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Looking Ahead: New Orleans Defense

We know the New Orleans Offense could spell trouble for Your Washington Redskins this coming Sunday, but what about their defense? Turns out they aren't all that bad either...

New Orleans is currently the 12th Ranked Defense in the league and top 5 in the NFC. Over the past three weeks they are giving up an average of just over 13 points a game.

Fortunately their weakness on defense is against the run, where we happen to be strongest. Even with Clinton Portis out -- perhaps especially? I didn't say that! -- this Redskins offense is rolling on the ground, as the recently resigned Ladell Betts has racked up three 100 yard games in a row. New Orleans is 2nd to last in the league in yards per rush and we should expose them further with a heavy dose of LB.

The Saints are 5th in the league against the pass, giving up just over 180 yards per game in the air. They have, however, given up 22 passing touchdowns which is near the bottom of the league. That's like, Redskinesque, man (we've given up the most at 25).

The Saints have been effective at pressuring opposing quarterbacks and are sixth in the league with 35 sacks.  Leading the charge are defensive ends Charles Grant (6) and Will Smith (10.5) who have combined for more sacks than the entire Washington Redskins defense. Their interior linemen have 10 sacks among them as well. Jason Campbell, run for your life.

This is not an opportunistic defense as the Saints are nearly as inept as the Redskins. They have just 16 takeaways this year which is better than only the Bucs and Your Washington Redskins.

The Saints could be without starting Strong Safety Omar Stoutmire who is questionable with a knee injury. Either Steve Gleason or Jay Bellamy would replace him, though neither has done much of anything this year.

The only other thing that jumps out at me is that their linebackers are a lot bigger than ours. Marcus Washington, our biggest, is 247. Warrick Holdman is 235 and Lemar Marshall is 227. To contrast, Scott Fujita, Mark Simoneau, and Scott Shanle are all 245+. I think it is in our best interests to run these guys (they can't be big and fast, right?) with some HB tosses or stretch runs. Then again, we're at our best when running it up the middle or behind our two best run blockers, Derrick Dockery and Randy Thomas. Randy Thomas is so awesome he beats paintings in staring contests. No shit.

I think many Redskins fans view the rest of the season as rebuilding and an extended training camp for young QB Jason Campbell. Nothing wrong with that. However, I still view each win as life or death, so I'm predicting a Redskins victory here despite all evidence to the contrary. Their offense totally outmatches our defense and, though our rushing offense matches up well against their defense, we're still a fairly inept unit as a whole (17th in the league). The matchup to fear is their offense vs. our defense which could turn into a bloodbath. Then again, we did limit Philly's offense. (Then again, we lost that game.)