Saints vs. Patriots: Biggest Winners and Losers
Despite how terrible the game was to sit through, there was still tiny glimmers of hope that came out of it. The disappointments were a little easier to point out, but there were so many of them to narrow down.
Three up. Three down.
Let's see who's going in which direction.
Roby has come on stronger than any other player who's fighting for a higher spot on the crowded New Orleans wide-receiver depth chart.
His superb play in training camp has translated well to the games. That was more evident in the Patriot game with a nice 30-yard reception along the sideline. He could earn himself more playing time at wide receiver than just his special teams duty if he keeps up this play.
Hicks missed the first preseason game and much of training camp with a hand injury, but, boy, did he stand out in this one.
His stat line might not read much, but he was constantly in the passing lanes with his hands up when he wasn't collapsing the pocket. His tipped pass led directly to Marquis Johnson's interception.
Solid start for the team's first draft choice.
Lofton was everywhere in this one, and, when he hit a runner, you better believe that guy was going backward.
He had one of those nights that you just knew he will be representing the Saints in the Pro Bowl as the starting MLB. That's how impressive he was.
He was always around the ball and even recovered Will Smith's fumble in the first quarter.
This was a veteran-versus-rookie match-up, and you couldn't tell which was which just by watching the tape alone.
Bushrod, the veteran, got manhandled by Chandler Jones, the first-rounder out of Syracuse, like Jones had been in the league 10 years and was toying with a rookie. It was a good thing that the "turf monster" got Jones on that attempted sack of Drew Brees because, if not, Jones blew by Bushrod so fast that Brees would've gotten whiplash from the hit.
Thankfully, this is preseason and nothing matters, but hopefully he cleans it up for the season. Brees' blindside is kind of important, maybe.
I had been praising this guy all week, and he goes and has an awful game, especially on special teams. His penalties on special teams extended drives for the Patriots when the Saints had their offense off of the field.
His deficiency versus the run came to the forefront on a few plays. He was getting pushed five-to-seven yards off the ball, and that led to seven- and eight-yard runs. Until he gets better versus the run, Spags might want to keep him in on pure passing downs.
When you are giving the most carries out of the Saints' big four (Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Ivory) at running back, you have to cash in on your opportunities. Eight carries for 17 yards won't do the trick. He's running his way onto the trading block with these performances.