The New Orleans Saints took care of business against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to open the 2020 NFL season, and their Week 1 success was largely due to a creative approach on defense. Knowing that Bucs coach Bruce Arians would be looking to air it out with new quarterback Tom Brady and his long list of weapons, the Saints fielded more defensive backs than usual, spending most of the game with six of them out at a time.
Those lighter defensive looks made for easier pickings on the ground, but credit to the Saints defense for remaining disciplined and bottling up the Bucs rushing attack. New Orleans has now gone 44 consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard rusher, and neither Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette, nor LeSean McCoy made much headway against them in Week 1. That’s not easy to pull off, especially with fewer linebackers than you’d like.
So let’s get into the nuts and bolts of the snap counts. Here’s how often every Saints player took the field on Sunday;