Entering the year, the New Orleans Saints' defense was viewed as one of the best units in football. But for whatever reason, they really struggled on that side of the ball coming out of the gates. Over their first six games, New Orleans' vaunted defense was surrendering 29.0 points per game (PPG). For reference, that would be the fourth-worst mark in the entire league if it stood today.
Not only has this defense improved since then, they've done so at an astounding rate. And over the last three weeks, the Saints' defense has put up some truly mind-boggling numbers.
New Orleans is surrendering 9.3 PPG over its last three weeks, allowing just 1 touchdown during that span. It's not like the Saints are doing it against easier competition, either. During that stretch, they've faced the league's fifth-best scoring offense in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an extremely dangerous Atlanta Falcons' attack and a decent San Francisco 49ers' offense.
And the numbers only get more impressive the deeper you look. In that same stretch the Saints have recorded 14 sacks, 28 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries.
While big-name stars like Cameron Jordan certainly deserve credit for this turnaround, the play of lesser-known defenders like Trey Hendrickson has also been crucial. Hendrickson, for example, has 4.0 sacks during this three-game stretch and is now tied with Myles Garrett for the most sacks in football (9.5).
With burgeoning stars like Hendrickson and Marcus Davenport playing alongside established studs like Jordan, Marshon Lattimore and Malcolm Jenkins, this is officially a Super Bowl-caliber defense.
If Drew Brees can get right for the NFL Playoffs, this defense gives him a real shot to walk off into the sunset with his second Super Bowl ring.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.