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Report Card Vs. Buccaneers

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; REPORT CARD VS. BUCCANEERS PASSING OFFENSE: C — While they weren't terrible, the Saints finished with a season-low 162 net passing yards in their loss to the Buccaneers. That was 25 yards fewer than they had in a season-opening loss ...

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Old 12-05-2007, 10:51 PM   #1
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Report Card Vs. Buccaneers

REPORT CARD VS. BUCCANEERS

PASSING OFFENSE: C — While they weren't terrible, the Saints finished with a season-low 162 net passing yards in their loss to the Buccaneers. That was 25 yards fewer than they had in a season-opening loss at Indianapolis. Drew Brees completed 17 of 23 passes for 179 yards and two TDs — including a perfectly thrown 45-yard scoring strike to Devery Henderson — in posting a passer rating of 125.1. Brees was sacked a season-high three times, however, and completed just six passes to his wide receivers. Marques Colston had just two receptions for 39 yards.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B — The Saints managed to run the ball effectively at times Sunday; the problem was they just didn't get enough opportunities. They had just 47 offensive plays, of which 21 were runs. Reggie Bush, who is still not 100 percent after being slowed by a bruised left shin, picked up 64 of the team's 84 rushing yards and had a long gain of 14. Aaron Stecker added 16 yards on seven tries as the Saints averaged 4.0 yards a carry.

PASS DEFENSE: D-minus — The only thing that saved the grade from being an "F" was CB Mike McKenzie's interception and 53-yard return for a touchdown. Other than that, it was bad, as Luke McCown, who was making just his fifth NFL start, picked the Saints apart. He was 29 of 37 for 313 yards with two TDs. He was sacked three times but finished with a passer rating of 108.7 as he connected with WR Joey Galloway seven times for 159 yards — including a 60-yarder to set up a score — and teamed up with TEs Anthony Becht and Jerramy Stevens for short scoring passes.

RUSH DEFENSE: D — The Saints had been doing a good job against the run, but the Bucs ripped them for 172 yards and a 6.6-yard average on 26 carries. Former third-string RB Earnest Graham became the first individual to rush for 100 yards in 11 games against the Saints when he finished with 106 yards on 22 carries. He had a 25-yard TD run in the third quarter. McCown added 34 yards on two carries, including a 26-yard scramble.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C — There wasn't much to talk about as the Saints returned no punts and averaged just 14.7 yards on seven kickoff returns. On the other hand, the Bucs returned four punts for a 2.3-yard average and returned four kickoffs for a 22.3 average. The bright spot was the kicking of punter Steve Weatherford, who averaged 42.8 gross yards and 41.3 net yards on six kicks. He also had one punt inside the 20 and had a long of 54 yards.

COACHING: F — The Saints were out of sync and discombobulated most of the day. They burned all three of their second-half timeouts — one on offense and two on defense — in the third quarter, and Sean Payton and McKenzie engaged in an animated conversation after the Bucs completed a 60-yard pass on the final play of the first quarter to set up their first touchdown. A bad day got worse for Payton when he called an ill-advised double-reverse with just over 3 1/2 minutes to play with New Orleans holding a three-point lead. The Saints fumbled the ball away, and the Bucs needed just eight plays to score the game-winning touchdown.
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