After the first two weeks of the season, there were some eerily familiar feelings for New Orleans Saints fans. A customary 0-2 start by Sean Payton’s group was met with much criticism, and the tune of 7-9 was something some were ready to get prepared for.
However, the black and gold won a big road game against the Panthers. It was quickly discredited by many. Then, they were able to shutout the Dolphins in London. But it was Jay Cutler, right? Then they followed it up by beating the Lions, but it was an excuse of a hobbled Detroit team. Follow that up by taking care of the Packers, without Aaron Rodgers of course.
Now, they finished out their NFC North journey to defeat the Bears and win five straight contests. No matter how the chips have fallen for the Saints, they’ve been able to deliver, something very uncommon over the past few years even when the team had some ‘gifts’. Needless to say, there’s a ton of reason for optimism in the Crescent City.
“We’re slowly growing. We’re slowly growing as a defense to have enough confidence to close out these games,” Cam Jordan said in post game locker interviews on Sunday.
This particular Saints team has seen a little bit of everything, and they’ve certainly built a strong squad through a combination of the draft and free agency process. We’ve heard the mantra before on this team being different, but it’s really true.
“New year. New team. I’m not gonna say we’re streaking, but I’m not gonna say we’re not streaking right now. We’re expecting to get better every week, and we’re slowly getting there,” Jordan added.
And that’s what the Saints defense has done, get better. Just how good in the team’s five-game winning streak?
- 16 sacks
- 9 interceptions
- 8 forced fumbles
- 37 pass defenses
They’ve also allowed just nine 4th Quarter points in the last five games. Talk about finishing. Even with the impressive performances, this team is fully aware that they still have room for improvement.
“We still got a lot we need to cleanup, a lot. Even though we won the game giving up 12 points, still have a bad taste in my mouth. Those long runs, some of the explosive plays are going to come back to bite us later in the year,” Kenny Vaccaro said.
In a game where Drew Brees doesn’t throw a touchdown pass and the Saints defense finishes things out, it’s somewhat unfamiliar territory for modern-day fans. The struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers are next up for New Orleans, and then the real fun starts with a four-game stretch against Buffalo, Washington, Los Angeles, and Carolina. However, one game at a time for these Saints.