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Defense: The Butchers’ Toll Part 1

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Posted 07-21-2008 at 04:17 PM by hagan714
Updated 05-04-2009 at 06:46 PM by hagan714

The Butchers’ Toll
Part 1

No one can tell me we played the same system as in 2006. By the end of 2006 the fans and the rest of the NFL knew how to kill the Saints’ defense. Attack it. So in 2007 the Saints went for a safer approach and decided it was safer to read and react to opposing offense and try to minimize the bleeding. Well that did not work. The Saints’ Defensive blood had to be cleaned for the field every Sunday. Napoleon would always ask for “What’s The Butchers’ Toll?” after a battle and that is a good slogan to describe the 2007 Saints defensive damage opposing offenses inflicted on them.

In 2007 the offense seemed to be missing something, Coach Peyton’s play calling was not working as it did in 2006. The NFL had adjusted to Sean’s play calling. Then with Deuce gone, and injuries to other key players, they just could not get it together. The Saints still managed to pull off a 7-5 record after starting off 0-4. With 2 key games decided by a touchdown or less. To make matters worse it was within the division and at home. They got B-slapped in their own home in front of their fans.

David Carr hit Steve Smith with a 17-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 13-13 with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Kasay's 52-yard field goal at the final gun gave the Panthers the 16-13 win.

McCown threw a 4-yard TD pass to TE Jerramy Stevens with: 14 remaining to put on top 27-23.

Those two games determined the difference of a 9-7 record and the 7-9 we ended up with, despite a 0-4 start. Those losses were directed by the skilled QBs named Carr and McCown. Scary stuff. What it proves that defense is the key to winning no matter how good your offense is (#4 in yardage/12th in scoring). So even when the offense scored, the defense could not manage to keep the opposing team from making a come back. In 2008 the defense has its work cut out for itself. Before I get into the players we added and all that stuff. Lets swallow the bitter pill that was 2007.

Defensive Statistics
As a unit the defensive stats show how the little things effect the game. Look at the difference in the Points per Game, 7.6 pts. and 81.7 yards per game separated use from the 1 spot. Not to over whelming of a goal as we might think. The Saints did not yield an over whelming amount of first downs but yielded the big play way to much. We all know this. But one thing that stands out is the number of penalties we had. Ranked 16th with 89 flags we managed to come up to 13th in yardage surrendered. Not bad. So we were not really killing ourselves there. The timing of those penalties was not always the best. The third conversion rate was another issue.42% put us in the 22nd ranking tied with 4 other teams (Texans, Titans, Jets, Panthers) Not very good company. But the best news is we did get to be ranked #1 in one ranking. At 5.8 yards per play we were the league leaders. Damn descending order. Sorry about that for got to click twice. The bad thing is we surrender more yards in few plays than any other team in the NFL. Well that puts in the company of team like Oakland,Miami, and Detroit. Another scary part in that is we did not face Brady, Farve and the much better QBs in the AFC west twice a year. We even managed to that while ranking 6th in the league in time of possession. LOL.. The Big Play yet again comes to the forefront. This is a sick comedy routine that never ends and we the fans are the butt of the joke..

Passing Defense
A league leading 15 plays over 40 yards and the second most plays of over 20 yards at a horrible 54 plays. No those 15 plays over 40 do not count as part of the 54. Only Buffalo was worse at 55. That's a grand total of 69 plays longer than 20 yards. Second to none in the NFL. Now take those numbers and add in the fact we yielded 4,131 yards passing, third worse only to the Lions and the league leading Vikings at 4,225. To ice off this turd cake we generated only 13 intercepts. Only 4 other teams did worse. We were fielding the worse defensive secondary in the NFL without a doubt. Teams managed to do this with fewer attempts thrown against us than 2/3 of the rest of the NFL.
The total number of sacks was once again disappointing. At 32 we found ourselves in the middle of the pack. The Giants lead the league with a total of 53. I thank Haz once again for destroying this part of the defense. Fans got use to the Saints always being in the top 10 for sacks for so many years until Haz finally destroyed this group. He left us dwelling in the pits of the NFL. The once proud unit is just a shadow of itself.

Rushing Defense
I really hate to even go into the rush defense. How can you judge this group when passing was no trouble for the opposing offenses? Why Run? The number of the running plays ( 408 ) vs. passing plays (524) was a bit surprising. That is a 44% running attempt and 56% pass. So the break down is not as bad as I thought. It is below NFL average but not by much. But the numbers do look pretty good. The only number that worries me is the number of plays over 20 yards. 14 plays once again ranks us at the bottom third of the league. With a pass defense like ours why go into it any deeper. We really have no idea how good or bad they really were.

I can not take any more of this. Let us move on to part 2. I must have rewritten this part a dozen time and had a real hard time not or or just

So I figured it was best just to stick to the really bad stuff and over analyze the the small dung piles leading up to the big steaming heap in front of me.
If it smells like it and looks like it, then it must be it. I do not need to feel it or taste it in order not to step in it.

Part 1 of 2

Defense: The Butchers’ Toll Part 2 - Black and Gold Forums
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  1. Old Comment
    saintsfan1976's Avatar
    The number of big plays and the point in each game that they happened were THE MAIN factor for our defense's downfall last year. Stop the run on 1st and 2nd, give up the first down on a 14 - 25 yard pass.

    Way to bring home the point Hagan. Tough numbers to swallow.
    Posted 07-23-2008 at 02:49 PM by saintsfan1976 saintsfan1976 is offline

  2. Old Comment
    admin's Avatar
    We still are going to have some potential BIG problems in the defensive secondary. Does anyone remember Jason David? He could easily start again if some new players don't come to life real fast.

    Great Read! LOVE YOUR BLOG MAN!
    Posted 07-23-2008 at 05:55 PM by admin admin is offline
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