Sunday’s match-up against the New York Jets was not a good day for the group of young defensive players of the New Orleans Saints. The defense gave up 198 rushing yards to the Jets, and 139 of those yards were given up to former Saints running back Chris Ivory who was traded away before earlier this year.
Several players missed tackles and there were big holes for Ivory to make his way through, but this is not an indictment of the group as a whole. Unfortunately, it was just a bad day of football all around, and the defensive effort was not helped by an offense that seemed to cause more problems than they solved.
Aside from their inability to defend against the Jets’ rushing attack, the defense was not all that bad. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith was sacked twice and felt pressure numerous times. He was limited to 8-of-19 passing with just 115-yards. Had New Orleans played a little better the game very well could have turned out differently.
All in all, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has done a terrific job making something out of nothing. Nobody can forget that just a season ago the Saints’ defense gave up an NFL record 7,042 yards and was one of the contributing reasons why New Orleans finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time in years.
Next week the Saints will be back in the Superdome after a week of practice. Sean Payton and Ryan are smart men who know the game of football. If anybody can help a young group of players bounce back in Week 10, it’s these guys.