The unit that once kept the New Orleans Saints afloat is now in danger of contributing to a potential sinking of the Saints ship, and it's time we discuss it.
There was a while in the beginning of the season that the defense of the New Orleans Saints just might be the best in the entire league. Fast forward to now, and the Saints defense looks almost unrecognizable, and it's about time we speak on the matter. Man the NFL season is long and warps your sense of time doesn't it?
There have been some bright spots, the emergence of Paulson Adebo as a potential all-pro is a prime example. However, it isn't enough to warrant any deflection of blame at this point for the defense, espeically one littered with veterans like this one.
Giving up 27 to the Gardner Minshew-led Indianapolis Colts, making Tyson Bagent look better than he is, and now this debacle against Josh Dobbs and the Minnesota Vikings, it's time to have a discussion. The defense needs to step up.
Granted, the offense, and the offensive line in particular, were holding the team back in the beginning of the year, so it's possible that it finally wore too much on the defense having to essentially carry the team. However, there is a stat that is rather glaring.
In the past five games, the Saints red zone defense has allowed touchdowns on 10 of 13 possessions, while allowing zero on three red zone possessions in the second half. That is certified lunacy. The Saints have been starting off way too slow, and the defense has to wear some of that.
Then there's this to consider:
The remaining schedule isn't exactly a murderer's row either, however, given what we've seen to this point, there isn't much reason to believe that the Saints still have a relatively easy (by NFL standards) path to hosting a playoff game in the Superdome.
The defense of the New Orleans Saints have done a lot for the team in 2023. That said, they need to wake up from this lull fast quick and in a hurry. Otherwise, we may be in for a LONG second-half of this roller coaster season.