The New Orleans Saints were one terrific Tom Brady drive away from continuing their perfect season. It is certainly disappointing, I know. However, what is not disappointing is the way the defense has played in 2013. The 2012 Saints defense would not have matched well with Brady and the New England Patriots offense, but the current defense is holding their own against every team. There is no question the defense has been the difference maker this season.
After allowing a NFL record 7,042 total yards on defense last season, the New Orleans is determined to improve on a week-to-week basis. They rank sixth in the league in points allowed per game (17.2), 12th in yards per game (338.0) and third in interceptions (eight) this season. Obviously, a huge upgrade from what fans had to witness last year.
“Last year was last year,” outside linebacker Will Smith said, according to nola.com. “The guys are all motivated to be better than what we were last year. And they came out and worked hard all offseason, all OTAs, camp. They wanted to be better and they went out and did it. It’s something that from the outside looking in, I kind of assumed everyone thought we’d be better but they didn’t expect us to be as good as we are now.”
Smith has missed the entire season thus far after tearing his ACL on Aug. 25. However, taking his point of view on the defense is important because he was with the players during training camp. He saw first-hand what the Saints are capable of accomplishing this year.
Even though Drew Brees and the offense will get a majority of the credit, rightfully so, it is the defense that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath. Without their collective stellar player there is no way the team is 5-1 through six games.