Mid-Season Grade For Saints WR’s
Courtesy—Danny Cox/New Orleans Sports Examiner
With the bye week upon us all and not having the New Orleans Saints to watch in action this week; it seems only appropriate to go through team and see how they are doing at the midway point of the season. Everyone needs to nitpick now and again right?
Yesterday we saw that the grades for the quarterback position and the offensive line aren’t exactly where they were at this point last year. We all know that things have been off a little bit and that especially holds true with the offense who hasn’t quite found their “number one ranking” rhythm that we’ve been so used to it. Grading the quarterback though comes with the territory of the position being analyzed today and that’s his weapons.
Most of the time I’ll be checking out two areas of the team at a time, but the wide receiving corps is rather deep for the Saints and deserves a column all their own so let’s get into it. It’s true that the running backs were supposed to be next in the pecking order, but it seemed only appropriate to check out the targets of the quarterback since they kind of work into his grade.
Now some may say that the grade received by the quarterback would very closely mirror that of the wide receivers and that’s not always correct. Some, not all, of the interceptions thrown by a quarterback are no fault of the wide receivers. Others of course are a mutual screw-up or mistake. While the offensive line may be to blame for most of the sacks taken by Drew Brees, the wide receivers can contribute to that if they can’t get open for him to throw to. Everyone on the team is connected in some way or another, but it all comes down to how you do your specific job.
The number one receiver on the team is Marques Colston and to say his season has been underwhelming so far is a bit of an understatement. It’s true that Brees is leading the league in passing touchdowns (18), but the tall receiver has only caught two of those. Colston has been drawing a lot more double coverage then usual and it’s obvious that the absence of Reggie Bush is to blame. Without the speedy back on the field, the focus of defenders is going to a receiver that can usually catch any ball thrown within 10 yards of him. That leads me to another problem and it’s seeing a handful of dropped balls by Colston this season which is unusual for him, but he’s not the only one.
Devery Henderson came into this season as the number two receiver on the depth chart with Robert Meachem close on his heels. Henderson has long been the Saints’ deep threat and always found ways to get wide open downfield and find his way into the end zone. This season though has seen him catch a lone touchdown and only put up 262 yards receiving so far. Sadly, Henderson has also fallen back into old habits of dropping very catchable balls that sometimes would have kept vital drives alive.
Speaking of Meachem; the touchdown scoring machine from last year is also not putting up the points as many expected. Yes, he was sneaking up on Henderson and looking to vault into a starting position but two touchdowns and only 304 receiving yards isn’t going to get him there. His name has been called so little this season and it’s puzzling. At least he had that long reception against the Steelers that helped the Saints continue driving late in the game.
Last but not least is the receiver who had virtually disappeared from existence yet emerged into the spotlight when Bush’s injury took him down in week two. At this point in the season, Lance Moore wasn’t expected to have 448 yards receiving and lead the team in receiving touchdowns with five, but that’s the way things have fallen. He has filled in more then adequately for Bush as a slot receiver and benefited from the double teams being thrown at Colston. His speed, ability to find openings in the defense, and catching just about every pass at him makes him the most consistent and MVP of the wide receivers so far in 2010.
Wide Receivers: B