New Orleans Saints: Grading the offense through the first half of the season

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Nov 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates with wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) after a touchdown against the New York Giants during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Giants 52-49. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to covering a team in the NFL, one of the absolute hardest things to do is to ‘grade’ out their performance. There is so much context to the game, and grades by their very nature are subjective, so coming up with a way to accurately measure performance can be difficult. As I am late to the party in the ‘grading the New Orleans Saints‘ department this week I have decided to do something a little bit different. Instead of grading the team on an absolute scale, going by raw numbers and wins for instance, I’m going to give each unit a grade based on their performance relative to my expectations. This means that a group that has over-achieved could very well receive a higher ‘grade’ that one that has out-performed them in raw production.

Essentially what I am trying to do is rate each group’s performance based on what I believe they should be doing up to this point in the season based on talent, injuries, usage, and finally performance. You can tell me whether you think I have succeeded in this endeavor, but the goal is to present context to go along with observation in these grades, so don’t be alarmed when a ‘bad’ unit grades higher than a better one.

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