Linebackers Grade: C+
DeMarcus Ware’ presence to a unit desperate for a sign punched the Saints in the mouth from the first play. There is no debate the production the pass rushing linebackers give the defense. Todd Davis’ lack of containment and instincts to fill holes in the running is a constant problem. This explains why Corey Nelson is seeing the field more over Davis.
Nelson is a better run stopping threat than Davis and it seems Nelson is growing comfortable in the defense to be utilized more. Zaire Anderson is the back up to Davis, but my guess is the lack of knowledge of playbook seems why Anderson is not on the field. Do not look for change to happen in this position group; however there are concerns in coverage with Davis that requires alteration.
Marshall appeared playing with his hamstring injury is not a problem, but that injury can linger. As is the constant thread in these position grades, the team needs the bye week to be healthy. Marshall gets the bye week to heal his injured hamstring, while the whole defense receives biggest boost of them all in the return of Aqib Talib. Linebackers played better against New Orleans, yet will earn a C+ grade because of a few big plays from the running backs in the receiving game.