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Don't sleep on the saints defense

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By Kerry Byrne The typical turkey on television or radio is incapable of analyzing football teams beyond a handful of headline-making players on offense: the 40-year-old gunslinger quarterback, the fumble-prone runner, the loudmouthed wide receiver. These players win all the ...

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Old 11-24-2009, 06:16 PM   #1
Threaded by pakowitz
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By Kerry Byrne

The typical turkey on television or radio is incapable of analyzing football teams beyond a handful of headline-making players on offense: the 40-year-old gunslinger quarterback, the fumble-prone runner, the loudmouthed wide receiver.

These players win all the awards, score all the touchdowns, date all the starlets, marry all the supermodels, do all the Oreo commercials and gain all the attention from the media.

But they also divert attention away from defenses and away from what are often bigger on-the-field stories — to the point that it seems that many observers forget that defenses even exist.

The 2009 Saints, New England’s opponent in a big-time “Monday Night Football” showdown this week, represent a textbook example of a team that’s largely misunderstood because our fixation on offense.

Everybody knows that Drew Brees puts up gaudy numbers for the high-powered New Orleans offense. But actually, the team’s dependence upon him has declined noticeably this year.

•Brees averaged 40 attempts and 317 yards per game in 2008.
•Brees averages 32 attempts and 275 yards per game in 2009.

What has changed in New Orleans is a spectacular improvement in its pass defense, from middle of the pack last year to easily the best in football this year. This meteoric rise would be the biggest story in football this year if pigskin “pundits” devoted the same kind of attention to defense that they do to offense.

There’s some debate over the best passing offense in football this year. Minnesota, Indy, New Orleans, even New England, can all make a claim.

But there’s no debate about who boasts the best pass defense in football. It belongs to the Saints and to future Hall of Fame safety Darren Sharper, who should garner MVP honors from the Cold, Hard Football Facts at the end of the year. (We have no faith that anybody else will see the light and make a defender MVP.)

The Saints are very good on offense this year. No doubt. They’re No. 1 in total offense (420.5) and No. 1 in scoring offense (36.9), ahead of the No. 2 New England (416.1 YPG) and No. 2 Minnesota (30.6 PPG) in each category. In fact, they’re still on pace to break New England’s 2007 record as the highest-scoring team in modern football history (36.8 PPG).

But the Saints are spectacular on pass defense this season. It’s the New Orleans pass defense that’s making life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. It’s the New Orleans defense that’s most responsible for the team’s rise from 8-8 and last place in the NFC South last year to 10-0 and No. 1 in the NFC this year. It’s the New Orleans pass defense that gives the Saints a double-edged sword that the Patriots did not possess in 2007.

And it’s the New Orleans defense that will make the Monday night donnybrook the most compelling statistical clash of the 2009 season and that poses the biggest challenge that Tom Brady and the Patriots have faced all year … and perhaps ever.

The statistical bloodbath could not come in a bigger game: the Patriots are fighting to secure a first-round bye. They’ll also attempt to preserve the franchise’s legacy as the only 16-0 team in history. The Nov. 30 battle comes almost exactly 24 years to the day after the most famous and most-watched Monday night game in history: Miami’s 38-24 triumph over the undefeated Bears on Dec. 2, 1985.

That’s a full plate of storylines to force down on a full holiday belly.

Here’s a look at the New Orleans defense through several of the critical Quality Stats we chronicle at Cold, Hard Football Facts.

for the rest of this article... click here:

Kerry Byrne | Don't Sleep On The Saints Defense

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Old 11-24-2009, 07:56 PM   #2
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Re: Don't sleep on the saints defense

Damn straight
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:16 PM   #3
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Re: Don't sleep on the saints defense

That was a really good article. Gives a lot of information about things everyone doesn't think about. Wow.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:08 AM   #4
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Re: Don't sleep on the saints defense

The article was indeed on-point!! Gregg Williams' "D" has made Charles Grant and Will Smith look like All-Pros instead of "All-Joes", like they were last season. With Darren Sharper into the fold only helped the guys around him in the secondary better so passing on them would be next to impossible. Almost half the time when teams pass, it would get picked off, and even going the distance for six. Could this be the Second Coming of The "Dome Patrol" (aka "DP II")? Along with an offense to complement the defense, this team is worthy of getting a shot at the Lombardi. The question is, HOW BAD DO THEY WANT IT!! (I DO!! I WANT TO SEE THAT "AINTS" BAG BURNING CEREMONY!!)
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:20 AM   #5
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Re: Don't sleep on the saints defense

Very good article, opened my eyes to some things I didn't know.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:25 AM   #6
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Re: Don't sleep on the saints defense

9th ward id still marry that girl in your avy even though she could beat me up... something bout the saints makes a woman amazing :P....But agreed Smith and Grant are playing remarkable and Ellis when he has played has been Pro Bowl caliber. But dome patrol 2? Ehhh..... i dunno bout that :P
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:32 PM   #7
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Re: Don't sleep on the saints defense

Given a little time DPII could take off.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:27 PM   #8
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Re: Don't sleep on the saints defense

Excellent article. Thanks for posting it. Just today, someone on TV was still talking about the Saint's "mediocre pass defense".
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:35 AM   #9
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Re: Don't sleep on the saints defense

WOW! Thanks Pak. Some things I never heard of before. But very informative and to the point. But with all the rule changs over the years to favor the offense, it still comes down to the defense. It reminds of what the late great Vince Lombardi said, "offense sells tickets but defence wins ball games".
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:50 AM   #10
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Re: Don't sleep on the saints defense

and with Ellis back for the game they will not, I repeat, they will not run up the middle so if they get any kinda push up the middle otherwise and Smith and Grant can rush while containing the run, I see alot of blitzing in our Monday night future.
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