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Saints Defense Improved?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Noteabe Teams that Saints Defense are ranked ahead of: New Orleans 6 371 318.5 5.2 19.7 34 79 43.0 5 6 83.3 29 251 31:17 14 4 Indianapolis 6 367 323.8 5.3 18.2 30 78 38.5 1 3 33.3 51 ...

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Old 10-15-2003, 09:47 AM   #1
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Saints Defense Improved?

Noteabe Teams that Saints Defense are ranked ahead of:

New Orleans 6 371 318.5 5.2 19.7 34 79 43.0 5 6 83.3 29 251 31:17 14 4
Indianapolis 6 367 323.8 5.3 18.2 30 78 38.5 1 3 33.3 51 432 30:15 12 5
Tennessee 6 345 324.5 5.6 19.0 19 66 28.8 3 6 50.0 51 423 27:49 8 3
Minnesota 5 304 325.2 5.3 18.6 22 59 37.3 1 5 20.0 37 277 28:01 10 2
New England 6 408 327.3 4.8 21.0 27 84 32.1 1 6 16.7 48 415 29:41 13 6
Carolina 5 316 341.6 5.4 18.0 25 70 35.7 1 2 50.0 45 428 28:46 6 3
New York (N) 5 336 343.8 5.1 18.8 25 74 33.8 1 4 25.0 49 445 30:37 12 4
Kansas City 6 395 360.3 5.5 19.5 29 86 33.7 3 8 37.5 40 325 30:32 9 6
Green Bay 6 415 361.7 5.2 20.7 41 89 46.1 2 5 40.0 39 341 29:56 5 3
Oakland 6 403 365.2 5.4 21.2 33 80 41.2 3 3 100.0 50 474 34:03 6 4

I know that stats don't tell the whole story, but considering how many starters the Saints have lost on defense and considering that the offense has provided little help in keeping the defense off the field, I think this defense has performed better than most expected. They gave up 27 points to the Seahawks and the Titans, which shouldn't happen, but again, the Saints offense didn't help them out at all. If the Saints offense could have sustained some drives and helped with the time of possession battle, the defense probably would have held it's own. The one really bad game they had was against the Colts and they looked as bad as it gets. However, sometimes even the best defenses have terrible games. Just look at what the Colts did against the Bucs defense.

While this defense still has it problems, there is little doubt that it is better than last years version. This defense has held opponents to under 20-points in half (3) of their games this season -- Something they only managed to do once last year!

With all the new starters on defense this year and the extraordinary amount of injuries it has suffered, I think Rick Venturi deserves some credit for making this defense at least look respectful. There have been some changes in the lineup, as of late, with Orlando Ruff and Victor Green that seem to have plugged up some weak areas in the last couple of games. With the return of Darren Howard and Sedrick Hodge this defense could turn in to be a strong unit for the Saints this year.

This defense might not be on the elite level this year, but if the Saints offense can return to last years form ( and I believe they will) this new defense might help this team put together a string of wins that will carry them into the playoffs. There are a lot of "if's" in there, but stranger things have happened.

Anyone have any thoughts on this defense???

[Edited on 15/10/2003 by BillyCarpenter1]
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:21 AM   #2
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Saints Defense Improved?

Our defensive numbers look as good as they do because we had a couple of games were McCarthy\'s \"grind it out and control the clock to make up for our inadequacies on defensive\" scheme actually worked. I have a feeling that if he opens up the offense (which he will have to if we want any shot at beating Tampa or Carolina) that the defensive numbers will start to look like what everyone expected at the beginning of the season.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:40 AM   #3
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Saints Defense Improved?

