New Orleans Saints defense serves up another dreadful reminder in loss to Carolina Panthers


Sep 16, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brandon LaFell (11) runs after catching a pass during the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Most New Orleans Saints fans had put the Week 1 loss to the Washington Redskins behind them after they saw a supposedly revamped defense get gashed on the ground and in the air.  They were quickly reminded about that loss following a defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers.

The Saints looked like a Pop Warner team against the Redskins last week, mainly on defense.  The new Steve Spagnuolo scheme was littered with zero pressure, botched coverages, and missed opportunities for takeaways and sacks.

The team mentioned that playing elusive Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III had helped them prepare for the match-up this Sunday.  Instead, it looked like the Panthers used the Redskins tape to see how to take down the Saints.

While the defense started off strong, it eventually gave way to the same as last week.  Most glaring once again was the non-existent pass rush from the defensive line which is supposed to be part of Spagnuolo’s plan to allow the secondary to make plays on the ball.

The secondary had their issues as well with former first-round pick cornerback Patrick Robinson missing two interceptions.  One that passed through his hands hitting his faemask and another diving one that he possibly could have come up with.

While rookie cornerback Corey White is having to learn on the fly and doing an OK job, a blown assignment allowed Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith to slip behind the defense and catch a pass for 66 yards.

Of course, those are only a few of the backbreaking plays the defense allowed during the game including allowing 219 rushing yards and 253 yards passing.  That brings the question up which is the problem the defensive scheme, the personnel, or a bit of both?