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Saints defense extends streak of allowing fewer than 20 points to 10 games in Monday's win over Panthers

The New Orleans Saints defense continued its run of dominance in Monday's 20-17 win over the Carolina Panthers.

The Saints have gone 10 consecutive games allowing fewer than 20 points, the longest streak in club history. New Orleans didn't allow a touchdown in 2023 until 1:16 remaining in Week 2, the longest such streak to start a season in team history.

Despite the dominance, head coach Dennis Allen was miffed his club gave up the garbage-time touchdown.

"I think it should have been two games, so I'm not satisfied," Allen said Monday night when asked how impressive it is to not allow a TD defensively for nearly two games. "But defensively, I think that we're doing some good things and I still think there's a lot of things that we can do better. We're not going to sit around and pat ourselves on the back. We're going to go back to work to try and correct some of the things that we didn't do as well and try to keep doing some of the things that we did well. I thought the front and coverage worked well together today and I thought we did a good job, particularly up front."

The Saints defense allowed just four first downs and 88 total net yards in the first half, smothering Bryce Young and the Panthers offense.

For the game, New Orleans registered four sacks of Young, outside of two QB scrambles, bottled up the ground game (66 yards on 17 attempts), held Carolina to 4 of 14 on third downs and 139 net pass yards. The Saints allowed 164 yards on the first 10 drives of the game -- only the final 75-yard TD drive with New Orleans sitting back pushed Carolina over the 200-yard mark.

New Orleans was able to pressure Young without blitzing, generating pressure with four D-lineman. Carl Granderson led the way with six QB pressures and a sack, and Cam Jordan added four pressures, per Next Gen Stats.

"I think any team that can rush the passer with four and commit seven to coverage and be effective getting pressure on the quarterback that is a recipe for success in our league," Allen said. "It always has been."

The Saints defense had the No. 1 overall pick looking every bit a rookie in prime time, with Young unable to find a rhythm until late and struggling to push the ball down the field. The best plays until the final drive were a couple of scrambles for the QB.

"He is a good kid. I think that he has a lot of room to grow," Jordan said of Young. "Our ability to keep him in the pocket, crush the pocket, make him feel uncomfortable, that clearly was the plan and I think we succeed in that. I do think he escaped more than we thought he would. We went in thinking that he was a pocket passer, and he has some speed to him. He was able to slip out those A and B gaps. We will know that for the next time we play him. We have to play him a second time. As he grows, as he matures, this time around some will say he is a little young, if you shall."

The division rematch comes in Week 14 in New Orleans when Young will have more seasoning. We'll see if anyone has hung 21 points on this Saints defense by then.

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