If the Saints wanna make the playoffs in 2017, the defense will have to improve. Consequently,the first priority is bucking the pattern of lackluster defense late in the game.
The Saints are making progress as of late, yet the same mistakes keep coming back to haunt them. First and foremost, the fourth quarter has been literally killing the New Orleans Saints. Especially, just look at the last couple of years.
The teams that continuously win games often, are the ones that make the plays when it counts. The Saints have no doubt struggled in the fourth quarter. Here’s the evidence. In 2016, the Saints played two games against the Raiders and Denver Broncos, where they gave up double digits in the fourth quarter.
Against the Oakland Raiders the Saints gave up 22 fourth quarter points. Additionally, the Black and Gold gave up 15 points to the Denver Broncos. And we all know what happened it that game.
It was even worse in 2015. There were five games in 2015 the Saints gave up double digits in the fourth quarter including overtime. Those games were against these five teams: Cardinals, Eagles, Titans, Redskins, and the Panthers. The Titans were the only game the Saints went to OT which was counted in as well.
The amounts varied from 10-14 points in the 4th quarter in each loss. Above all, this is the most telling stat. In 2017, The New England Patriots were the best defense, as far as points given up the ENTIRE GAME. The Patriots gave up an average of 15.6 points a game. Think about that for a second. Seven of the 18 losses the Saints dropped in the last two years came with allowing an approximate average of 14 points in the 4TH QUARTER alone. This should be embarrassing.
Furthermore, if you go back to 2015, the Seahawks were the leading defense, giving up only 17.3 points a game. There two other teams, the Bengals and Chiefs that allowed 18 points or under as well in 2015. The evidence is overwhelming, that the Saints have a problem in the fourth quarter. That being said, this is just one area that doesn’t show up in the box score. However, the Saints should be aware that there is an ongoing problem of imploding exponentially in giving up points in late in the game that has developed a pattern of discourse.
In the meantime, Who Dat Dish will provide Exhibit B next time to add to the incriminating case of underperforming on the defensive side of the ball. Incidentally, these incidences of recurring habits continue to hamper the New Orleans Saints. Hopefully, the coaches can fix it soon.