NO-IND Grades: Saints run wild against Colts
Here are the top takeaways and the highest graded players from the Saints’ 27-21 win over the Colts.
New Orleans Saints
– It wasn’t a memorable performance from Drew Brees (+1.8) by any means, but there were two throws down the stretch that were vintage Brees. The first one came with 8:54 in the fourth quarter facing a 3rd-and-8. Brees was throwing out of his own end zone and dropped a dime on a go route to Brandin Cooks. The second throw was the one that sealed the victory. Just before the two minute warning on a 3rd and 4, Brees saw Marques Colston’s outside leverage on Darius Butler who was in great position. The Saints quarterback put it in a spot where no cornerback could have defended it, and after three kneel downs, the game was won.
– Get ready to pencil in left tackle Terron Armstead (+6.8) on some Pro Bowl ballots this year. The third-year tackle is playing at a level that few others in the game today are even capable. On Sunday he was ferocious as a run blocker, mauling Colts defenders with multiple pancakes. My favorite block came with 14:47 left in the 2nd quarter when he hooked outside linebacker Erik Walden and when he knew that block was in hand moved on to Colt Anderson and planted him in the turf.
– How can you not talk about cornerback Delvin Breaux (0.0) after what he went through Sunday? Everyone remembers the two huge touchdown passes, and it was reflected in his grading just how big those blemishes were. But the assignments he drew on each, playing man coverage against one of the best receivers in the league for 3.5+ seconds on each, were extremely difficult. Projecting forward, I’d be happier about the eight other targets than those two mishaps. On those eight targets he allowed two catches for 17 yards.
DE Cameron Jordan (+10.2)
LT Terron Armstead (+6.8)
C Max Unger (+4.8)
LG Tim Lelito (+4.4)
CB Kyle Wilson (+3.1)
– What is going on with Andrew Luck (-2.5)? It’s now the fifth game this season that Luck has earned a negative passing grade. Much of the 19 pressured dropbacks Luck saw came from him holding the ball too long. His 2.92 second average time to attempt was the highest in the NFL yesterday. Luck made bad decisions downfield, tried to force the ball into tight windows and plain missed throws. He’d always been able to offset mistakes with beautiful throws in the past, but those seem to be getting fewer and far between.
– The rookie duo from Stanford that has anchored the Colts front all season completely disappeared on Sunday. Nose tackle David Parry (-6.6) and defensive end Henry Anderson (-2.2) simply could not stand up to double teams and were liabilities in the run game. Parry’s performance was especially concerning as there is no quicker way to wreck a run defense than to have the nose tackle three yards downfield.
– If there was any silver lining for the Colts, it was the play of inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (+3.9). The inside linebacker struggled so much against the run a year ago that one wonders if he was healthy, but that turned around Sunday and his six stops paced the Colts. He was routinely fighting through a sea of defenders getting moved for the most part and if it wasn’t for his work their run defense would have been a complete disaster. Freeman was the only front seven player with a positive run defense grade.
ILB Jerrell Freeman (+3.9)
RT Joe Reitz (+2.9)
WR T.Y. Hilton (+1.5)
C Jonotthan Harrison (+1.2)
CB Vontae Davis (+1.2)