Saints need turnovers; Was Byrd their best hope?
The New Orleans Saints and Rob Ryan have yet to land an interception, and they have been struggling at creating turnovers. With Jairus Byrd who the team invested millions of dollars in, on the sidelines for the rest of the year, the team chances might be slim to none.
The Saints rank dead last in the NFL at forcing turnovers (only one — a forced fumble by Byrd in Week 1). And Byrd offered the best hope at fixing that. Takeaways are his specialty — he had 22 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles in his first five seasons with Buffalo, which was the main reason why the Saints signed him to a six-year, $54 million mega-deal in free agency.
The Saints had already lost a lot of veteran leadership in their secondary this offseason when they decided to part ways with safeties Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins and injured cornerback Jabari Greer. Byrd was supposed to help fill some of that void. The Saints trust Byrd’s backup, veteran safety Rafael Bush. But the nickel and dime defenses are a lot shakier now.
This could get ugly in New Orleans quick. This week the team will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who moved the ball quite well last week with Mike Glennon at the helm. I expect the Bucs to take some deep shots down the field and would not be surprised to see the Saints lose a game at home without Byrd, especially if they do not create a turnover.