The New Orleans Saints have built their recent success around Drew Brees and their high-flying offense, but this year the defense has more than held its own. Once the Saints’ weak link, the defense is now good enough to carry the team to a win against a quality opponent when the offense is merely good, but not great.
That New Orleans offense wasn’t its usually dominant self against the San Francisco 49ers this week. Instead, the Saints relied on their defense to get key stops, especially in the second half, to earn them the win. The Saints held Colin Kaepernick and company to a measly 196 yards on offense and only 20 points, despite being asked to defend a short field on more than one occasion.
That kind of defense is what the Saints have been missing the last few years. You may not need a great defense to win a championship in the NFL anymore, but you at least need a decent one. Nobody’s defense is going to shutdown good offenses in the postseason. But, if New Orleans wants to find themselves in the Super Bowl, the defense will need to make big plays and get key stops when called upon.
They proved they could do just that against another NFC contender today. The 49ers offense may not be the best unit in the league, but they can score points if a defense isn’t ready to stop them, especially their running attack. The Saints were more than up for the task, a good sign that the defense has what it takes to help the offense get them to a Super Bowl this winter.