Saints DC Gregg Williams Talks With Middle Linebacker Jonathan Vilma (Source: nj.com)

New Orleans Saints: defense, third down conversion, and the Detroit Lions


Last time the Detroit Lions came to town the New Orleans Saints defense was able to hold them to only 17 points while limiting them to a third down efficiency rating of 18%.

Of course that was a game the Saints won decisively in week thirteen of the regular season by 14 points.

Detroit only converted two out of a possible eleven total third down attempts during the game, but racked up 466 total yards offense.

In comparison the Saints converted 50% of their downs, 6 of 12, and put up 438 yards of total offense.

That offense came primarily in the second half of the game when the Saints defense went into a prevent style of play midway through the third quarter, giving up all passes within 15-yards of the line of scrimmage.

At that point the Lions were playing against the clock, and the Saints knew it.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams employed this technique several times late in the season after the team went up by such large margins against their opponents.

New Orleans hasn’t lost a game since week 8.

The defense plays better when at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where they have given up an average of 17.8 points per game, while the offense has scored 42 points per game.

New Orleans game plan shouldn’t deviate Saturday – shut down Calvin Johnson — and get the Lions offense off the field on the third down, again.

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Tags: 2012 Nfl Playoffs Detroit Lions Drew Brees Gregg Williams New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints NFC NFC Wild Card Game NFL Playoffs Sean Payton Superdome Wild Card Playoffs