Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Saints Nation: Player Grades vs. Giants (defense and special teams)


Will Smith: C- (2.67)
Smith ended with just 1 tackle and had a very quiet day. He was double teamed several times, a sure sign of respect for his abilities. He did a good job of turning a Brandon Jacobs play on the edge into a negative gain by pushing back the point of attack. Other than that he was more absent than usual.

Charles Grant: B- (2.47)
Grant was involved downfield and I've noticed a lot more hustle from him this season. While he didn't have as impressive of a day rushing the passer, he did a good job against the run. He finished with 4 tackles.

Remi Ayodele: C- (2.25)
Ayodele didn't do a good job against the run, and he looked slow and out of position on numerous plays. On one pile up he showed poor awareness and allowed Jacobs to push the pile for a yard extra before jumping in to get him down. He saves his grade somewhat with a meaningless sack at the end of the game.

Sedrick Ellis: D+ (2.80)
Ellis was utterly invisible. He did a poor job rushing Manning and finished with 1 tackle. The Saints were fortunate the Giants didn't run the ball much because Jacobs got hurt and they were down so much they had to pass. The Giants did look effective when they ran, and averaged 4.4 yards per carry for the game. A forgettable performance by a guy who's had a good season.

Bobby McCray: C+ (2.34)
We know McCray can rush the passer and get after it with his motor, but it was really nice to see him get involved against the run and make a couple plays. He was close on a couple pass rushes, knocking down Eli Manning twice. He finished with 2 tackles.

Anthony Hargrove: C (2.08)
Hargrove had 2 tackles in limited action. Relatively quiet day, but he seemed active when he was in the game. I've yet to see Hargrove duplicate the kind of performances he had in the preseason which earned him his roster spot. I have a feeling his breakout game will come soon.

Scott Shanle: B+ (3.07)
Fans like to rip on Shanle and talk about how he can be replaced, but this game was a perfect example of how solid he is. Shanle finished with 5 tackles and played a very sound game. He was involved on numerous plays, and ran very well sideline to sideline. The guy is a sure tackler and he seems to always play within the defense without making mistakes. Shanle recovered a fumble that he picked up and ran inside the Giants' 10 setting up a Saints' touchdown. I can understand why Gregg Williams loves him.

Jonathan Vilma: C- (2.73)
Unfortunately for Vilma, the most memorable play of the game for him was a roughing the passer helmet to helmet hit on Manning that negated a Darren Sharper interception return for a touchdown. As the team's leading tackler a year ago, he finished with just 4 tackles and is off to a slow start in his tackle tally total.

Troy Evans: D+ (1.33)
Evans made some mistakes filling in for the injured Scott Fujita. He looked especially weak in pass coverage and he was beaten badly on an 18 yard pass to Kevin Boss. He did have 4 tackles, but he didn't have that sure tackling cerebral play that we're so accustomed to with Fujita. Hopefully we'll get #55 back next week, otherwise Evans will have to step up his performance.

Jabari Greer: A (3.67)
Greer was absolutely fantastic in coverage and he tied for the team lead with 5 tackles. As usual he was helpful in run support when the opposing runners would hit the second level and he tackled well when receivers made plays. He intercepted Eli Manning in the 3rd Quarter which killed a promising drive, and he also broke up a deep ball playing picture perfect coverage.

Tracy Porter: B+ (3.07)
Porter laid his usual hard hits, finished with 4 tackles, and defended a couple passes as well. He laid a huge blow on Steve Smith on what would have been a big gain, but the hit jarred the ball loose for an incomplete pass. We've got one heck of a tandem at cornerback. Porter showed nice speed catching Nicks from behind, too.

Randall Gay: B- (3.22)
Gay had 1 tackle and had a couple plays where he showed off good coverage. Quiet game, but no major mistakes.

Roman Harper: A- (3.27)
Harper had a major error in coverage that led to a 58 yard pass play to Hakeem Nicks, but it's hard to get mad at him when he makes so many plays. I love that Gregg Williams blitzes him so much because he is great at it and he always seems to cause trouble in the backfield. Right before halftime Harper sacked Manning and forced a fumble the Saints would recover. He had 5 tackles, and also had good pressure on the interception by Greer causing an errant pass from Manning.

Darren Sharper: B- (3.20)
It's too bad Vilma had that roughing the passer penalty because Sharper almost had his 6th interception in 5 games, and his 3rd touchdown. Sharper looked slow and beat on a couple plays, including one that was a sure touchdown had Manning not overthrown the ball. Sharper had another shot at an interception on the touchdown pass to Mario Manningham, but had the ball wrestled away from him. Otherwise, he was active and around the ball. He had 3 tackles and 2 defended passes.


John Carney: C- (2.73)
Easy day for Carney, he attempted 7 extra points and that's it. Hard to give him a much better grade when he had an extra point blocked.

Thomas Morstead: C- (3.13)
Morstead wasn't great punting. He had a touchback on one punt and he outkicked his coverage twice setting up Hixon for big returns. Morstead got less depth on his kickoffs than usual, but give him credit for saving the Saints twice on poor kickoff coverages. He had a tackle once, and redirected Hixon into a tackler another time.

Courtney Roby: B (2.50)
Nothing too special, but Roby did a good job hitting his lanes hard. He wasn't able to break one, but he did get the Saints 15 extra yards twice (once getting horse collared, once being brought down by a facemask penalty). Roby averaged 22.8 yards per return and gave the Saints pretty good field position.