Saints-Bills Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs up

SAINTS DEFENSE: Credit the unit for coming out and setting the tone early with David Hawthorne’s massive hit on Buffalo quarterback Thad Lewis, which caused a fumble that was recovered by Junior Galette. There was a question if the defense would have a hangover from the Patriots loss, but that wasn’t the case. This defense is legit and definitely one of the best in the league.

SAINTS QB DREW BREES: Brees did what he was supposed to do in the first half, get some points on the board quickly to get the limited Bills offense to have to throw the ball more. The touchdown passes to a wide open Kenny Stills for 69 yards and a covered Jimmy Graham for 15 yards were just what the doctor ordered.

SAINTS WR KENNY STILLS: Stills, the rookie from Oklahoma, has emerged as just another weapon in the team’s passing arsenal. He is sure handed with speed and runs decent routes. He is going to make a lot of plays in the future.

Thumbs down

SAINTS PLACE-KICKER GARRETT HARTLEY: Hartley missed field goals of 47 and 38 yards in the first half, which didn’t help the cause. The missed kicks gave the upstart Bills life and made things temporarily tough for the Saints. The team needed him to hit on at least one of those field goals.

SAINTS TIGHT END COVERAGE: Bills tight end Scott Chandler, who is a solid tight end, but not exactly in the Jimmy Graham mold, was open for most of the game. Opponents will watch this game tape and try to exploit that in the future. Saints linebackers aren’t good in man-to-man coverage of tight ends.

SAINTS RUN OFFENSE: OK, so we’re not exactly breaking news with this. Still, when you consider that the Saints play the rest of the season against teams that are great to decent against the run, it could be a problem because it limits half of the playbook. The team had two weeks to break out of being a one-dimensional offense and couldn’t do it.

Pierce W. Huff