This was an impressive win over a long-time division rival that was great to watch. The offense executed very well and the defense performed very well for the most part, especially in pass coverage. The game was not as close as the 34-20 final score would seem to indicate.
Here’s what I saw:
Running game: Turner (27/96, 1 TD), Norwood (6/17), Ryan (2/-2) and White (1/2). Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner, 12 and Norwood, 3. New Orleans keyed on the run and still the ground game was effective.
Breakdown of passes:
Ryan: 16/23, 248 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 4 Bad passes, 2 Passes Defended and 1 Drop. Virtually the same performance from last week. Great to see the consistency and development.
Drops (1): White.
YTD Drops (20):
White – 7
Douglas – 3
Jenkins – 3
Finneran – 3
Turner – 1
Peele – 1
Norwood – 1
Jennings – 1
Receiving: Norwood (2/88, 1 TD) led the team in yards. Jenkins had the most catches (6/72) and White turned in his normal solid day (5/68, 1 TD).
Run blocking: Very solid as is the norm.
Pass blocking: No sacks and moving Gandy, Clabo and Weiner around at the tackle spots seemed to help.
Sack responsibility (0): None
YTD Sacks (12):
Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 3.0
Wayne Gandy – 1.0
Quinn Ojinnaka – 1.0
Jerious Norwood – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5
Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.
Run defense: Really wasn’t all that good, fortunately Brees threw it 58 times.
Pass Defense: Despite giving up 422 yards, the defense came away with 3 INT’s (Jackson, Houston and Coleman) and 1 of the 2 TD’s was a jump ball garbage time TD at the end of the game.
Sacks (1): The lone sack is credited to John Abraham (what else is new!)
Norwood had 2 kickoff returns (there was also 1 touchback and 1 onside kick gone horribly wrong out of bounds):1-from the 3, 18 yards. 2-from the 1, 55 yards. 1 solid return and 1 great return.
Douglas had 2 punt return opportunities (1 punt went out of bounds): 1. from the 25, 25 yards; 2. from the 12, 8 yards. You know, a 25 yard return and 2 consecutive weeks of no muffed punts just sounds excellent to me.
Koenen had 4 punts: 1-31 yards to the 10, downed. 2-33 yards to the 9, no return. 3-33 yards to the 10, no return. 4-44 yards to the 24, no return. 3 inside the 10 and no return yards. Excellent day.
Koenen had 7 kickoffs: 1-to the -2, 26 yard return. 2-to the 3, 20 yard return. 3-to the 3, 20 yard return. 4-to the endzone, touchback. 5-to the -4, 41 yard return. 6-to the endzone, touchback. 7-to the 11, 20 yard return. Kicks seem to be deeper now.
Field Goals: 2/2 Good from 22 and 27.
Special Teams coverage: Outside of 2 kickoff returns it was very good.
Things that really need improvement:
1. Cover the middle of the field better in pass coverage (especially Tight Ends). Maybe move Brooking to SLB and Boley to WLB as well as nickel LB?
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Defensive consistency in the second half.
Offensive MVP: Matt Ryan (248 yards, 2 TDs)
Defensive MVP: Domonique Foxworth (5 tackles, 3 passes defended and just seemed to be all over the place)
Special Teams MVP: Kroy Biermann (3 tackles)
Goat of the Week: None, for consecutive weeks.
Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:
Next up: VS. Denver Broncos, November 16th!