New Orleans Saints defense must step up again in Brees’ absence

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

The saying history has a tendency to repeat itself is one saying the New Orleans Saints hopes actually does repeat itself when it comes to the defense.

The New Orleans Saints unfortunately are no strangers to life without Drew Brees.

They had to endure a five-game hiatus last season after he suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb. This time around it is being reported that Brees suffered multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung with an undisclosed timetable for a potential return.

The Saints were able to withstand the loss of the future Hall of Famer last season under the steady play of then Saints backup Teddy Bridgewater and the masterful play calling of Coach Sean Payton.

What gets lost on the minds of many during that 5-0 stretch is how well the defense played. They were an integral part of the success the Saints had in going perfect during Brees’ absence.

During that five-game stretch, the defense twice held opponents to under ten points or fewer.

They were able to amass seven turnovers and 11 sacks in those five games. Only one quarterback, Russell Wilson, threw for over 300 yards on the Saints, with most of those yards coming in garbage time as the Saints were up 27-7 in the 4th quarter.

The Saints have similarly been on a bit of a roll-on defense during this current 6 game winning streak. The Saints have yet to allow a 300-yard passing game this season and are actually 4th in the NFL in yards per game allowed at slightly over 308 per game.

The last 2 games alone the Saints have gotten 7 turnovers, 5 sacks, and 17 quarterback hits. Coach Payton will expect similar efforts out of the defensive unit who seemingly gets better every week.

Another big help the Saints will have is their upcoming schedule. Currently, their next 4 opponents have losing records and out of their remaining 7 games, only the Kansas City Chiefs have a winning record.

If Brees needs additional time to heal, the Saints can afford him that luxury by beating the teams they are supposed to beat.

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The old adage that defense wins championships may hold even more weight this season. While the New Orleans Saints probably cannot win a Super Bowl this season without Drew Brees, they will need the defense to right the ship until their signal-caller can get back.