For as good as the Saints offense has been over the years it’s defense has been as equally bad, and that’s not good.
It became an all too familiar sight for opposing wide receivers to beat Saints defenders deep for huge gains, and as a fan you just knew it was a matter of time before it happened.
The Saints defense ranked 26th in the league in 2007 and 23rd in 2008, hence why the Saints completely missed the playoffs both seasons.
Typically the story has been about Drew Brees and the electric Saints offense and of course the lack of a defense.
So far in 2009 that’s not been the case.
The completely re-vamped defense has quickly become one of the top ranking units in football and after three games this season they rank a respectable tenth in the league in total defense and fourteenth in points allowed.
That was not a typo people, they are currently ranked as the tenth best defense in the NFL.
Isn’t it amazing what a few key players and new defensive coordinator can do.
Some other fun rankings:
- 11th in total sacks with six
- 13th in scoring defense (defensive touchdowns)
- 16th in total tackles
- 1st in interceptions
Against the Run:
The Saints have not allowed a 100 yard rusher to date and so far have been dominate against some of the leagues better running backs shutting down Kevin Smith, Bryan Westbrook, and the red hot Fred Jackson.
They have allowed only 67 yards a game and 3.2 yards per carry while giving up only two rushinng touchdowns, which ranks them as fifth in the league in total run defense.
Against the Pass:
Pass defense has been the Saints Achilles heel over the last few years and re-tooling the secondary became the biggest project for the Saints over the off-season, releasing several players while signing even more replacements.
Currently the Saints ranks 23rd overall in pass defense but this number is a little deceiving as the offense has put so many points up so quickly that teams are forced to air it out, therefore the Saints play a prevent style defense to compensate.
Yardage totals aside the secondary has been downright stingy only allowing two total passing touchdowns while intercepting a league best seven passes including one for a touchdown.
The also managed to hold T.O. to no catches in their last win over Buffalo, something that has never been done his entire career.
If you would like a complete breakdown of the Saints defense and statistics vist this link to the stat page on NFL.com.
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