The most noteworthy tweak in the New Orleans Saints' Week 9 participation report was how much time they spent in seven-man fronts -- using more linebackers and fewer defensive backs. They used those sets to try to combat the New York Jets' heavy-run sets. Obviously the approach didn't work well enough, since running back Chris Ivory burned them for runs of 52, 30 and 27 yards in a 26-20 Jets victory. However, as I wrote in my Upon Further Review column, the Saints weren’t exactly being grounded and pounded all day. Ivory gained only 30 yards on his other 15 carries.
Here's a look at all of the Saints’ snap counts from Sunday:
OFFENSE (74 snaps)
Quarterback: Drew Brees 74
Fullback: Jed Collins 16
Center: Brian de la Puente 74
Thoughts: So much for Graham being limited by his foot injury. He went from 18 snaps in Week 8 to 56 in Week 9. His workload was increased by the fact that the Saints went so pass-heavy in the second half while trying to play catch-up. … I’m surprised to see Toon with so many snaps among the receivers, especially after he struggled with two costly dropped passes in the first half. The Saints must have wanted his physical presence on the field with veteran Marques Colston out of the lineup. Not sure why Moore didn’t play more snaps. He appeared to be healthy throughout the game, but it’s possible they’re still easing him back from the hand injury that kept him out for several weeks.
DEFENSE (61 snaps)
Thoughts: Vilma played 12 snaps in his return from a knee injury -- not a big surprise. … With safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper out with injuries, the Saints went with backup cornerback White as their primary nickelback instead of using their usual package of three safeties.