New Orleans Saints: 3 stats from Week 9 that were inexcusable
Saints stats that were inexcusable — Where did the defense go?
Coming into the Falcon game, the Saints possessed a defense that ranked near the top in most categories. In fact, considering the challenges the Saints have on offense, it could be argued the defense was the primary reason the team is in the position it is.
The Falcons rolled into the dome a shell of the team they used to be. Calvin Ridley is not playing, the leading rusher is a converted receiver, and Matt Ryan is trying to do everything himself. This should have been a smack-down spot for a very stiff Saints defense.
What did we get instead?
Matt Ryan constantly shuffling in the pocket, and occasionally out of the pocket to buy time, someone named Zaccheaus catching two touchdowns, and the aforementioned converted receiver CATCHING 126 yards worth of balls. How does this happen? How does Matt Ryan confound the Saint defense to the tune of 343 and a 135.8 rating?
Well, where to start?
How about a pass rush that could get almost ZERO interior pressure, thus allowing Ryan to slide and step up? How about a secondary that allowed Ryan to complete passes to the tune of 11.4 yards per completion? How about a rush that could only get to the mobile-as-a-lamp Matt Ryan twice?
Did I mention Cordarrelle Patterson, the 30-year-old failed wide receiver was their top running back? Plenty of blame to go around here, but suffice to say the Saint defensive coaching staff is going to have to do some extra film work to get the defense ready for next Sunday’s showdown with the sudden powerhouse Tennessee Titans on the road.
A tough ask, but if the Saints can bounce back and stun the Titans in Nashville it would go a long way toward legitimizing this team as a force in the NFC.