Before we conclude whether the Saints’ pass coverage can get back on track. Let us go over a few points.
For starters, coverage is very volatile year-to-year. Thus, in any given week, they could perform at a high level.
At the same time, since coverage is so volatile, it is worth noting that you can bank on a player’s past production to predict future success the way you can for other aspects. Thus, there is a lot of unknown and instability here.
Defense is generally dependent on the opponent, and with the Bucs, 49ers, Falcons, Chiefs, Vikings, and Panthers all are on their schedule still, it won’t get much easier for them. The schedule in it of itself isn’t difficult, due to the luxury of facing subpar defenses, but it’s looking like New Orleans could be involved in more shootouts.
Plus, the credentials of defensive coordinator Dennis Allen have to be in doubt. In every season he has been the team’s defensive coordinator, the Saints have finished with a worse yards/play allowed rank than their actual grade.
In other words, they have consistently performed worse than their talent would indicate.
That makes the fact that the individual players are underperforming an even greater concern; you’d expect there to be a natural drop-off between their individual production and the production of the unit as a whole.
Through the first six games of the season, the Saints have been in the headlines due to Drew Brees’ inability to push the ball down the field, Michael Thomas’ injuries and suspension, Emmanuel Sanders dealing with COVID-19, and several key primetime matchups.
However, the defense’s poor performances are evident even in their wins, and thus, they’ll be in a lot go high-scoring affairs. I don’t think that’s how they are built to play, given their lack of production in the vertical passing game, so unless the defense gets back on track, trouble could be arising.
If it almost cost them very winnable games against the Chargers and Panthers, what will happen against better offenses? That is something that has to be on the mind of every nervous Saints fan as they look ahead to the rest of the season.