ReFo: Saints @ Falcons, Week 1
Atlanta rebounded nicely from a 10 point deficit at halftime, taking advantage of a New Orleans defense that missed 23 tackles, before Matt Bryant’s game winner early in overtime. Here are some of the notable performances:
New Orleans Saints – Performances of Note
Kenny Vaccaro, SS, -5.5
Breakdown: Vaccaro’s -5.5 grade is easily a career low. He earned matching -2.7 grades in coverage and run defense, largely due to his inability to tackle in the open field.
Signature Stat: In this game Vaccaro had six missed tackles, after just three during the entire 2013 season.
Ben Grubbs, LG, +3.9
Breakdown: New Orleans totaled +7.0 run blocking as a team, but their backs forced just one missed tackle in the game, failing to fully take advantage. The Saints found success running through the A-gap between Grubbs and center Jonathan Goodwin, averaging 8.2 yards on 5 carries.
Signature Stat: Grubbs allowed just two pressures, but his +3.3 run blocking grade earns him a spot on this list.
David Hawthorne, LB, -3.8
Breakdown: Hawthorne was second on the team with four missed tackles, and earned negative grades in both pass coverage and run defense. It wasn’t all bad for Hawthorne though, as he limited Falcons TE Levine Toilolo to 2 catches for 18 yards on 4 passes in coverage.
Signature Stat: Hawthorne’s four missed tackles mirrored the theme of the day for the Saints defense.
Atlanta Falcons – Performances of Note
Matt Ryan, QB, +7.4
Breakdown: Ryan’s +7.4 grade was the second best of his career. Most of that grade was earned on deep passes, earning a +4.8 on passes thrown more than 20 yards. Ryan did a nice job of getting Devin Hester involved in the offense, completing passes to the former Bear against five different defenders.
Signature Stat: Ryan was at his best when not blitzed, completing 75% of his passes and earning a +4.1 grade.
Gabe Carimi, LT, -7.1
Breakdown: Carimi replaced rookie Jake Matthews who was forced to leave with an ankle injury. Carimi allowed five pressures, and was penalized three times. Saints DE Junior Galette had his way with Carimi, on his way to a game-best +2.1 run defense grade.
Signature Stat: Carimi earned a -3.3 run blocking grade on just 20 snaps.
Robert Alford, CB, +0.9
Breakdown: Alford was targeted 3 times, allowing 1 catch for 3 yards, with 2 passes defensed. The catch that he allowed was Brandin Cooks’ second quarter touchdown, but this was a solid game from last year’s second round pick.
Signature Stat: Alford’s +1.7 coverage grade led all defenders
PFF Game Ball
Matt Ryan’s second best career day easily earns him the game ball here.