The common line that is spouted on many occasions in sports is that “numbers don’t lie.” While that is true, if you ask the New Orleans Saints defense they can be deceiving.
In the past ten games of the 2012 season, the Saints defense is rated as one of the worst in the league (32nd) and are giving up an average of 462.8 yards a game. Yet they win.
In fact the Saints have won five of their last six games with a streak of three. This is something that no one expected out of a team that was shredded by the likes of one win teams like the Kansas City Chiefs.
It didn’t seem like the Saints could buy a sack, fumble, or interception in the beginning of the 2012 season but are now coming at a steady pace as of late.
Witness the much needed stand that the Saints took against the once thought invincible Atlanta Falcons or better yet the constant goal line stops that they have made.
Yesterday’s effort against the Oakland Raiders saw safety Malcolm Jenkins intercept a pass returned for a touchdown, fellow safety Roman Harper intercept a pass, and one sack each for linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive ends Will Smith and Tom Johnson.
While the defense is still a work in progress, you can see the unit begin to come together and implement the complex scheme that was thrown on them when defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo came to town.
Spagnuolo has also begun to shuffle players to what they do best. Example: If safety Roman Harper is a liability in coverage, then don’t put him in that position unless absolutely necessary.
The only hitch to the defense is that there is obviously some personnel issues that should and hopefully will be addressed after the season. Until then the Saints defense continues to make people scratch their heads on how such a leaky defense continues to hold back the tide.