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Zach Strief:  Saints defense is elite

Kristian Garic
December 16, 2018 - 9:07 pm
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The Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys get a lot of love for their impressive defenses, but the Saints have been left out of that conversation.  In the NFL scoring points have been the rave.  We love offensive football, but we should appreciate what the Saints are doing on defense.  When you think of elite defenses certainly you think of the aforementioned Bears and Cowboys, right?  Do you consider the Saints defense “elite?”  You should, says the “Voice of the Saints” Zach Strief.  “They are an elite defense.  One of the top defenses in football right now.  The Saints have been dominant in second halves of games,” Strief said.  The Black & Gold defense has indeed been really potent in the second half of their last two games, pitching shutouts over Tampa and Dallas.

Believe it or not, the Saints defense is a top 10 scoring defense.  Opponents average 21 points per game.  They are the top run defense in the NFL giving up just 77 yards a game.  Look at the defensive line, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and defensive end Cameron Jordan have 20 combined sacks.  The team has a total of 41 sacks with three games to play.  “The front seven is playing great!  The Saints defensive line is one of the most dominant defensive lines in football, if not the most dominant defensive lines in football,” Strief pointed out.  What’s more?  The Saints defense has held opposing offense’s to twenty points or fewer in nine games.  Currently the Saints have held their last five opponents to under twenty points.

Sure, the Saints defense is aided by the fact that the offense averages 34 points per game, and that is great complimentary football.  Strief says for the better part of this season the Saints have actually been led by the defense.  “It’s why we had those blowout games in the middle of the season.  It was defensive; it was not the explosiveness of the offense.  It was the defensive side of the ball getting the ball back in large numbers and in great field position,” Strief pointed out.  Think about what Zach’s saying.  He’s an offensive lineman; he knows what a good defense looks like.  If anything, he would likely be a little biased towards the offense.  

The Saints offense gets all the headlines in New Orleans, but it’s time for the Saints defense to get some love locally and nationally.  This is about as balanced a team that I have covered in my 10 years affiliated with Saints football.  Three games to go in the regular season and the Saints might have to win them all to maintain the top seed in the NFC.  When the Saints return to the dome against the Steelers, I want to hear some chants of D-E-F-E-N-S-E!  D-E-F-E-N-S-E!  D-E-F-E-N-S-E!   They’ve earned it.

 

 

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