What happened to the Saints defense in Week 1?
By: Jake Rajala
The New Orleans Saints are (still) expected to have a juggernaut defense in the 2022 season. The Honey Badger (Tyrann Mathieu) was brought over this off-season to join Marshon Lattimore, Cameron Jordan, and Demario Davis on a defense that allowed the fourth-fewest points last season.
Well, it seems that Who Dat Nation is shocked that the Marcus Mariota-led Atlanta Falcons offense dropped 26 points on the Saints defense in Week 1. So, a fascinating question has surrounded the Saints defense: Will the Saints defense bounce back?
I believe the answer to the prior question is a resounding “yes”. The Saints secondary showed promise in Week 1, particularly from CB Marshon Lattimore. Below is a sharp look at Lattimore flexing his muscles on his friendly opponents in Atlanta (despite his penalties & mental errors).
Marcus Maye also nicely had a forced fumble, while the LSU legend (Mathieu) scooped up the pig skin.
With that said, I believe the front seven should deserve more distaste than the secondary on the Saints D. Well, I honestly have a lot of faith in the Saints front seven and I’m not surprised that they bled against Mariota. Let’s not forget that Eagles dual-threat QB Jalen Hurts had a career-high three rushing TDs against the Saints in 2021. Furthermore, Hurts ran angry for a career-high 106 rushing yds against the Saints in 2020. I believe the double edge sword of history will say the Saints defensive scheme will continue to express flaws against dual-threat QBs (such as Mariota and the familiar Jalen Hurts on January 1st), but the Saints front seven led by the down-hill LB Demario Davis and ascending LB Peter Warner (a FF in Week 1) should at least be a potent run defense against foes that don’t have QBs that idolize Michael Vick.
I foresee the Saints defense, particularly their front seven to display their usual colors against the Brady bunch in Week 2. The Saints icon and cream of the crop edge-rusher Cam Jordan was named NFC Defensive Player of The Week for his efforts against the Bucs in Week 15 last season. The other scary DE Marcus Davenport has also enjoyed teeing off on Brady on numerous occasions. Ultimately, I expect the Saints defense (especially their angry DL and LB group) to begin a journey of rampage against a non-dual threat QB this weekend.