News & Analysis

Refocused: New England Patriots 36, New Orleans Saints 20

By PFF Analysis Team
Sep 17, 2017

NFL Featured Tools

  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data.

  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

  • In-depth analysis and PFF metrics for 35 NFL quarterbacks from the 2018 season.

  • 500+ scouting profiles and signature stats for the 2019 draft class.

PFF Edge

Unlock Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

Learn More
$39.99 /yr
$9.99 / mo
Sign Up

PFF Elite

Unlock Premium Stats, Greenline Picks & DFS

Learn More

Includes all of PFF Edge

$199.99 /yr
$34.99 / mo
Sign Up
NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 17: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady fires a pass in the second quarter during a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La., Sept. 17, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Both teams were effective moving the ball, but the Patriots were excellent in the first half, scoring 30 points, including three QB Tom Brady touchdown passes to three different receivers and a RB Mike Gillislee touchdown run. The Saints put up 13 points of their own, including a QB Drew Brees touchdown to WR Brandon Coleman.

The fourth quarer would feature another Brees touchdown pass to TE Coby Fleener, but the Patriots maintained their lead, en route to the 36-20 win. With that, we give you our PFF exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.

Top 5 Grades:

QB Tom Brady, 86.5 overall grade

RG Shaq Mason, 86.1 overall grade

TE Rob Gronkowski, 85.0 overall grade

CB Jonathan Jones, 84.9 overall grade

DE Deatrich Wise, 84.0 overall grade

Performances of Note:

QB Tom Brady, 86.5 overall grade

That’s how a future Hall of Famer bounces back from an ugly Week 1. Brady was off target on only seven of his 39 targeted pass Sunday. He was lights out down the field, going 4-of-5 for 102 yards and a touchdown on passes 20-plus yards past the line of scrimmage. He made it look easy.

TE Rob Gronkowski, 85.0 overall grade

There’s the Gronk we know and love. He tallied 116 yards on nine targets before exiting early with an injury. Even before that though it’s worth questioning if he’s fully healthy as there appeared to be a little hitch in his stride and looked a touch slow out of breaks.

DE Deatrich Wise, 84.1 overall grade

The Patriots managed a measley 10 pressures all day long on Drew Brees, but four of those came via the rookie pass-rusher. Wise had a sack, two hits and a hurry on 27 pass-rushing snaps. It was a breakout performance for one of PFF’s sleepers heading into the draft.

CB Stephon Gilmore, 77.5 overall grade

Another week, another solid performance from the free agent-signing. He was targeted three times on 44 coverage snaps and allowed a total of 40 yards. Against a quarterback like Brees, those are good overall numbers.

Top 5 Grades:

CB Marshon Lattimore, 89.0 overall grade

QB Drew Brees, 88.0 overall grade

DE Cameron Jordan, 87.0 overall grade

DE Alex Okafor, 81.9 overall grade

DT Sheldon Rankins, 78.5 overall grade

Performances of Note:

QB Drew Brees, 88.0 overall grade

While he missed a handful of throws, Brees was let down a number of times by his receivers. Whether it was via the three drops or the handful of contested catches they were unable to make, Brees’ receiving corps could have easily pushed their quarterback over 400 yards with a little help.

WR Ted Ginn Jr., 39.8 overall grade

Ginn was the main culprit on the day. He was targeted six times and gained only 24 yards on those targets with a dropped pass. He’s never been much in traffic and that was yet again the case today.

S Kenny Vaccaro, 34.2 overall grade

With trade rumors swirling, if the Saints were trying to showcase Vaccaro to get something in return, they did a poor job of it. He missed two tackles, had a holding penalty, and was beaten a couple other times in coverage.

CB Marshon Lattimore, 89.0 overall grade

While the defense as a whole yielded 400-plus passing yards, Lattimore was only responsible for 28 of those. He had two of the Saints four pass breakups on the day and yielded only one catch for more than five yards.

PFF Game Ball: Tom Brady, QB

*Grades are subject to change upon review

PFF Edge

PFF Elite