The New Orleans Saints began the current 2015-2016 Season filled with hope and high expectations. This team believed it would be an upper echelon squad, one that would be in contention for postseason play with a chance to advance all the way to the Super Bowl.
After all, it had a high-powered offense led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees and a competent defense that would keep opponents from scoring too frequently. After twelve games, it appears that team management and league pundits were half right.
The Saints can move the ball offensively and reach the opposing end zone as well as most other teams in the National Football League (NFL). But this squad’s defense has been deplorable, continuously porous. Teams that line up opposite New Orleans’ defense seem to “score at will” which makes it difficult playing in the NFC South against teams like the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have offenses capable of putting up big numbers.
In truth, the team from “the Big Easy” ranks thirty-first or next to last in the entire league for points allowed per game. Opposing offenses have been scoring an average 30.8 points per game against the Saints which is why New Orleans has lost seven of the eleven games it has played this year.
The fact is that the squad from Louisiana allows a whopping 6.6 yards per play to every team it plays. That makes it easier for opponents to convert short yardage third downs into first downs and control the ball for long stretches of time.
The Saints’ “defenseless” defense gets “torched” regularly by opposing teams to the tune of nearly four hundred twenty yards per game, a figure that includes just about two hundred eighty-five passing yards per game.
Statistics such as those noted above make it difficult for the Saints to win, even though they have a potent offense and a scoring average that places them in the top half of the league in points scored per game.
It is the continuously weak defense that plays ineffectively and gives up points in bunches that has this squad performing so poorly overall. New Orleans will miss the playoffs this year, primarily because of its weak, inefficient and very beatable defense.
The Saints, in fact, will have to look closely at available free agents in the off-season and use Draft Picks, as well, to add on to pieces like Brandon Browner and Jairus Byrd to construct a defense that will be good enough to make this squad competitive.
It won’t be easy because there are many holes to fill, probably too many holes to enable management to “turn things around” in just one year.
But, with the team’s franchise quarterback still playing at a high level, probably for another two or three years, there is urgency to build a defense quickly so that New Orleans can, while Drew Brees is still calling signals, compete for the sport’s top prize, an invitation to the Super Bowl.
Courtesy of Whodatdish.com