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Shades of 2009 form in performance of Saints’ defense against Seahawks

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Nov. 22, 2010 @ 4:29 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

While the Saints' defense didn't have one of its better performances against the Seahawks on Sunday, it forced two turnovers — two third-quarter fumbles by Marshawn Lynch — and  the offense shined, scoring touchdowns on five consecutive possessions at one point in New Orleans' 34-19 win.

The Saints' "D," allowed a season-high 424 total yards, 366 of which came through the air. New Orleans had not allowed more than 275 passing yards in a game heading into the matchup with Seattle. The pass rush wasn't able to record a sack, as QB Matt Hasselbeck was quick to get rid of the ball and the Saints were credited with hitting him just once all game.

The PFW Spin

As long as the Saints force turnovers and tighten up in the red zone to force teams to kick field goals, as they did a couple times on Sunday, they should be able to overcome giving up large chunks of yards most of the time. That's the way they played for much of last season.

But the Saints' defense hadn't been playing like that that in 2010. It had been one of the toughest units in the league to move the chains against and had been less opportunistic heading into Week 11. With a game against the Seahawks, who were ranked toward the bottom of the league in offense, this looked like a situation in which New Orleans' "D" could dominate.

They were far from dominant, though, when WR Ben Obomanu was left wide open in the middle of the endzone for a touchdown catch, which cut the Saints' lead to eight in the second quarter. SS Roman Harper and MLB Jonathan Vilma double-teamed TE John Carlson on that 3rd-and-1 play from New Orleans' 2-yard line and left Obomanu, who was split out just to Carlson's right, walk into the endzone untouched.

This Saints' defense showed the potential to be stifling in its first nine games, but coordinator Gregg Williams saw some mistakes that he'll need to get corrected before Thursday when his stop unit tries to slow down the Cowboys, who have scored 68 points in their last two games.

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