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DE Will Smith—Grade—B-
Will Smith did not appear to play a real key role in this contest. He was there, and did a really good job in the running game. It was disappointing to not see him near Matt Ryan more. He played similar to the way he showed out last Sunday.
DT Brodrick Bunkley—Grade—A
Brodrick Bunkley was a beast against the run in this game. He had a tough start, but as the game progressed he tore up the Falcons’ interior offensive line. He also managed to get his hands on one or two Matt Ryan passes. This was hands down Bunkley’s best game as a Saint, and why Mickey Loomis brought him for five years, $25 million.
DT Sedrick Ellis—Grade—B
Sedrick Ellis actually showed up on the day, again. It was the second straight week he looked like he cared and played well. Sure, he was still getting pushed four yards beyond the line of scrimmage. But at least he exhibited effort at that point to find the ball and tackle the guy with it. And his pass rush elevated the defensive effort once again.
DE Cameron Jordan—Grade—A
Cameron Jordan had another underrated game (as always I am stealing from the previous week). Jordan was seemingly in the offensive backfield on every play. Jordan found his way to Matt Ryan for a sack and was regularly putting pressure on Ryan.
DT Tom Johnson—Grade—B
Tom Johnson also regularly found himself in the backfield. Steal much of the comment about Jordan from above—re: Bringing Ryan down. He also played the run well when he was in the game.
DT Akiem Hicks—Grade—B
Akiem Hicks did not make a ton of plays in this game. But his play was consistent. That’s about all you can ask for from a young rookie defensive tackle (also taken from last week). I wouldn’t say his play improved this week, but it was again solid. That’s another steal from last week.
DE Junior Galette—Grade—N/A
Galette did not play in this game.
DE Martez Wilson—Grade—B
Martez Wilson is seeing plenty of defensive snaps nowadays. He played well, but not as effectively as some would hope. Still his ability create pressure has made Will Smith pretty much expendable.