I was a bit afraid of this game when looking at the schedule due to the emotion that would be in New Orleans and hoped against hope that we wouldn’t see what we saw Monday Night. In a word–Ugly.
Here’s what I saw:
Running game: Dunn (13/44), Vick (6/57), Griffith (3/16) and Norwood (1/0). Numbers are inflated by a late Vick run for 30 yards. Largely inconsistent running game due to the Saints defending the option very well. Dunn had some good runs but also had just as many 2 yards or less. Falling behind early also limited the amount of run opportunities as well.
Breakdown of passes:
Vick: 12/31, 137 yards, 0 TD/0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions are: 6 bad throws, 6 pass defended, 6 drops, 1 throw away. Unless someone was wide open off camera, I didn’t see any bad decisions. Bad throws were limited to 20% of attempts and that’s the goal number. The drops were very crucial in this game. Had some of these been caught it could have certainly changed the complection of the game. There’s a problem with either the routes being called, the routes being ran by the WR or Vick waiting too long to throw, or any combination of the above with coaching at different levels included. What’s clear to me is that something has to improve.
Drops (6): Crumpler 2 (2), Jenkins 3 (3), R. White 1 (2). One of the Jenkins drops, Mora might not have called a drop that I did (one of the deep balls that touched his hands and no one else’s).
Sack responsibility (5): First sack was on the Vick run that resulted in a fumble. Why this is a sack, I don’t know. I call it a bad rushing attempt. Second sack goes on Beverly as he gave up the escape lane. Some would put in on Lehr but Lehr slid to pick up Fujita. If Beverly gets his man, Vick has running room to the left. The third sack was a run attempt for 0 yards (again, I don’t call this one a sack but a busted running attempt). The fourth sack goes on Forney who whiffed which forced Vick into the Charles Grant who Weiner was “holding”. The final sack gets shared by Wayne Gandy (who let Smith go by unimpeded) and Justin Griffith (who picked up Smith but did a horrible job of blocking).
Pass blocking: It has got to improve, especially the interior. No one should be complaining about Gandy and Weiner at this point, they are doing their jobs for the most part.
YTD Sacks (9):
Vick 4 (3 rushing attempts that went for negative yards)
Wayne Gandy 0.5
Justin Griffith 0.5
Run defense: We got gouged pretty good. The Saints o-line did a very nice job of opening up holes and getting to our linebackers.
Pass Defense: Not a lot of yards allowed and minimal pressure. HOWEVER, the Saints were able to eat up tons of clock by taking what Donatell’s soft zone scheme allowed. I think we have enough talent in the secondary to man up a lot more than we do and play press coverage. I think it’s sad that the Saints secondary was able to cover us like a blanket and we couldn’t return the favor.
1 sack: Mathis got it on a blitz. Why we don’t blitz more often (especially with out Abraham) I’ll never know.
Rossum had 3 kickoff return for 24, 23, and 21 yards. 4 punt returns for 6, 3, 14 and 1 yard. Nothing overly impressive.
Norwood had 2 kickoff returns for 35 and 34. Great returns and better results than Rossum.
Koenen had 6 punts (7 attempts-1 blocked). The block was due to the Saints opening up a hole by moving Stutz and no one there to pick up the block. The other 6 punts (gross-Net): 56-36, 52-32, 33-33, 50-50, 35-35, 39-28. Only 1 inside the 20. Gross average of 44.17 with a net average of 35.67. Very mediocre.
Kickoffs: Koenen had 2 kickoffs: To the 3 (returned to the 17) and 1 to the endzone which was returned to the 25 (Omare Lowe missed a tackle). Very good job overall.
Special Teams leading tackler: Lowe, Schaub, McCrary, and Jamison all had 1 each.
Things that really need improvement:
1. Taking advantage of scoring opportunities. We’ve got to score when we get the chance. This one stays from the previous two weeks
2. Better blocking on FG attempts and now punt attempts (5 blocks in three games)
3. WR’s getting better separation and making plays.
Offensive MVP: None
Defensive MVP: Michael Boley (11 tackles, 1 pass defended)
Special Teams MVP: Jerious Norwood (2 very good kickoff returns)
Goat of the Week: Wide Receivers and special teams.
Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:
Next up: Arizona Cardinals in the Dome this Sunday, October 1st!