New Orleans Saints Defense Under Spotlight Again In Matchup Against New England Patriots

By jackcavanaugh
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints‘ Week 6 match up against the New England Patriots will not only be another big road test for New Orleans, but it should be a great game, as well. The Saints, obviously, will be playing to keep their perfect record in tact and keep up their momentum. New England will be looking to bounce back from a 13-6 loss last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, in which quarterback Tom Brady failed to throw a touchdown pass and ended his streak at 52 games.

Besides Pro Bowl or preseason games, this will also be the first time that Brady and Saints quarterback Drew Brees have played against each other since 2009. Brees will also be looking to keep another record in tact, as well. Heading into this game against the Patriots, he has never lost to New England, having defeated them once with New Orleans and twice back in his days as a member of the San Diego Chargers.

Like most of the Saints’ other games this season, defense will again take center stage and be under the spotlight. Rob Ryan‘s defense is currently tied at No. 11 in terms of total yards per game this season, allowing 330.4 through their first five games. Ryan and his defense are also allowing just 222 passing yards per game, good enough for No. 12 in the league. Rushing defense ranks New Orleans No. 18 with 108.6 yards per game, but that is acceptable given their prolific offense that forces teams to play catch up.

What is more telling, however, is the giveaway/takeaway difference. Because of solid play by both the offense and defense, the Saints come in at No. 2 in this category with a plus-six margin. Only the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks have better giveaway/takeaway differences at plus-seven. Both teams once had perfect records, as well.

Last week against the Bears, Ryan introduced early blitzes from defensive backs and linebackers with much success. Early reports out of New England are indicating that Patriots’ star tight end Rob Gronkowski will still not be ready to play following surgery to his forearm from an injury last season. Combine that with 10 total drops by his wide receivers last week against the Bengals, and the Saints’ defense should be able to go the distance and help New Orleans preserve their perfect record.

Jack Cavanaugh is a New Orleans Saints contributing writer for Follow him on Twitter @cav_jack, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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