When you think of the New Orleans Saints, what first comes to your mind? Sean Payton? Drew Brees? Offense? 5,000 yards? Bounty Gate? Jimmy Graham?
All of those are acceptable answers, but the one that you may not think of just yet — and are soon to begin bringing up — is defense.
The Saints, through five weeks, have yet to give up 20 points in a game. Last year, they gave up 20-plus points in 13 of their 16 games! Unbelievable, I know. As a matter of fact, through week five, New Orleans has given up an average of just 14.6 points per game in 2013.
Where is this coming from?
The question is, where isn’t this coming from. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has everyone on this defense playing well. So well, that only two players on the team have more than a single sack: Cameron Jordan (4.0) and Junior Galette (3.0); and the team has totaled 15 through five games.
Nobody on the Saints has more than one interception, and the team has seven this year. The Saints have also recovered four fumbles. Five players have a total of more than 20 tackles, with Curtis Lofton leading the way at 35. Another five players are in double digits.
Sure, Brees is on his way to probably another 5,000 yard season or close to it — having over 1,700 already. But, the real story down in New Orleans is with the defense and the unbelievable job Ryan has done thus far. He is making it incredibly easy for Brees and the offense week in and week out.
A couple of years ago, it was said that all this Saints team needed to be a Super Bowl contender every season was a legitimate defense.
This just in: They’ve got one.