>Grading the Bills
RUNNING GAME: C
Jackson had his moments, slashing for 71 yards on 18 carries. But no carries over 12 yards. Lynch's return will be welcome in Miami next week.
PASSING GAME: D-
Edwards in full Captain Checkdown mode against Saints pressure. Was 20 of 35, but didn't have completion over 18 yards and didn't get ball to Owens.
RUN DEFENSE: C- Any way you slice it, the Saints rushed for 222 yards and 5.8 average. Didn't even need to use Pierre Thomas (126 yards) until second half.
PASS DEFENSE: B
Bills held Brees to 172 yards, his lowest total since 2006. Front four got decent pressure and Fewell's coverage schemes were solid.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C-
Fake field goal was work of genius, but shabby overall. Had three more penalties on kick returns. Parrish's fumbled punt was a killer.
Another signature Jauron loss against a contender. Can't understand his insistence on deferring opening kick. Punting on fourth-and-1 was weak.
>Grading the Saints
RUNNING GAME: A
Payton had masterful plan. Was committed to establishing run and wore down Bills' defense. Saved Thomas, who ran for 126 after halftime.
PASSING GAME: C-
Brees seemed unsure of himself and unwilling to throw the ball down the field. Maybe he watched too much film of Edwards.
RUN DEFENSE: C
Prevented Jackson from breaking any long ones. Kept Bills from getting many manageable down-and-distance situations. Grant and Smith are beasts.
PASS DEFENSE: A
Gregg Williams was in his glory, sending the heat and knowing Edwards wouldn't burn him. Broke Owens' 185-game streak with at least one catch.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Stripped Parrish on punt return. Didn't allow Bills much on kickoff returns. Strong punt coverage. Caught napping on fake field goal for TD.
Payton had his team ready to compensate for poor passing day with insistent, effective running game. Never easy to win big in Orchard Park.