Nov 3, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks on before facing the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Offense: 70 C
If it weren’t for Drew Brees, despite his two touchdowns, and Jimmy Graham, who is a gladiator playing through his injuries, this grade would be lower. Usually, 382 yards and two touchdowns is a good day for a Saints offense. Jimmy Graham grabbed nine balls for 116 yards and both of the Saints scores, with a long of 51 yards. Even Robert Meachem, who has seen little action, grabbed 93 yards. And yet, the Saints were ineffective on many of their drives.
The culprit is exactly what the Saints have had problems with since…well, since Deuce McCallister left the Saints. There is no running game. None. Pierre Thomas was an abysmal six carries for 24 yards, Mark Ingram was four for 19 yards, and Jed Collins was one for 7 yards. That’s it. A total of 50 yards on 11 carries. That isn’t going to get the job done and that isn’t showing any sort of dimension to your offense. Pierre Thomas is usually solid, if unspectacular, this season. But, without that threat at running back, there will continue to be defenders in Brees’s face. Which brings up another point…
The Saints offensive line, which in previous years has been such a strong point, has been absolutely awful. Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, and Brian de la Puente look outmatched on almost every play. They have constant penalties called against them. They have got to step up or one or more of them might be cap casualties next season. The Jets were in Brees’s face all day, that can’t happen if the Saints want to keep him upright and healthy.