasphemy and a Green Mile moment for me covering the Saints, but let's be honest.
  • If Coach Payton was handing out Yo-Yo's to his players, I hope he would have one for the remainder of the season.
  • After four games and rewatching the Saints offense, the play calls are uncomfortable and predictable.
  • Dennis Allen's message fell short in the fourth quarter and overtime.
  • Again, maybe it's me. Approximately 20 seconds remained in the contest. In years past, Payton would've allowed Drew to "give it a try" and get into field goal position. Winston had the arm talent to try a "Hail Mary," hoping for a miracle or penalty, but Coach played it conservatively.
  • One aspect of coaching is to prepare and position the team to win. The Giants adjusted at halftime, but the Saints did not.

OVERALL TEAM GRADE (C)

UP NEXT FOR NEW ORLEANS: The Washington Football Team and Ron Rivera!


READ MORE SAINTS-GIANTS GAME COVERAGE