#2. THE SAINTS RELISH THE ROLE OF THE “UNDERDOG”
Dec 6, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) carries the ball as New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Hau
In the same fashion as teams will have the Panthers circled on their calendars as tough games, recent history will cause teams to take the Saints for granted.
Once again, the underdog mentality is something New Orleans will have working in it’s favor, specifically with their defense. Last year, the Saints set an NFL record for passing touchdowns allowed.
There were many reasons for the catastrophic collapse, not the least of which was miscommunication and blown assignments.
The Saints have already taken steps to correct these issues. They fired Rob Ryan as Defensive Coordinator, who famously infuriated Sean Payton with his sloppy style of coaching.
They replaced him with the meticulous Dennis Allen, who will have a chance to prove his methods this year. The Saints also have increased their talent on the defensive side, adding Sheldon Rankins, Nick Fairley, and James Laurinaitis.
Presumably, they will also have a healthy Keenan Lewis returning to the lineup, and third time is the charm for Jarius Byrd with the Saints.
We’ve all heard the argument that the Saints just need an average defense to get back to the playoffs, especially with their offense.
Returning starters, combined with a motivated coordinator and new talent could shockingly propel them into the top half of the league defensively.
Next: Offensive Pyrotechnics