It's official: I'm ready to call the 2012 New Orleans Saints' season over. The Saints came into Giants Stadium and put together their worst team performance of the season (worse than the Broncos game in my opinion) and got blown out 27-52. I say the worst performance of the year because the game was truly lost in all three phases of the game. Special teams coverage units had their worst game in my liftetime as a fan pretty much, the offense picked right up where they left off with the freakshow carnaval of turnovers, and the defense still managed to give up 394 yards despite almost every Giant drive starting in Saints' territory. On to my thoughts on the game bullet style.
- The Saints ran the ball very effectively, 142 yards on 24 carries, 5.9 yards per. It's too bad they got behind too much in the second half to really continue pounding the rock. Mark Ingram in particular was great.
- Jimmy Graham is done this season. Another poor game. He had a couple drops, and both of Brees' picks were at least partially on Graham. The first was because he tipped it up high into the waiting arms of the safety (blame Brees also for a poor throw into coverage) and the second was because he tried to catch the ball flat footed with his body instead of going up to catch the ball. He's not playing aggressive, he's playing scared and safe. A complete throw away season for him at this point. He's hurt this offense so many times in 2012 I just can't stomach it anymore.
- Joe Morgan had 2 fantastic catches for 106 yards. He is a keeper for next year with his ability to stretch the field and his decent blocking makes him a solid candidate to be our next Meachem (or Devery Henderson in his prime).
- Drew Brees now has 9 interceptions in 3 games. Painful to watch. Colston and Jed Collins both joined the part with a couple of lost fumbles. That is not how you beat the defending champs in their own stadium.
- Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks largely had their way with the Saints' secondary, but their tight end Bennett was even more wide open on practically every play. Eli Manning should have his head examined for not going to him more often.
- The Saints had two picks in the game, but really should have had at least two or three more.
- The Saints' kickoff coverage unit was atrocious. David Wilson repeatedly killed them on the ground and in the return game. The Giants averaged almost 50 yards per return on 6 returns! Someone should seriously be fired for that.
- Travaris Cadet, by comparison, was atrocious returning.
- Spagnuolo seemed content rushing four almost all game and the Saints finished with no sacks. They also got no pressure on Manning.
- Johnny Patrick was horrible. On special teams, on defense, you name it. Horrible.
- Devery Henderson is finished. I love the guy and I hate to say it, but it's clear to me now father time has caught up with him and I don't think the Saints should hang onto him next year. It kills me to say that.
- The Saints' pass protection was largely fantastic. Even when Strief left the game and was replaced by William Robinson, it made no difference. Outstanding job by the Saints' o-line in this game to bounce back after back to back woeful showings.
- Martez Wilson is too light in the pads to play end. He was blown out of the play several times, once getting pancaked by an equally light in the pads tight end in Bennett.
- Curtis Lofton in this game was great against the run and horrible in coverage.
That's all I got. We now get three glorified preseason games to end the season. I expect the Saints to win one and end the season 6-10. We'll see how it unfolds but at this point it's just jockeying for draft position. For what it's worth, if the season ended today the Saints would have the 10th pick.