By John DeShazier
The New Orleans Saints
METARIE, La — Thirteen points allowed, three of them following a turnover which gave the opponent a starting position at their 29-yard line and a refusal to surrender an inch beyond that position.
Two hundred sixty yards allowed, including a miserly 72 yards given up on 30 rushing attempts.
Twelve stops on 17 third-down attempts, and one stone wall constructed to eliminate a fourth-and-1 and force a turnover on downs.
The New Orleans Saints defense didn’t walk off the field against Tampa Bay victorious on the scoreboard at the Caesars Superdome, but the unit posted a bevy of likable, winning-caliber numbers in the 20-10 loss. And it hopes to continue that pace Sunday, when New Orleans (1-1) visits Carolina (0-2) at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
“I think the first thing we did was, we stopped the run,” Saints Coach Dennis Allen said. “We played really well in the run game, which makes them a little bit more one-dimensional.
“I thought we challenged in coverage, which was good to see. And I think we affected the quarterback (Tom Brady). The ball got out pretty quick in that game, but yet, he wasn’t throwing to a lot of open receivers. I thought overall, it was effective.”