Let's see, where should I start?
Worst run defense in the league, pass defense ranks within the last ten teams in the league, only six total team sacks, no running game, numerous mental lapses… bottom line is the New Orleans Saints just aren’t really good right now and things won’t get any easier for them as the season progresses.
Coming into the season, I knew the defense were going to take a step back when Greg Williams took the defensive coordinator job in St. Louis and the Saints took the Rams old head coach Steve Spagnuola as their new defensive play caller, who went an atrocious 2-14 in the 2011-12 season.
Players are either not buying into Spagnuola’s system or the team doesn’t have the personal to fit his scheme, or both. Johnathan Vilma’s intensity has been missed also. Cornerbacks aren’t covering, safties are blowing coverages, linebackers aren’t tackling, and the defensive line can’t get any pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
The Saints rank dead last in total yards allowed a game at 463.2, last in total rush yards allowed at 747 and 28th in points per game allowed with 32.5. The team just looks flat defensively from kickoff to the final seconds in the fourth quarter. Players look tired, not involved or are performing like it’s still pre-season.
Football is a team game and though the Saints offense is still elite, the offensive play calling of Sean Payton has been missed tremendously. Drew still has the pass offense playing pretty well with 1283 total pass yards that ranks third in the NFL through four games.
He also has the team scoring 27.5 points per game, tenth in the league and 401.5 total yards a game, which places them eighth in the offensive category. But with no running game and a offensive line that hasn’t looked good compared to one's over the past few years, Brees has been forced to make or try to make a big play every time he passes the ball.
The Saints average only 80.8 rushing yards a game, 26th in the league. It’s hard to believe with five pretty good running backs all active on the roster including Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, Chris Ivory, and new-comer Travaris Cadet, that the team is suffering in this category.
Hopefully and optimistically, the Saints can shake back and try to make a playoff push. Maybe when interim head coach Joe Vitt returns in a couple weeks, the team will play with a tougher edge. His tenacity looks like something the Saints could use right now because secondary interim coach Aaron Kromer seems a little passive and too laid back, two things the team could do without right now.
That’ll be easier said than done because over the next 12 weeks of the season for the Saints, they’ll face some pretty potent and or consistent quarterbacks including Phillip Rivers next week, Peyton and Eli Manning, Matt Ryan twice, Michael Vick, Josh Freeman, and Cam Newton, again. Let’s hope the Saints find their stride and the real Saints come marching in before it’s too late.