On Sunday, against the Panthers, we saw the Saints play their best all-around football in 3 seasons.
Ah, the sweet, day after smell of victory. It’s in the air for New Orleans Saints fans today, the first time thus far in 2017. While the offense continued to flourish, a surprise outing from the Saints defense is the more important story.
After a shaky start to the season that has mirrored the past 5 or so seasons, Dennis Allen led his defense to a historical day. The Saints averaged 32.5 points given up in the first two games of the season. Sunday, they sacrificed just 13 points (1 TD, 2 FGs) to the Panthers. Everyone is equally shocked.
That mark was the lowest amount of point the Saints defense has given up in any game since Oct. 30, 2014. Fittingly enough, that game was also in Charlotte against the Panthers. The Saints won that game, 28-10.
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Yesterday was also just the fifth time in the same span that the Saints gave up less than 20 points. What changed? It started with pressure, and ended with forced turnovers. New Orleans came away with 3 interceptions, one which was spectacularly caught by rookie safety, Marcus Williams.
Cam Newton’s struggles factored into this outing as well. But the Saints tend to make mediocre QBs look great most of the time. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case in Week 3. A season that was close to being in the dust a week ago now has a new life thanks to this defense stepping up.
If this team can perform the way they did yesterday throughout the rest of this season, it may go from a tanking mood to a playoff party in the Big Easy.