New Orleans -- They're not a fluke. They're not on a hot streak.
The 2013 Saints defense is for real. Through three games, they've been the one constant in all three of their wins.
Sunday was their best effort to date. The Cardinals opened the game with a touchdown and did nothing after that. The defense was stifling the rest of the game. They forced eight consecutive punts and picked off Carson Palmer twice. They sacked him four times and allowed just 247 total yards of offense.
Their effort allowed the Saints to work through some early kinks on offense and win easily, 31-7.
I can recall the several conversations in the offseason saying all Rob Ryan really needed to bring was an average defense and Drew Brees and the offense will do the rest to win.
Well, forget average. Thus far, they've been flat out dominant at times.
Through three games, they're allowing just 12.7 points a game.
I don't think I need to remind anyone of just how bad this unit was in 2012. They weren't just ugly; they were the WORST DEFENSE in NFL history
"Last year, I don't know what that was. But this year is what I expected," linebacker Curtis Lofton noted after the game.
Ryan's influence cannot be understated. The roster is not identical but a significant portion of the key contributors were here in 2012.
And the best part is they are doing with young blood. Sunday's defensive line rotation included Cam Jordan, Akiem Hicks, Tyrunn Walker, Glenn Foster, Junior Galette, John Jenkins and Martez Wilson.
None are over the age of 25.
Throw in the wise-beyond-his-years, rookie Kenny Vaccaro and you've got not only the transformation of the defense, but one that can be around together for quite some time.
No one inside the Saints locker room was getting ahead of themselves. They know they still have many mega-challenges ahead of them.
But it's okay to get excited; what we've seen thus far is real.
The 2013 Saints identity is starting to form and it's one that will include a defense that must be respected.
A man arrested on drug charges escaped police custody while being treated at the hospital, Morgan City police say. Officers are searching for Jamison Dunigan, 39, after he escaped custody on Thursday.more>>
A man arrested on drug charges escaped police custody while being treated at the hospital, Morgan City police say.more>>
The National Hurricane Center named Tropical Storm Cristobal early on Sunday morning. The storms is slowly organizing and moving very slowly as well. The center actually ended up coming together a bitmore>>
When you look at satellite, an ominous "blob" of storms looms just off the LA coast. However, this is along a trough of low pressure extending from Brownsville, Texas all the way to Tampa, FL. more>>
After several rainy and stormy periods over the weekend, we are going to see more breaks for additional sunshine and a daily rain chance all this week. We are currently on the dry-side of an upper disturbance,more>>
A large cluster of storms in the central Gulf is moving northward. Computer models do not develop anything with this feature, but it will provide for abundant rainfall across the Gulf coast this holiday weekend.more>>
While you were sleeping, the Internet never stopped… Here's what's trending today. ‘Exasperated' boy reacts to mom's pregnancy "What were you thinking? This makes no sense… This is exasperating!" Amore>>
While you were sleeping, the Internet never stopped… Here's what's trending today.more>>
Thursday, August 28 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:33:06 GMT
SPARTANBURG COUNT, SC (WYFF) - Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. Deputiesmore>>
Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.more>>