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2013 NFL Grades, Week 10: Dallas' defense a total disaster

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Boy did that get out of hand quickly. Before the Cowboys knew what hit them, the Saints piled up 40 first downs en route to pulverizing Dallas and humiliating Monte Kiffin's defensive unit. Sean Lee left with an injury and DeMarcus Ware was seriously hampered as well but there's no excuse for that portion of the team being that bad.

For the second game in three weeks the Cowboys gave up more than 600 yards of total offense. Those 40 (forty!) first downs for the Saints were an NFL record. Mark Ingram, who has never rushed for 100 yards in a single game in his career, ran for 145 yards on Sunday and averaged more than 10 yards a carry.

The Saints nearly covered the 55-point over/under by themselves. Drew Brees had almost as many incompletions (7) as Tony Romo had completions (10).

It was the third-largest single-game differential in yardage between two teams in the last 25 years, with the Saints producing 432 more yards than the Cowboys.

"It wasn't a fun game," Tony Romo said afterward.

Rob Ryan would probably disagree. He was given the boot by the Cowboys this offseason so they could bring in Kiffin and transition to his Tampa-2 defense. Ryan's defense got the Saints rolling while Kiffin's defense is simply rolling over.

TeamGradeAnalysis
Saints 49, Cowboys 17
FAn absolute abomination. Dallas ran the ball well early but then couldn't keep pace with the Saints offensively. It's one thing to give up a ton of points. But you've got to at least try to keep up with the Saints. Horrible game for Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Worse game for the defense.
ANo mercy from Drew Brees and Sean Payton, who helped Rob Ryan exact revenge on his old bosses. They annihilated Monte Kiffin's defense to the tune of 600 yards and 40 first downs. Brees only missed on 7 passes and finished with 4 touchdown passes. Mark Ingram had his first career 100-yard rushing game.
TeamGradeAnalysis
Eagles 27, Packers 13
B+Philly caught a big break when Aaron Rodgers went down and took advantage. Not that Rodgers can play defense: Nick Foles looked great for the second week in a row, LeSean McCoy rushed for more than 150 yards and Riley Cooper put up a big number again.
D-Green Bay isn't going to win a lot of games without Rodgers. Scott Tolzien filled in nicely, especially given he had to come off the bench cold. Jarrett Boykin stepped up and Jordy Nelson kind of got hosed on a possible TD catch. The Packers defense has to be a major concern though. They were shredded.
Jaguars 29, Titans 27
A-It wasn't a perfect game for Jacksonville by any stretch, but the Jags are finally on the board in the "W" column. Jacksonville jumped all over the Titans and never let up.
F-On Sunday morning the Titans were a potential AFC wild card sleeper. Sunday afternoon they're the team that lost to Jacksonville. Embarrassing effort even before Jake Locker suffered an injury.
Steelers 23, Bills 10
DLopsided affair on the road for EJ Manuel, who averaged less than 4 yards an attempt. The Bills offense was downright putrid Sunday.
B+

Pittsburgh took care of business and dominated Buffalo. The Steelers are a strong performance against Oakland away from being in the playoff hunt. Antonio Brown's quietly having a really nice season and went over 100 yards again Sunday.

Giants 24, Raiders 20
C-Good job, good effort for Oakland. The Raiders were up big in this game but couldn't close. The Giants gave them tons of opportunities in the first half to steal a victory and they couldn't do it.
C+Sloppy first half had them down by three to Oakland at home. Good job regrouping though. Andre Brown was a shot in the arm for one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL. Eli Manning -- 12/22, 140 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT -- still isn't right.
Rams 38, Colts 8
A+"A" is for "Austin." Tavon Austin absolutely exploded Sunday at Lucas Oil Field, scoring three times, including a 95-yard punt return. St. Louis scored twice on defense/special teams and Kellen Clemens averaged more than 15 yards per attempt. A total whitewashing.
F-Was that Andrew Luck's worst game as a pro? There's a good chance it was. Indianapolis struggled all day in every facet of the game. Horrible effort for the Colts.
Seahawks 33, Falcons 10
B+Seattle got revenge for its playoff loss with a big game from Marshawn Lynch and an efficient effort from Russell Wilson. Golden Tate had an unbelievable touchdown and the defense snuffed out everything the Falcons had.
D-Atlanta got dominated for the second straight week. This once stout offense couldn't do anything against Seattle and the Falcons D had no answers either. Steven Jackson had another uninspiring game
Ravens 20, Bengals 17
C-A second-straight bad game for Andy Dalton looks a little bit better thanks to a Hail Mary at the end of regulation, but don't be fooled. Dalton was not good Sunday in a critical game for Cincy to get some separation in the AFC North. The defense bottled up a bad Ravens offense but Dalton and Co. couldn't keep up their end of the bargain.
B-A nearly disastrous end-of-game scenario ultimately ended up not mattering. The defense did a very nice job limiting the Bengals for much of the day. The Baltimore offense is still really bad -- the running game is horrible -- but managed enough points to creep back into the AFC North race.
Lions 21, Bears 19
B+Calvin Johnson did what Calvin Johnson does and Reggie Bush dominated on the ground. The Lions went on the road and won a crucial game to take the NFC North lead. They're suddenly in a very friendly position.
CDid they rush Jay Cutler back too soon? He was clearly injured and suffered as a result. Rolling with Josh McCown could've been more effective. The defense got shredded (again) and the Bears couldn't convert late touchdown opportunities, which cost them badly.
TeamGradeAnalysis
Panthers 10, 49ers 9
B+Ugly win but to go all the way out to San Francisco and come away victorious is HUGE for Carolina. The Panthers were dominant on defense and Cam Newton did just enough to pick up the win offensively.
C+Colin Kaepernick really struggled once Vernon Davis left with an injury. The defense did a good job limiting the Panthers, but the offensive line couldn't protect Kaepernick and two costly turnovers really hurt San Francisco.
Cardinals 27, Texans 24
C-J.J. Watt was a beast once again (one sack, two forced fumbles) but it wasn't enough. Case Keenum and Andre Johnson hooked up late on an amazing play but the offense was mostly flat in the second half.
BThe Cardinals are suddenly looking like a playoff contender. They're 5-4, their defense is playing well and Carson Palmer and the offense are doing just enough. Their schedule is getting really easy starting next week.
Broncos 28, Chargers 20
B+Another ho-hum game from Peyton Manning as he tossed four touchdowns, three of which went to Demaryius Thomas. The defense limited the Chargers to 13 points before the third quarter, setting them up for a pretty easy victory. Manning is still taking too many shots though.
C-The Chargers mounted a late comeback and managed to sack Peyton Manning twice but they still didn't have much of an answer for Denver's offense. Philip Rivers needed to have a bigger game if the Chargers wanted a shot at winning.
 
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