My good friend and outstanding NFC North colleague Kevin Seifert was doing some work on how the defenses of his teams are doing in situations when they used four or fewer pass rushers. Kevin reached out to ESPN Stats & Information for help on this.
As soon as he saw the results, he quickly passed them on to me because, as you’ll see, two NFC South teams rank among the three best in this category. As it turns out, in situations where their defense has used no more than four pass-rushers, the Buccaneers have held opposing quarterbacks to a league-low 56.1 passer rating. In those situations, the Bucs have allowed opponents to complete 54.5 percent of their passes and three touchdowns, while coming up with five interceptions.
The Carolina Panthers are right on Tampa Bay’s heels in these situations. The Panthers rank No. 3 in this category, holding opposing quarterbacks to a 60.5 rating.
The Falcons are in the middle of the pack in this category as opposing passers have posted an 86.6 rating when they’ve used four or fewer pass rushers. The Saints are No. 26 and have allowed a 100.0 passer rating in those situations. Translation, New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams might want to blitz more often.