Well, the carryover for the defense from the 2013 season hasn’t quite happened. Not yet, at least. It’s been a disastrous start to the year for Rob Ryan and his defensive unit, surrendering not only a high amount of yardage, but allowing some of the most inopportune conversions you can imagine. Just as the story was in Week 1 against Atlanta, the defense just couldn’t find a way to get the opposing offense off the field when it mattered most in Cleveland. On the Browns’ final drive alone, they allowed two 3rd down and one 4th down conversions to let Cleveland extend their game-winning drive.
Through the first two games, the New Orleans Saints rank 30th in the league in total defense, allowing a whopping 446 yards per game. If you recall from my offensive preview, I mentioned that despite being 0-2, the Saints are the 2nd highest scoring team in the NFL with 29 points per game. You’d think it would be really tough to rank that high in scoring, yet still be winless, right? Well, when you’re the 31st ranked team in defensive scoring, allowing 31.5 points per game, it makes more sense. The good news? It’s still very early.
While the Minnesota Vikings defense has played pretty well thus far, their offense can’t say the same. Led by Matt Cassel, the Vikings rank 29th in total offense, gaining 286 yards per game through their first two contests. Averaging 20.5 points per game, Minnesota is 24th in the league in scoring. Their team took a huge hit last week, as news broke on Friday that Adrian Peterson had been indicted on counts of child abuse. The team deactived him for Sunday’s game against New England, then reinstated him on Monday with plans to play him against the Saints this week. Well, once news started spreading that Peterson had been accused of child abuse for a separate child some time ago, along with big sponsors threatening to pull their sponsorships away from the Vikings, Minnesota smartly made the move to put him on the Commissioner’s exempt list, which keeps him away from all team activity. Now, the bottom line is that Peterson will not be playing against the Saints on Sunday. I’m going to leave this matter at that, because I’m not here to talk about anything but the matchup. Moving on! Continue reading