Less than two months ago the Saints secondary depth chart looked like this:
- Delvin Breaux
- Keenan Lewis
- P.J. Williams
- Damian Swann
My, how things have changed. Delvin Breaux is out for at least another month and a half with a broken fibula that required surgery. Even when the the bone heals, don’t expect Breaux to be in game-ready shape for another couple weeks after his hopeful return in late October.
Keenan Lewis has been cut due to his on-going hip problems. Both P.J. Williams and Damian Swann have been put on injured reserve. Though their sample size has been limited, the two corners and fellow 2015 draft picks both showed a ton of promise at the position.
Most teams would fold after taking such devastating hits to one position. But as each player went down with injury, the Saints kept pulling another rabbit out of their hat to help solidify the secondary. The latest replacement, Sterling Moore, turned in a fantastic performance against the New York Giants, specifically making things very difficult for Odell Beckham Jr.
Moore badgered OBJ throughout all four quarters and his one pass break up occurred in the end zone, preventing a crucial score to keep the game close. The former Tampa Bay cornerback also recorded 9 tackles. If it weren’t for a questionable pass interference call against Moore at the end of the fourth quarter, the Saints may very well have ended up with the W. Still, Moore played very well, especially considering he had only one week to learn the defensive coordinator Dennis Allen’s system.
The Saints have to be pleased with Moore’s solid debut. As the Black and Gold get ready for their Monday night matchup against their most bitter inter-divisional rival, the Atlanta Falcons, Moore must prepare to face yet another super star wide receiver in Julio Jones. Though Jones has missed practice most of the week with a calf injury, he has declared himself ready for this week’s primetime game.
Moore isn’t bothered by the hype surrounding elite receivers. His game preparation and mentality remain the same no matter who he faces. This week will certainly provide yet another test. If Moore is able to repeat his strong performance from the previous week, I won’t be surprised. After two games, the Saints defense has proven to be incredibly resilient. Moore’s play against the Giants exemplified that. Maybe, just maybe, the Saints have found a diamond in the rough.