I went back and watched every run play from the first half. I know Evans wasn't playing but this is what I picked up from almost all of them. Our offensive line consistency and run blocking skills are bad. Carl Nicks and Jonathan Goodwin are really being missed.
Here is the first run play called by CSP in the game. Right off of the bat you see Charles Brown move a little early mainly because #97 is rushing down hard onto the line. The job of the offensive line is to shift right and get up field in a timely manner to open up a lane between Graham and Strief. Pierre Thomas has made his career on screen plays and simple run plays like this.
On first look, you see Lelito over plays the downfield movement and gets beat inside by his defender. Ben Grubbs does not get up field or shift across fast enough allowing his defender to decipher the play and move to the ball. Charles Brown nearly falls and is totally lost on the play. The only three lineman doing their jobs to perfection on the initial look are Graham, Strief, and De LaPuente.
The black circles represent the two defenders who blow up the play due to the lack of consistency across the offensive line. The highlighted portion of the field is where Pierre Thomas is best, in space.
Here is a 1st and 10 from the Cardinal 42. The Saints come out in Cover One Man Under. So besides the Free Safety (Rafeal Bush) it is a 1 on 1 Man design. You initially see the motion out right pulls Keenan Lewis away, and Martez Wilson in. The only thing that worries me is the cushion given by Greer in case of an underneath out route or a bubble screen by Fitzgerald, which to me if Darren Sproles were spread wide there Brees would have seen that.
When these guys watch film during the week the small things I’m about to point out is what they see. The TE streaks up field at initial movement, pulling Kenny V. and Lofton with him. He does however not receive a warranted offensive PI call for pushing the two of them beyond five yards. The slight push to go along with Lofton not picking up his assignment (indicated by the light blue dots) on time causes the RB to be open in the flat.
The pressure forces Palmer to check down instead of going over the middle to Fitzgerald and they pick up 12 on the play.