New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants for two seasons and they were two memorable seasons. In Spagnuolo’s first season as the defensive coordinator, the Giants defense started out sluggish, giving up 45 points to the Dallas Cowboys and 35 points in their home opener to the Green Bay Packers.
However, over the course of the season, things started to get better as the defense started grasping the concepts of Spagnuolo’s defense. They improved so much that they only gave up 14 points to the highest scoring team in NFL history later that season in Super Bowl XLII.
Spagnuolo also led the Giants’ defense the next season, where they had the best record in the NFC at 12-4. The Giants’ defense hasn’t been the same since Spagnuolo left, even though the pass rush is effective from time to time.
Spagnuolo is now in charge of the Saints’ defense and it’s safe to say that hasn’t worked out well so far. The Saints come into MetLife Stadium with the league’s worst-ranked defense and they have given up 400 more offensive yards than the second-worst team.
Even though they’ve been horrible for the majority of the season, they have played decently in the past couple of games. Against the Oakland Raiders, they only gave up 17 points in a rather impressive defensive effort. Against the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons is where they were more impressive.
Against the 49ers, the Saints only gave up 17 points offensively. The other 14 came from touchdown returns off of interceptions. Against the Falcons, they locked down a bit after going down 17-0. While there are holes to this Saints’ defense, they have improved this past month.
Spagnuolo returned to the Meadowlands for the first time last season as head coach of the St. Louis Rams. He returns again in a familiar role, but with a unit that has played horribly at times. Will Spagnuolo have an advantage because he knows Giants’ QB Eli Manning? We’ll have to tune in.