A hole in the Saints defense that Josh Dobbs could take advantage of

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 19: Cameron Jordan #94 of the New Orleans Saints lines up during an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Caesars Superdome on October 19, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)


Saints defensive lineman Cameron Jordan vs the Chicago Bears

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) rushes off the line of scrimmage against Chicago Bears offensive tackle Darnell Wright (58) in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)AP

One of the NFL’s top defenses this season is that of the New Orleans Saints. This season, it has given up the fewest yards (304.3) and points (19) per game and forced the second-highest percentage of three-and-outs (46%) of any defense.

That is especially excellent.

In addition, that same unit pressures the quarterback 19.7 percent of the time, which is the ninth-worst rate in the league, and averages the third fewest sacks (1.9) per game.

That is especially awful.

It makes sense why quarterbacks would sometimes run amok in New Orleans. Against the Saints this season, quarterbacks Tyson Bagent of the Chicago Bears (70 yards), Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars (59 yards), and Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers (39 yards) all set career highs in yardage.

About his defense’s pass rush lane integrity on Monday, New Orleans coach Dennis Allen stated, “Yeah, it’s been a problem.” “We must improve in this area.”

In a game, there will be between 25 to 30 plays when you need to be able to rush the passer while maintaining some lane integrity. Whether it’s the first or second half, we need to improve our lane integrity so that we can keep quarterbacks in the pocket while still applying pressure and forcing them to spit the ball.

The Saints don’t give up much passing production, but they also don’t get to the quarterback very often. With cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Paulson Adebo, the current NFC Defensive Player of the Week, New Orleans frequently uses man coverage, which has been effective. The Saints have intercepted 12 more passes than any other team in the NFL and have intercepted 62 passes overall.

When asked if his defense’s use of man coverage helps opposing quarterbacks run, Allen responded, “Yeah, probably some of it.” There is give and take, you see. It goes without saying that with that technique, it is more difficult for the quarterback to escape the pocket if you have your back turned or if we are matching routes. Clearly, there is a balance to it.

Let’s introduce Josh Dobbs, the newest quarterback signed by the Minnesota Vikings on October 31st, the trade deadline. Last week, he led Minnesota to victory over the Atlanta Falcons, earning him the title of NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

In the victory, Dobbs ran for a career-high 66 yards and a touchdown. Among all quarterbacks on the ground this season, he is tied for fourth place in touchdowns (4) and second in yards (324).

Allen remarked, “I saw a lot of really good things with (Dobbs).” “He’s a guy who has been in our league for a while and has shown promise by starting.”

We need to be more aware of the fact that this player has the ability to seriously injure you with his legs if you’re not careful. However, if you simply allow him to remain in the pocket all day, he may also injure you with his arm. That makes it somewhat of a double-edged sword.

In nine games this season, the 28-year-old quarterback has 1,727 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, and five interceptions. Against the Bears, he completed 20 of 30 throws for 158 yards and two touchdowns.

Regarding his scrambling philosophy, Dobbs remarked, “I think it’s just a feel thing.” The pocket is frequently tidy and allows you to move on with your progressions. It doesn’t happen very frequently, but when it does, the defense may make the correct decision and cover us, therefore in those instances, you must certainly use your legs.

“There are times when I can use my athletic abilities when things do go wrong or when they’re dropping a lot of people in coverages. It’s a bit of a cat and mouse game, so don’t rely on it too much, but having that skill set is undoubtedly beneficial when it comes time to use it, he advised.


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