Is it me or is the Saints defense just getting better and better as we approach the cold months of winter? What they've been able to accomplish this season, even with injuries and second team players, is nothing short of impressive. In fact many of the Saints victories earlier this year are owed directly to the play of the defense.
But now that Darren Sharper has returned from the PUP list and taken back his job as starting free safety, Gregg Williams and the defense seem to have ratcheted things up even further in terms of aggression. Over the past two weeks the Saints have notched seven sacks and allowed their opponents to convert only four out of twenty-two third down attempts. That's staggering.
It also appears that they've gotten a bit of that turnover mojo back, due in large part to the fumbles caused and/or recovered by Sharper the past two weeks. Yesterday the team also got their first defensive touchdown of the season via a Jabari Greer pick six which technically had nothing to do with Sharper but I still can't help but feel his aura and presence on the field was still somehow behind the back-breaking turnover.
Simply put, Darren Sharper is a catalyst. Whether it's directly or indirectly, things just seem to happen for this defense when he's on the field. Without him, they just don't come so easily.
Currently, the Saints have the third best defense in the league. You read that right: the third best defense in the league. As the team heads into the bye week and players continue to get healthy, including Sharper himself with a tweaked hamstring suffered yesterday, things are looking very good for this unit as games become more and more important. If the offense can uphold their end of the bargain, the Saints are poised for yet another deep playoff run.