Defensive Players Coming up Big
quote: Cam Jordan On Fire
With less than a full stable of outside linebackers on hand to contribute, Junior Galette got good work in (a sack and four hurries) and Parys Haralson contributed after a short week of practice (a sack and a hurry)
quote: A Day to Forget for Jahri Evans
Defensive end Cameron Jordan's (+5.2) eight QB pressures (two hits and six hurries) on 43 pass rushes came primarily at the hands of...Lamar Holmes. Jordan, the now-3-4 DE previously known for his run defense, proved too fast to the outside and too strong on bull rushes for Holmes to handle – a slippery inside-out move at 5:04 of the third quarter combined elements and left Homes chasing as Jordan took Ryan to the turf.
quote: Offensive Targets Stay Hot
Jahri Evans has had better games. In fact, he’s never had a game graded to this depth (-4.0) in the years we’ve been around and this one was held down entirely by his run blocking – an aspect of his game (see 2008-2009) that was once on a league-best level. One rough outing does not a season make, of course, but coming off a season in which his run blocking was a middling asset, a showing like this is reason for further inspection. There were times in this game where Evans simply whiffed (Q4 7:18) and others where he was out hustled and caught scrambling to keep up.
Drew Brees has made a living by working to his seam and dump-off guys — namely Marques Colston (+1.0 receiving), Jimmy Graham (+1.5), and Darren Sproles (+2.6) – and that continued as expected to open 2013. Targeting the three a total of 19 times, they connected on 15 and marched with nine first downs and a pair of touchdowns.
--Roman Harper and Kenny Vaccaro rushed the passer a combined 10 times. Only Kansas City’s tandem of Eric Berry and Hussain Abdullah saw more pass rush opportunities (13).
--On 42 drop-backs, Matt Ryan saw pressure 20 times and his grade when pressured (-2.4)
nearly wiped out his efficient play when throwing from a clean pocket (+2.5)
… with no pressure: 17-of-21 and two touchdowns; with pressure: 8-of-17 with an interception and three sacks.
--The interior D-line pairing of Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters effectively shut down the middle of the line for any keep-‘em-honest run attempts the Saints had in mind.
--Game Ball given to Cam Jordan for all-around performance.