For the season, the Saints allowed the sixth-fewest yards/pass attempt this season. The pass rush played a large role in that, but given how important pass coverage is, the secondary had to have helped, right?
If so, it is hard to find a standout player. Marshon Lattimore has been billed as an elite young cornerback, but he allowed a 99.1 passer rating, had a career-low 11 pass breakups and also allowed seven touchdowns.
Janoris Jenkins, opposite of him, was much better with 12 pass breakups and an 81.2 passer rating allowed, though both were vulnerable to explosive passes- each allowed a yards/completion over 12.5.
From the nickel, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson may have been their best cornerback. Despite defending the slot, he allowed just a 57.4% completion rate and a 72.2 passer rating, though his 13.2% missed tackle rate made him vulnerable to passes down the field.
He remains a volatile player, but his versatility and playmaking ability ought to make him a key part of their secondary for years to come.
We’ll see what his role is next season, particularly with Marcus Williams likely to leave as a free agency. He has established himself as one of the best coverage safeties in the NFL, and for that reason, he’ll get paid like such.
His numbers are a near replica of what they were in his elite rookie season, while he allowed just a 61.5 percent catch rate. However, the best part of his production this season was his improvements as a tackler.
Tackling is generally unstable year-to-year, so the fact that this was his only issue wasn’t something to be worried about. Yet, he still had just a 4.8% missed tackle rate, and for that reason, allowed fewer than 100 yards after the catch. Here’s hoping New Orleans finds some way to keep him.
By his side, it was a bumpy start for veteran Malcolm Jenkins in his second stint with the Saints. In the end, though, he ended up performing fine. He allowed an 82.9 passer rating and 6.4 yards/target, which is right around his normal marks.
He was used often as a pass rusher, similar to 2019, and as a pure strong safety working as a versatile piece, he paired well with Williams. Considering how he started the season, it was promising to see him get back on track.
Robinson played fine before going on injured reserve, though the main highlight from this group was probably Haley’s interception in Week 17. His ability to play in the slot makes him someone that the Saints may look to keep next season.
Overall Secondary Grade: C