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Sunday, September 18, 2011
Saints threw everything at Cutler

By Pat Yasinskas

New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams never has been shy about dialing up the blitz. But sometimes, the quarterback you’re blitzing can make a huge difference.

Take the case of Sunday’s victory against Chicago. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Saints sent six or more pass rushers on 19 plays and allowed just 13 yards (0.7 yards per play). They sacked Jay Cutler five times in those situations, including a key sack/forced fumble by Turk McBride that helped break the game open.

In all, the Saints sent five or more rushers on 39.6 percent of Chicago’s drop-backs and Cutler completed only 38.5 percent of his passes against the blitz. He also averaged 4.9 yards per attempt.

That’s a striking difference from the season-opening loss at Green Bay, where the Saints sent five or more pass rushers on 29.7 percent of the drop-backs. But the key difference was that Aaron Rodgers completed 80 percent of his passes in those situations and averaged 12.5 yards per attempt.