adding the wang take
if ya missed it-
Whether or not you choose to accept the notion that 7042 total yards allowed — most in NFL history, and 454 points allowed — most since the 1980 Saints, legitimately qualifies the 2012 Saints defense as "THE WORST IN NFL HISTORY!!!" is largely irrelevant. What matters is that it was inarguably shitty. Incredibly shitty. Historically shitty. Mindbogglingly shitty. Unacceptably shitty. Far more shitty than last year's was. Shittier than any Gary Gibbs defense. Shittier than any Rick Venturi defense. Shittier than any defense featuring Jason David, Kevin Kaesviharn, Josh Bullocks, Tebucky Jones, Jonathan Sullivan, Rob Kelly or Colby Bockwoldt. It might not have been the single worst defense in NFL history, if you say so, but it was damn sure close enough.
And perhaps most importantly, it was every bit as shitty in week 17 as it was in week 1.
922 total yards and 75 points allowed in weeks 1 & 2, 976 total yards and 75 points allowed in weeks 16 & 17. (No, that's not "comprehensive analysis" and not the end-all, it's just an illustrative anecdote.)
In retrospect, it seems pretty clear that the midseason spasm of relative competence (using the term very loosely) that got everybody all excited was little more than a temporary "hot" streak at best, and pretty much a complete illusion at worst. That shutout of Tampa is the very definition of an outlier. This defense is no better than it was in September. And it's not just a case of LYING STATS(!!!) making it look worse than it was. I watched every snap of every game this year, and the stats tell the absolute truth. It was every bit as bad as the stats suggest.