It’s not time to push the panic button in New Orleans, yet. But today’s Week 2 matchup with the Browns is a major test for Dennis Allen and the Saints defense.Week 1 was a major wake-up call for the Saints and defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. Giving up 41 points to a Ryan Fitzpatrick-led offense wasn’t even an option that was on the radar for anybody, well any sane person, in the NFL world. Yet it happened. The Black and Gold defense utterly collapsed. Week 2’s matchup with the Browns will be a major test for Allen and his unit.Maybe Week 1 was about experimentation. Getting the linebacker grouping settled. Figuring out what coverages works. Working on blitz schemes. Whatever the case, none of it worked against the Buccaneers.If we don’t see a major turn around from the Saints defense against the Browns, it will be time to push the panic button on Dennis Allen.Dennis Allen has been the Saints defensive coordinator since the end of the 2015 Season when the team fired Rob Ryan. He took the team from being a last place unit to a middle of the pack defense last season. But that was against a third place schedule.The Saints defense had their moments in 2017 to be sure. But their style has always been of the bend don’t break variety. Giving up chunks at times to opposing offenses and just trying to keep them out of the end-zone. When it works, it works. Last Sunday, it failed miserably.There has been a lot of offseason talk about the Saints making a Super Bowl run in 2018. For there to be any chance of that happening, the team will have to be able to be competitive as a defense. Sure, Drew Brees and the offense can put up points. But giving up 41 points on defense is too much to ask for the offense to overcome on a weekly basis. And there are a lot of good offenses on the Saints’ 2018 schedule.Cleveland has a decent offense. Not great by any means. They have a quarterback who is very inconsistent as a passer and is better known for making plays with his legs. They have some good receivers if Tyrod Taylor can get the ball to them. But the Browns offense can only be described as average on a good day. If the Saints defense has trouble with them, there are some serious red flags that will be going up in New Orleans.The talent is there, the coaching is the thing in question. Another poor showing from this defense should lead to some major changes. Should. There is a capable defensive coach on the staff already in Mike Nolan. He should be given the reins if Dennis Allen can’t make this unit click. If the defense still looks bad and the team sticks with Dennis Allen, this will be a long season in New Orleans.And with the draft capital already spent on Marcus Davenport and Teddy Bridgewater for 2019 on top of big money about to be spent on retaining talent, it’s imperative the Saints get things right immediately. This is a results driven business and, so far, the results aren’t where they should be for a talent-laden Saints defense. Next: Five things to watch for when Saints face Browns The hot seat couldn’t be hotter for Dennis Allen heading into today’s game. All eyes are on him and what he’s done in the past week to tweak his scheme to produce. Otherwise, the city of New Orleans will be screaming for change.
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