The New Orleans Saints are 0-3 this season, and many are blaming the team's defense, which is ranked 31st overall and 32nd in rushing defense. The defense certainly needs to improve if the Saints are going to be successful. However, the offense that has been so dominant the past few seasons has been relatively quiet so far this year. The Saints' offense has not yet put together a complete game in 2012, making it more difficult to overcome the lapses on defense. As a Saints fan, I am hoping to see the Saints play better on offense against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, September 30, to help the team earn its first win.
In 2011 quarterback Drew Brees had eight regular season games with zero interceptions. With 46 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, Brees threw more than three touchdowns for every pass that was picked off. This season, however, Brees' touchdowns and interceptions are nearly equal. He has seven scores with five interceptions in his three games, with at least one pass intercepted each week. Brees will need to do a better job of controlling the ball against the Packers in Week Four.
As a Saints fan, I have also been surprised by the production from Marques Colston. It looks like he may be attempting to play hurt, and he has not shown the same focus we are used to seeing. Colston has lost a fumble and has already dropped passes that would have been easy catches for him the past few years. He has 10 receptions and 160 yards in three games, and I expect him to begin playing even better soon.
The offense as a whole has mostly played well, but fans know the Saints can do more. Tight end Jimmy Graham is facing tighter coverage than he has seen in the past, and he was limited to just 16 yards in Week Three. Running back Mark Ingram is averaging just 2.8 yards per carry, a full yard lower than his average last year. Meanwhile receiver Devery Henderson has not had the kind of impact that he is capable of having, catching just five passes so far. All of these numbers have room for growth.
This team thrives on sustaining long drives, which leads to points being scored and allows the defense more rest between series. If the Saints can hold the ball and avoid turnovers, it should help get this season back on track regardless of what is done on the defensive side.
Mike Patton is a sports fan who grew up in New Orleans cheering for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Cubs, and LSU Tigers. As a kid in 1987, he made his first trip to Wrigley Field and also slept outside of the Louisiana Superdome to purchase playoff tickets for the Saints' first postseason appearance. Follow Mike on twitter @MikePattonGBS.