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Saints Rank Dead Last In The Red Zone!


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Not the norm: Saints rank last in red zone

September, 19, 2013

SEP 19

2:15

PM ET

By Mike Triplett | ESPN.com

METAIRIE, La. -- One of the more head-scratching statistics in the NFL through two weeks has to be the New Orleans Saints ranking dead last in red zone touchdown percentage at 14.29 percent (1-for-7). For one thing, the statistic does not mesh with the fact that the Saints are 2-0. For another, that’s an area where the Saints have excelled throughout the Sean Payton-Drew Brees era.

The Saints ranked second in the league in red zone success last year (68.42 percent). They’ve ranked in the top 6 in five of the past six years. And they have never finished below 50 percent since Payton and Brees arrived.

That’s why the Saints are concerned, but still confident that they can get the problem fixed.

“We pride ourselves on being able to sustain drives and convert third downs and obviously punch it in the end zone in the red zone,” Brees said. “We have always been top in the league in that regard. … It’s great when you get the big plays, but you can’t bank on it. You have to be ready to sustain drives and be patient and all of those things. It is definitely an area we are focused on and need to clean up.

“Eventually that will bite us if we don’t get it fixed. So that is what we’re working on.”

Brees said the primary problem for the Saints has been “just execution.” He correctly pointed out that two of the Saints’ red zone drives stalled because of penalties (back-to-back holding calls against guard Jahri Evans in Week 1 against Atlanta and another holding call against Evans last week). Obviously that’s not the norm for the perennial All-Pro guard.

The other big problem for the Saints in the red zone has been their biggest problem everywhere on the field -- their lack of a consistent run game.

Almost every time the Saints have tried to run the ball inside the red zone this year, they’ve sputtered. That was the case most notably during their goal-line failure at Tampa Bay last week, when they got stuffed three straight times inside the 2-yard line (twice with Mark Ingram and once with Pierre Thomas).

Those run failures have been a combined effort from the play designs to the blocking to the runners themselves. And the Saints are well aware that they need to make drastic improvements across the board in the run game. That was already a top priority this offseason when they decided to institute more of an outside zone blocking scheme that remains a work in progress.

In general, though, there’s no reason to push the panic button after the Saints’ slow start in the red zone. Their offense has a long track record of proving it can get the job done anywhere on the field. As Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said this week, he believes the Saints’ slow offensive start is just “smoke and mirrors.”

“It’s not acceptable. It’s not OK, and fortunately our defense has really come up big now in two games for us. I guarantee you it’s something that we can fix, and I know we’ll spend a lot of time on fixing it,” said offensive tackle Zach Strief, who recalled a similar red zone issue in the 2010 season. “I know Coach Payton will spend a lot of time on that in the next few weeks. Even if we come in this week and play well in the red zone, it will be something that, for the rest of the year, we are spending extra time on.”

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Wow, and we are still 3-0.

Should be fun when we improve on that.

That is a nice start but the saints have run into offensive balancing issues before. Take their three non-winning seasons under Payton, the lack of balance came back to haunt them. It put to much pressure on Breesus and the defenses shoulder...But Hey Jack, WFW is just sayin'

Don't be fooled by the great start though, Da Bears started out 7-1 last season and missed the playoffs!

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Only reason your 3-0 is because your defense has been uncharacteristically good. By the time you improve in the red zone I bet your D won't be ranked top 10 anymore.

You are probably right. They will play the meat of their schedule in the coming 6-7 games. They will give up some points and yards during this stretch. But nobody feels they need to be a Top 4 defense to be successful. If they end up a Top 15-20 defense, that would translate into success.

By the way, since you brought up the Saints #4 ranked defense, what's your feelings toward the Falcon defense, ranked #22 after 3 games?

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Only reason your 3-0 is because your defense has been uncharacteristically good. By the time you improve in the red zone I bet your D won't be ranked top 10 anymore.

In other words, the only reason you guys are so good is because you are so good, lets see how good you are when you stop being so good.

L

O

L

Edited by SaintsFanInLA
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Only reason your 3-0 is because your defense has been uncharacteristically good. By the time you improve in the red zone I bet your D won't be ranked top 10 anymore.

The bitterness....

Does it piss u off that the Saints have a better defense than Atl. I mean yall have the great Nolan and all he has done is coach a defense that consistently gives up big leads.

Nolans defense allowed the rams to score more points in 1 game than they did in their last 2 combined. Its a miracle atl won that game.

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Guys I think what they're trying to say is you're making the board look bad after all those "worst defense of all time" jokes all offseason (which I made my fair share of). I think I've eaten my crow at least and gave your team props, looks like you guys might be the real deal this year.

Never expected your D to be playing as well as it is right now, and if it some how keeps up that level of play all season then you're easily my NFC picks to go to the Super Bowl.

Edited by Ginn & Juice
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It is funny to see the swampers get all riled up by an article (written by another swamper) and then turn it around to a Falcons bashing segment? Is that not clinical definition of psychosis? Or do the swampers really fear the Falcons and the saints season falling apart later down the road? But Hey jack, WFW is just sayin'cool.png

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