For the Saints, who bested the St. Louis Rams in their preseason debut a week ago, the victory was polluted with a barrage of penalties. New Orleans was flagged 22 times on the night, including 14 penalties for 118 yards in the first half.
Despite the surplus of errors, the Saints played with high intensity and effort, particularly on defense, as defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s unit accounted for five takeaways.
The New Orleans defense was led in the first half by starting safety Kenny Vaccaro, who forced two fumbles and was seemingly always around the ball. In the second half, rookie safety Vinnie Sunseri stepped up in a big way in just his second NFL game action and snagged an interception while making his presence felt all over the field.
Playing without quarterback Drew Brees for the second consecutive week, the New Orleans offense was spearheaded by quarterback Luke McCown. The 11-year veteran completed 12 of 20 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham.
McCown was relieved late in the second quarter by Ryan Griffin, who tossed for 179 yards and two touchdown passes of his own.
Following is the first 2014 edition of postgame report card grades, with each position unit for the Saints receiving a letter grade.