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25th ranked defense...So what!!!

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; We can pretty much toss last years numbers, and start with a clean chart. They are nice for Williams and the crew to guage improvement, but all of our new pieces will have to find their place in our world. ...

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Old 05-26-2010, 11:45 AM   #41
SaintSince67
 
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Re: 25th ranked defense...So what!!!

We can pretty much toss last years numbers, and start with a clean chart. They are nice for Williams and the crew to guage improvement, but all of our new pieces will have to find their place in our world. I just hope that they gel early and come to know each others strengths and weaknesses so they can cover each other's backs. I still believe that we will rise and fall again this year with our defense. We slipped through the cracks in several games last season. We can't keep putting that kind of pressure on our offense; making up 2TD+ deficits. The defense made the plays when they had to. That's why we rule the day. I would love to sip tea and beat folks by 20 every week. Don't think that's going to happen. If the offense stays sharp...reasonably injury free, and the defense is middle-of-the-pack (12-20), we'll go deep in the playoffs and contend again.

**SaintSince67**

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Old 05-26-2010, 05:49 PM   #42
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Re: 25th ranked defense...So what!!!

Originally Posted by D_it_up View Post
What if it doesn't come up? Ever thought of that? You, me, nor anyone here can say with any certainty if they are or are not improved until they hit the field and show us something. It's like I said before in this thread. It's all speculation on whether or not the defense has improved. Rankings mean absolutely nothing. The thing that matters most is wins and losses. Regardless of their 25th ranking in defense last year, the Saints won the Super Bowl. Why did they win the Super Bowl? It was because the defense capitalized on opposing teams mistakes during the playoffs just as they had done during the regular season and the strong point of the team (the offense) clicked on all cylinders in all three games they played. The defense stepped up when it mattered. Sure, that can't be relied upon game in and game out, but who is to say they won't get similar turnover production this year? Don't get me wrong. I've said before that I agree that there are things that could be improved to stop the run more effectively, but health is the key for this team. But, since you feel like that stats are important (talking about their overall defensive ranking from last season), let me throw some stats out there for you to wrap your brain around:

Game 1 vs. Detroit: Detroit had 33 total rushing yards on 20 attempts. A 1.7 YPC average.

Game 2 vs. Philly: The Eagles had 79 yards on 22 attempts. A 3.6 YPC average

Game 3 vs. Buffalo: The Bills had 89 yards on 21 carries for a 4.2 YPC average

Game 4 vs. NYJ: The Jets had 132 yards rushing in the game. 24 of those were from Sanchez on 4 carries, because he was running for his life all game long. 20 yards came from Brad Smith on two carries. Their three runningbacks totaled 88 yards on 4.2 YPC. The first time the Saints allowed over 100 yards on the ground, but it took five Jets players to get them there.

Game 5 vs. NYG: Giants had 88 yards on 19 carries for a 4.4 YPC avg. That's a good average, but it's hard to get yards on the ground when you are having to pass because you playing catch up all game long.

Game 6 vs. Miami: The Dolphins had 137 yards on the ground for a 4.6 YPC average. This is where stats become skewed. 68 of those yards were on the long TD run by Rickey Williams that was to the outside....not up the middle. Take away that long gain, and the Dolphins "Wildcat" was held in check, because they only totaled 69 yards on 29 carries. That is a 2.4 YPC average.

Why am I only listing these games? It's simple. These are the games when Sedrick Ellis was in the line-up before he went down with a knee injury in the Miami game. Ellis went on to miss the next four games. In the next three, the Saints gave up 151 to Michael Turner, 149 to Deangelo Williams, and 131 to Steven Jackson. That's 431 yards with their best starting DT out of the line-up.

Also, let me remind you that even after Ellis' return to the line-up, there were only two really bad games that the Saints had against the run. That was the Dallas game where the Barber/Jones combination did a number on them, and then Cadillac Williams in the 2nd Tampa game. Other than that, the run defense wasn't horrible. Most of the defensive struggles the Saints had up to the Cowboys game was through the air with Porter and Greer both out of the line-up.

I will sum this up, and then I will digress on this entire discussion. The Saints problem was not necessarily their run defense. It was their depth. The defense became vulnerable when starters were out of the line-up. Say what you will about starters getting hurt all the time and it's to be expected and yadda, yadda, yadda, but here's the thing: the Saints did not have enough DEPTH to even compare to the abilities the starters had to defend. Hargrove was serviceable, but you and I have both agreed before that he is undersized at DT and was manhandled several times on run plays. His production came mostly against the pass. The Saints used three different linebackers to play in Fujita's spot when he went down (Evans, Dunbar, and Waters). We all know about the Jenkins project at corner and the players picked up off the street when Porter and Greer went down. This is where the Saints true problem came from, and not their inability to stop the run when they did a more than adequate job when the starters were healthy. It was depth...plain and simple.

The Saints, IMHO, have done a good job at trying to improve that depth with the drafting of Robinson and Woods, and the signing of Ingram just in case they are bitten by the injury bug yet again. However, I am not going to go out on a limb and say they ARE going to be better or that they have not improved at all. I'm going to let their play do the talking once the season starts. If it improves, then hell yes. If it doesn't, then I will be right there with you saying that steps should be taken to improve that area of the defense.
thats a lot of words
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:47 PM   #43
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Re: 25th ranked defense...So what!!!

Originally Posted by CantonLegend View Post
thats a lot of words
Sorry if it was over your head.
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