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For a lot of different reasons, it was an unprecedented offseason for the New Orleans Saints.
Eight games into 2012, we are also seeing numbers on the field that have us scratching our heads.
Who would have thought that when the Saints gave up 421 total yards and lost to the Green Bay Packers, 28-27, in Week 4 at Lambeau Field, that it would be the team’s best defensive performance of 2012?
Astoundingly, it’s been a difficult first season in the Big Easy for coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, whose unit has given up 3,770 total yards in eight contests (471.3 yards per game). By the way, the NFL record for total yards allowed in a season is 6,793 held by the 1981 Colts, who resided in Baltimore at the time.
But back to this week’s tilt with the Atlanta Falcons, who remain the league’s lone unbeaten club. Saints quarterback Drew Brees has made a habit out of beating this NFC South rival since he arrived in New Orleans in 2006, posting a filthy 10-2 mark against the “Dirty Birds.”
They say all good things must come to an end, and that is often true. But that goes for the bad as well.
Spagnuolo’s unit will clamp down and hold the Falcons to “only” 334 yards of total offense while the Saints roll up 440 of their own. But that won't prevent Brees from throwing three interceptions in a 23-21 loss at the Superdome that makes the Saints' run at a playoff berth that much tougher.
Interim head coach Joe Vitt will be left scratching his head following the team’s sixth loss in nine games.