The New Orleans Saints are one of just six teams to start the year a perfect 3-0 (with Denver at 2-0 heading into Monday night's game). But the Saints will meet their match in each of the next three weeks. Their next three opponents are also 3-0 (Miami in Week 4, at Chicago in Week 5, at New England in Week 6). Something’s gotta give.
This “murderers' row” stretch will start next Monday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome against the Dolphins. For an early scouting report, check out ESPN colleague James Walker’s take on Miami’s hot start.
Sunday recap: I focused on the Saints’ surging defense after yet another dominant performance in Sunday’s 31-7 victory over Arizona. But I wasn’t the only one. ESPN NFL Nation writer Kevin Seifert included the Saints' defense among his Week 3 “studs,” and Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner led its list of Week 3 winners with the Saints’ D. And ESPN colleague Josh Weinfuss wrote from the downtrodden visitors’ locker room how the Cardinals' offense learned firsthand about the young Saints’ pass-rushers.
Flying south? After watching Atlanta's 27-23 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, ESPN scouting analyst Matt Williamson said he feels better than ever about his preseason prediction that the Saints would win the NFC South, while the Falcons would miss the playoffs. His reason? Because the Falcons are now the ones having defensive troubles.
Worth repeating: Great line from Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton in this column from the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Jeff Duncan on the Saints shaping a new identity: "It's like night and day from last year," said Lofton, who joined the Saints as a free agent from Atlanta last season. "Last year ... I didn't know what that was. This year is what I expected."
Worth repeating II: Credit the Times-Picayune’s Larry Holder with a great nickname for the Saints’ young defensive line – “The Big Easys.” It’s fitting since so many of the young newcomers have energetic, carefree personalities. The big men are also bringing some big game so far this year.