In a way I agree with both sides. Statistically we are better, but I believe alot of that has to do with the fact that teams are not being forced to score 20+ to beat us. There have been a few games in which we played pretty decent defense. I can see the speed differential and the closure to the ball. We have alot of speed guys playing reactionary schemes. There have been a few bright lights of aggressiveness shown and they have paid off when used. I think we are a better group than last year, just because we aren\'t letting the big play occur, we close to the ball faster, and we bite less on screens and trickery. On the flip, I think we would have given up much more yardage to Seattle and Tennessee had they not been forced to go to a clock control game. Indy kind of left it wide open and Seattle and Tennessee could have very well racked up bigger numbers. They both beat us without much resistance. We played a solid half of ball against Houston. The Carolina game was pretty good, and the Bears ineptitude made us look good as well. Overall.....yes we\'re a bit better, but if you asked me what order I would want defenses on the field to stop a game winning drive...ours would be bottom 10 for sure.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:47 AM   #4
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Saints Defense Improved?

I really don\'t think that our defense reflects the stats. We gave up 20+ to Seattle, Tennesee and Indy. We have also let runners run all over us. The stats don\'t reflect the story.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:52 AM   #5
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Saints Defense Improved?

I think right now this defense is about the same as last years. The difference being that this defense will get much better as the year goes on. Last years defense wasn\'t going to get any better than what they already were.
As this same group gets a few more games under their belt, they will gel into an upper-middle-of-the-pack group.
If the offense wakes up we\'ll be a top 10 team by the break.

I predicted 10-6, and 3-3 after 6 games. I\'m gonna stick with 10-6 because I think some of the games I thought were sure losses now look winnable. (Philly, NYG).

Whether we agree or disagree; its all for Him.
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:00 AM   #6
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Saints Defense Improved?

LummOx --

I agree that the Seahawks and Titans probably could have racked up much more yardage if they didn\'t go to the run game to eat up the clock. I think you really put it in perspective when you said: if you asked me what order I would want defenses on the field to stop a game winning drive...ours would be bottom 10 for sure. But, I have seen a lot of improvement since Dale Carter, Orlando Ruff, and Victor Green have been on the field. I also think that this defense is more than a \"bit\" better than last year. That might not be saying much, considering how bad our defense was last year, but I really feel that this defense has a real chance at being a solid defense this year.

We all talked about it taking the first half of they year for this defense to gel and injuries have hurt those chances, but we are starting to get those injuried players back. I\'m much more concerned about our seconday than any other aspect of the defense. If the secondary can come together I think that will be the missising peice of the puzzle.
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Old 10-15-2003, 12:42 PM   #7
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Saints Defense Improved?

Here\'s the facts, our D has played poorly against the good offenses we\'ve faced. We played \"okay\" against poor offenses. To date, the Titans, Hawks and Colts have LIT us up. Luckily, we really don\'t face any high powered offenses for the rest of the way. Tampa Bay isn\'t exactly an offensive powerhouse. Neither is Carolina, Atlanta, New York, Dallas, Jax or Philly. Now, the Skins are going to pummel our secondary. If we had to play the Chiefs, Rams, Vikings or Green Bay, our D would take a shalacking.
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Old 10-15-2003, 03:59 PM   #8
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Saints Defense Improved?

I said somewhere else that it seems the Saints\' D will only play well against teams without good passing attacks. Maybe if Howard can come back and make an impact, that will change, but for now, I don\'t see much improvement coming. If Tebucky \"Wizard of Oz\" Jones can make some tackles, that would help too.
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Old 10-16-2003, 12:45 AM   #9
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Saints Defense Improved?

Stats tell me the defense is average. That\'s good. But when the season ends defense aren\'t seperated by much. So stats also tell me we can get better or worse.
What this defense needs to measure itself on is how they respond when the game is on the line.
Seattle -- couldn\'t stop the big play in the first half, got the O into too big of a hole
Houston -- domnated in second half
Tennessee -- Couldn\'t get off the field in the 3rd Qtr. when we needed the ball
Indy -- Didn\'t show up to play. That\'s says a lot.. Nat\'l TV at Home.
CAR -- Had a KEY TO over turned in the first that was huge, but also had a chance to get the O on the field with a stop on third down in the 4th. Couldn\'t get it done
CHI -- Got enough pressure on the Bears to where a th Qtr. comeback seemed too little too late.

Overall I hate to agree with Haz, but some plays go our way here or there, and at least two of those games COULD be different.
Stats can lie, but the record doesn\'t

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