Drew Brees and the Saints look to improve to 7-1 with a win over the Jets.
It's over in MetLife Stadium, as the Jets top the Saints.
Check below for halftime and postgame grades and analysis!
|Positional Unit||Halftime Grades||Postgame Grades|
Final Analysis for the New Orleans Saints
Pass Offense: Despite a high total yardage, Drew Brees played arguably his worst game of the season, throwing two interceptions and completing just 60 percent of his passes at a pedestrian (for Brees) 7.2 YPA. Brees clearly missed Darren Sproles (concussion) on third downs, where the Saints converted just three of 11 attempts.
Jimmy Graham hauled in two touchdowns and 119 yards, but it wasn't enough, as the Saints lost to the AFC East for the second time this season.
Run Offense: Another game, another subpar rushing performance from the Saints. New Orleans posted just 41 total rushing yards in the game, led by 24 from Pierre Thomas. The one-dimensional Saints' approach (51 passes to 13 rushes) clearly wasn't effective, as the Jets forced the Saints into a number of 3rd-and-long situations.
Pass Defense: It's very rare that a defense holds the opponent to 115 passing yards on 42 percent passing and loses, but that's what happened to the Saints today in an unusual contest. New Orleans did a phenomenal job preventing Geno Smith from getting much going, but the Jets were able to succeed in other ways against the Saints defense.
Run Defense: Put simply, the Saints run defense is bad, and it's a major concern going forward into the later months of the season. New Orleans allowed 198 rushing yards at a 5.5 YPC clip and two rushing touchdowns, including one by Geno Smith. Chris Ivory was the star of the game for the Jets, totaling 139 rushing yards on 7.7 YPC.
Special Teams: Garrett Hartley missed an early field goal but hit a 55-yard bomb and another 43-yarder to keep the Saints in the game late. The return coverage team struggled a bit, as Josh Cribbs returned five kicks for a 26.8 yard average in the game.
Coaching: This was a strange game, one in which the Saints tripled the Jets' passing yards (and had 10 more first downs through the air) and still lost. Payton's inability to adjust to the Jets rush attack coupled with the Saints' turnovers ultimately cost them a game they should have won.
First-Half Analysis for the New Orleans Saints
Pass Offense: Though he completed 65 percent of his passes for 230 yards, including a pair of scores to Jimmy Graham, Drew Brees hasn't exactly been vintage against the Jets. Brees nearly reached half his season total in INTs in the first half, an uncharacteristic performance from a player and offense that pride themselves on limiting turnovers.
Robert Meachem (88 yards) and Jimmy Graham (72 yards, two touchdowns) were the first-half offensive stars in the absence of Marques Colston, and the offensive line kept Brees clean. Still, the Saints need to prevent turnovers if they want to shut the door on the Jets with a strong second half.
Run Offense: The return of Mark Ingram (two rushes, five yards) didn't do much for the Saints rushing offense, which was again nonexistent in the first half. New Orleans totaled just 15 first-half rushing yards and didn't have a run for more than seven yards. Still, the Saints haven't had trouble moving the ball overall, so expect them to continue ignoring the run.
Pass Defense: The pass defense was strong for the Saints in the first half. Geno Smith completed just 46 percent of his passes for only 70 yards in the half (though Josh Cribbs had a 25-yard pass of his own). Surprisingly, undrafted free agent Zach Sudfeld has led the Jets attack with 46 first-half yards. The Saints LBs will need to do a better job of picking him up off the line in the second half.
Run Defense: Once again, the Saints can't run or stop the run. It has hurt them immensely this week, as the Jets racked up 126 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in the first half. Chris Ivory led the charge with 93 yards on 10 carries for the Jets. We'll see if the Saints stack the box more in the second half to sell out against the run.
Special Teams: Garrett Hartley did it again, hooking another makeable field goal wide left for the third time in less than two games. The Saints also allowed Josh Cribbs a near 30-yard return average in the half.
Coaching: The Saints played sloppy football from the outset, with a delay-of-game penalty (coming out of a timeout, no less) and a motion flag on their first series. While New Orleans has moved the ball effectively against the Jets, five first-half penalties and two interceptions have set the Saints back. The Saints' calling card is Payton's big-play offense, but it's even more important that their offense doesn't turn the ball over like it did in the first half.