New Orleans Saints defensive and special teams player grades vs. Seahawks

New Orleans Saints defensive and special teams player grades vs. Seahawks


New Orleans Saints defensive and special teams player grades vs. Seahawks


The Seahawks scored 20 points but 7 of those came from a defensive fumble return. For this defense to hold anyone to 13 is a huge win right now. Now, the offense helped with that because they ran a lot and they burned an enormous amount of clock. But still, we saw a turnover, we saw a sack, we saw stops, and we saw a play at the end of the game one the last play when the outcome was still in question. If the defense can play like this – playoffs are still in play. I really hope we see Delvin Breaux and Sheldon Rankins back next week. This defense is so close to improving if they can just get some talent help. Here are the grades:

Cameron Jordan: B+ (2.62) I feel like he’s unfairly criticized by fans. This was another clear game where his impact was felt but he didn’t have the sacks to validate it. But Jordan played well throughout – despite fighting through double teams and getting held with no flags coming ever. He had just 2 tackles, 1 for a loss on a nice run stuff, and a defended pass (tipped ball perfectly timed) on a 3rd down – huge play. Overall he put a lot of pressure on Russell Wilson which forced him to unload the ball quickly. The sacks will come, but this was a solid showing.

Paul Kruger: B- (2.06) Just one tackle, but I thought he was pretty stout against the run. He did get a sack on a nice move and had decent pressure at times.

Darryl Tapp: B- (2.34) He flashes a play as a sub every time. He’s always given worthwhile contributions. This was a hurry where he chased Wilson to the sidelines and put a nice thump on him.

Nick Fairley: C+ (2.71) A quieter game where he didn’t get much pass rush going. He had 2 tackles and seemed to have a decent day against the run.

Tyeler Davison: C (2.44) Excellent in the first half. In the second half, the Seahawks more stretch and hit run plays that had Davison moving laterally and he just struggled to fills those gaps and make plays. He was stout at times but his impact on the game wasn’t really felt.

John Jenkins: B- (2.33) No tackles for him either but his presence against the run defense was felt the minute he came into the second half. Nice job eating space and holding blocks.

David Onyemata: C- (2.14) Came in as a sub pass rusher and did nothing. I imagine he’ll play a lot less when Rankins returns.

Craig Robertson: B+ (2.71) Active, pretty good in coverage, and a tough tackler. Always a willing participant in helping his teammates clean up plays. He had 9 tackles and played hard. A good showing.

Dannell Ellerbe: B- (2.67) Nice to finally see him back in the mix. He looked pretty good overall. He was tough, had 5 tackles and defended ok in space. He was in pursuit and didn’t look the fastest but I’m sure that’ll come.

Nate Stupar: B+ (2.52) Excellent showing which including 5 tackles and 1 interception where he jumps a route to Graham. That play turned around the fortunes in the game. I wouldn’t call him great at anything but he was solid in coverage and against the run. Deserves the playing time he’s getting.

Michael Mauti: C- (2.17) Came so close to blocking a punt. So close. He missed it by about the length of a fingertip after he rushed in on a high snap. On the receiver pass by Tanner McElvoy, he bit hard on the trick play and was roasted by C. J. Prosise. Give Mauti credit for catching up to Prosise and talking him at the 1. That was his only tackle.

Ken Crawley: C (2.14) I didn’t think this was Crawley’s best day. I thought he played zones a little too literally which prevented him from using ball skills. He over ran a slant play and got turned around, allowing a huge gain once. His coverage was up and down and Wilson was able to go after him a bit. He had 6 tackles and a heavy volume coming his way.

B. W. Webb: B (2.67) As far as I’m concerned, Webb shouldn’t have to buy a drink for a month for making sure that last pass ended out of bounds. Wilson stayed away for the most part.

DeVante Harris: C+  (1.67) Limited snaps as a nickel corner but his coverage held up well. He had 1 tackle. On special teams, he had a shot at Lockett for no gain but missed the tackle. Still, he slowed Lockett down enough that it gave his teammate an opportunity to finish off the pay.

Vonn Bell: B- (2.39) He had 3 tackles and did a decent job as the last line of defense. Did well in coverage downfield.

Jairus Byrd: B+ (2.14) This reminded me of his performance against the Giants. I thought his tackling and coverage was on point. He was helpful in the box against the run, he covered ok and he had some well timed run blitzes that allowed him to pursue after the play and catch up with the runner. He also saved a touchdown late on that pass to Jimmy Graham. He’s been real up and down but he was up in this one.

Kenny Vaccaro: B+ (2.78) Only 3 tackles but physical against the run and he did a fantastic job covering Graham. Cam close to an interception on a pass near the end zone.


Wil Lutz: A+ (2.81) He was a perfect 4 for 4, including a 53 yard bomb, a 41 yarder to make it 25-20 with under 2 minutes left, and he also made his lone extra point attempt. A rare perfect day. He did a great job getting depth on his kickoffs, too, but Lockett took a few out and hurt the Saints anyway. Give Lutz huge credit for hustling at one point and making a beautiful solo tackle himself to limit a return.

Thomas Morstead: C+ (3.24) Averaged 46 yards on two punts but Lockett was set up to return. The net was just 39 on the day. Not his best day but nothing horrible either. Right now he’s 0.05 points behind Mike Thomas for the team lead in GPA.

Brian Dixon: B- (2.25) Didn’t make any plays this time but re-directed the return man every time. He’s always the first man down and staying involved as a gunner.

Tommylee Lewis: C- (2.34) Struggled to field a punt he clearly should have. Doesn’t look to comfortable or sure handed fielding punts. He had one kickoff return for 23 yards.

Kasim Edebali: C+ (1.91) I don’t know what happened this season but he’s an afterthought on defense. He did hustle on special teams and slowed down Lockett enough to result in a tackle.

Roman Harper: C+ (1.81) He didn’t make any tackles but was around a couple tackles. Give him credit for taking his limited role seriously and accepting to play special teams at his age.


My defensive player of the game: Cam Jordan

My special teams player of the game: Wil Lutz

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