Sep 8, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (76) tackles Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson (39) during the first quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Defense: 83 B
No one would confuse this defense for the Dome Patrol. The secondary was in trouble for most of the game. In all fairness, covering Atlanta’s stable of receiving talent is no easy task. But, the pass rush was on show and put the NFL on notice.
Even with missing Martez Wilson (left elbow) and losing Tyrunn Walker (right leg) and Brodrick Bunkley (left knee) to injuries, the depth of the Saints defense was on display. Akiem Hicks, Parys Haralson, and Junior Galette/Tyrunn Walker all combined for three sacks and held Atlanta to 89 yards rushing. All in all, an impressive show for a front seven that were bullied around last year.
The final REAL play of the game, an interception in the endzone by Roman Harper after a tip by Kenny Vaccaro, proved that, while the defense has some room to grow, the Saints defense will help win some games this year. In all honesty, there were many times the offense stalled or turned the ball over and the defense stepped up to bat.
That Rob Ryan just might turn things around yet.