The offense put up only 20 points in this game and with Jimmy Graham banged up and Darren Sproles out of this game early they really became one dimensional. This offense may be the worst of the Sean Payton era. The Saints can't really run the ball, and part of that is the offensive line and part of it is the play caller's such lack of confidence in the run he refuses to even try. The Saints can make the occasional play down the field but without Sproles they couldn't really accomplish any sort of control offense. So Brees got hit all the time, there were turnovers, penalties and they made life easier on the Jets' defense. That's on the play caller, and this 51 pass to 13 run ratio just can't happen. On to the grades…
Drew Brees: B- for the game (3.09 for the season) Considering how often he was hit I actually thought he played pretty well. I hope he isn't too banged up, he got hit pretty good on the knee and wrist and showed signs of pain both times. He did try to force the ball into some really tight coverage at times, and didn't get rid of the ball quick enough at others, but what do you expect when you drop back to pass 53 times out of 66? He finished 30 of 51 for 382 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Both interceptions but tipped balls but there were a few other tips that could have had a similar result. He also had a pick waived off thanks to a penalty. His stat line would have been ridiculous if he receivers just made a few more catches. Put simply, almost everyone around Brees failed him in this game, starting with the play caller. I do think Brees is trying to check for the defense way too much and it's causing delays and timeouts. Not always his fault but he's not doing a great job of play clock management.
Mark Ingram: C+ (1.22) I actually thought he looked ok in limited play. He had 4 carries for 19 yards and ran with some authority at times. Other runs were less impressive. He brought no dimension in the passing game.
Pierre Thomas: B (2.79) I wish he had seen more carries because he did ok when he had the ball. He also had an absolutely exceptional catch on a low throw by Brees to convert a 4th down play late. He had 24 yards on 6 carries and 7 catches for 66 yards. One screen play in particular was executed perfectly and run at the exact right time catching the Jets in a blitz. He should've seen the ball more on the ground. Also deserves major kudos for some great blitz pickups and overall good pass protection.
Jed Collins: C- (2.46) He had a surprise carry for 7 yards and did an ok job as a lead blocker. The main play that will come back to haunt the Saints was a drop on 3rd and one inch where he had room to gain some nice yardage. The pass was perfect and he tried to run before he caught it. Of course we all know what happened on the next play but that drop was a back breaker.
Lance Moore: B- (2.20) He contributed 6 catches for 70 yards on 10 targets. Not what I would call amazing and he was well covered at times but he did help the offense some. He also had a bad drop where he tried to run before catching the ball (like Collins) on a flip from Brees as he was getting sacked.
Robert Meachem: B (1.95) He had 4 catches for 93 yards on 5 targets. That sounds amazing for Meachem but honestly even that stat line felt a little mediocre. He just doesn't look nearly as fast as he used to and his hands are very shaky. He had one catch that was a circus tip drill grab after he initially had an easy pass bounce off his hands before bouncing off a couple defender's too. Still, at this point it's about all you can ask from him.
Nick Toon: F (1.50) After Graham against the Patriots he's my second F of the season. He dropped a very catchable deep ball by Brees that could have broken the game open early and then he dropped an easy out ball that popped up for an interception. Toon was a disaster and frankly I hope he doesn't see the field again this season. The guy is just not NFL ready. Even the times he was open later Brees didn't trust him.
Kenny Stills: C- (2.50) He made an appearance late when it was too late. 3 catches for 35 yards.
Jimmy Graham: A- (3.17) There's no denying when he's playing well he's unstoppable. One of the best players to ever put on the fleur de lis helmet. He had 9 catches for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns on a bad foot! And both touchdowns were just insane. He made the defenders look like fools. Whatever is wrong with his foot you wouldn't know it. He did seem to hurt his wrist pretty seriously later on but he came back in. Hopefully he's fine. He gets the A- despite his stat line because he had a critical drop on a 3rd down that's a ball he usually comes up with and he had a horrible pass protection attempt that got Brees sacked badly. His blocking continues to be extremely poor.
Ben Watson: D- (2.46) The one ball that came his way he was blanketed perfectly and the tipped ball would be intercepted. I would like to have seen Watson compete better for that ball. Otherwise he completely disappeared. The Saints could have really use an intermediary receiving threat, but Watson offered nothing.
Joshua Hill: D (1.84) Hard to blame him for that ridiculous 4th and one inch reverse. Seriously, there is no situation ever where a reverse to your 3rd string tight end is a good play call. That play call was just stupid and Hill was rocked for a 7 yard loss. He also did a poor job competing for a ball in tight coverage.
Charles Brown: C (2.04) In my opinion he was one of the better offensive linemen on the day but of course he's the king of false starts with two on the day. He's always good for at least one. His pass protection was ok but he was helped by Brees feeling edge pressure.
Ben Grubbs: C- (2.09) This just isn't his year. He had an illegal use of the hands penalty that came on that ridiculous 4th down set of downs and he got beat horribly like a drum for a sack by Muhammad Wilkerson. He had his hands full all day with him.
Brian de la Puente: C- (2.13) His holding call negated Nick Toon's only catch and killed the Saints' chances at any last minute heroics. He also missed a silent count snap that forced the Saints to burn a timeout early.
Jahri Evans: C- (2.43) He wasn't right physically and it showed. He had a blatant holding penalty and in general his pass blocking was up and down. The guy just can't play healthy this season.
Zach Strief: C+ (2.71) He didn't give up the sacks and the penalties like the other guys, but he was by no means dominant. But while the line is in shambles he's the least of their issues.
My Offensive Player of the Game: Jimmy Graham