NFL morning after: Rob Ryan and the worst pass defense ever


The NFL record for touchdown passes in a season won’t be broken this year. Or at least not the record for touchdown passes in a season that you’re familiar with, the one set by Dan Marino in 1984, then broken by Peyton Manning, broken by Tom Brady, and broken by Manning again. That record — Manning’s 55 touchdowns in 2013 — is safe.

But there’s another passing touchdown record that probably will be broken this season: The record for most touchdown passes allowed by a defense. The current record is 40, set by the Denver Broncos in 1963. (The Broncos were an American Football League team, but the NFL adopted all of the AFL’s records when the leagues merged.) The Saints are on pace to obliterate that dubious record.

Yesterday the New Orleans defense gave up four touchdown passes to Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins in the Saints’ 47-14 loss. That upped the Saints’ defensive total this year to 28 touchdown passes allowed this year, in 10 games. The Saints are now on pace to allow 45 touchdown passes this season, easily beating that 1963 Broncos record.

Two weeks ago Eli Manning had six touchdowns and no interceptions against the Saints. Last week Marcus Mariota had four touchdowns and no interceptions against the Saints. The Saints are the first defense in NFL history to allow four touchdowns and record no interceptions in three consecutive games. In all, the Saints have intercepted just four passes this season, given up 44 completions of 20 yards or more and 13 completions of 40 yards or more (both league highs), and the average passer rating against the Saints is 116.6. Aaron Rodgers is the NFL’s all-time record holder with a career passer rating of 105.8. The Saints are making the average passer they face look better than Aaron Rodgers.

There’s plenty of blame to go around between the players and the coaching staff, but the man who deserves the bulk of the blame for that is Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. When you watch the Saints’ defense play, you’re left wondering what in the world they practice all week, what in the world their game plans look like, what in the world they’re calling. The Saints don’t just look bad, they look utterly incompetent. That’s on Ryan.

Because he’s the son of Buddy Ryan (the legendary architect of the 46 defense) and the brother of Bills coach Rex Ryan (a pretty good defensive coach himself), Rob Ryan has been reasonably well-regarded in the NFL and always finds a job somewhere. The last time he was fired, he famously promised he’d find a new job in five minutes.

But the reality is, unlike his brother and father, Rob has never really proven that he’s much of a defensive coordinator. Rob Ryan has been a defensive coordinator in Oakland, Cleveland, Dallas and now New Orleans, and those defenses have never been particularly good.

Of course, he’s never had a defense as bad as the one he has in New Orleans right now. This might be the worst defense the NFL has ever seen.

Here are my other thoughts on Sunday’s games:

Lions fans can finally stop hearing about Green Bay. Every single year, when the Lions play at Green Bay, the TV announcers are sure to beat the viewers over the head with the fact that the Lions haven’t won there since 1991. The last time the Lions won at Green Bay, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton had just announced he was running for president. That is, the last time until yesterday, when the Lions finally pulled one out. Detroit is going nowhere this year, but winning in Green Bay for the first time in 24 years means the streak of futility is over, and one good thing has come of this Lions season.

We should appreciate Tony Romo. Wins and losses are overused as a quarterback stat, but they do illustrate just how important Romo is in Dallas. The Cowboys started the season 2-0 with Romo as the starter, and then Romo got hurt — and now the Cowboys are 2-7. Dallas is 0-3 with Brandon Weeden at quarterback and 0-4 with Matt Cassel after yesterday’s loss to the Buccaneers. Other teams can win with their backup quarterbacks (the Colts are 2-0 with Matt Hasselbeck in place of Andrew Luck, and the Steelers are 2-1 with Michael Vick in place of Ben Roethlisberger), but the Cowboys have fallen apart without Romo. He’s one of the best players in the NFL.

Johnny Manziel should be the Browns’ starter the rest of the year. Manziel was far from perfect in the Browns’ 30-9 loss to the Steelers yesterday. But Manziel did complete 33 of 45 passes for 372 yards and also make plenty of plays with his legs. He looked like he has some promise, and the Browns need to stick with him the rest of the year and let him show what he can do. There’s no reason to go back to Josh McCown except that Browns coach Mike Pettine is a stubborn man who wants to stick with his preferred quarterback. If Pettine goes back to McCown, he’s putting his own stubbornness ahead of the long-term well-being of the franchise.

Elvis Dumervil had the bonehead play of the year. Dumervil had two sacks for the Ravens yesterday against the Jaguars, but what will be remembered is his facemasking penalty as time expired. If Dumervil had grabbed Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles and pulled him down by his jersey, it would have ended the game. Instead, Dumervil pulled Bortles down by his facemask, which extended the game for one untimed play because the game can’t end on a defensive penalty. The penalty moved the Jaguars into field goal range, and the one untimed play was the Jaguars’ game-winning field goal as time expired. Dumervil’s mistake cost the Ravens the game.

Peyton Manning was awful. Manning is one of my all-time favorite players, but he simply looked like he has nothing left yesterday. He completed five passes and threw four interceptions. It wasn’t just the worst game of Manning’s career, it was one of the worst games any quarterback has ever had in NFL history: He’s the first NFL quarterback since 1986 to have five or fewer completions and four or more interceptions in a game. I want to see Manning go out on top, but at Manning’s age, when you lose it, you don’t get it back. At this point, just about the only thing that could give Manning a shot at looking like the Manning of old is playing against the Saints. And the Saints aren’t on the schedule.

64 responses to “NFL morning after: Rob Ryan and the worst pass defense ever

  1. I grew up watching the Eagles that Buddy Ryan built. I honestly hope he doesn’t watch those New Orleans games, it’d just be tragic. The architect of one of the greatest defenses ever (’85 Bears), and his idiot son hands out touchdowns like Halloween candy.

  2. My thoughts:

    Rob Ryan is exceptionally over rated and is probably more annoying than Rex for the reason of what you pointed out; Rex is actually a good coach.

    Romo has always been this important, only Cowboys haters have thought otherwise. The problem in Dallas, compared to other teams who win with backups, is that the GM isn’t smart. He doesn’t know how to evaluate talent. So what he does instead is goes out and signs pretty good starters and hopes that they don’t get hurt or that they can carry the team and make up for other holes. Look at the QB’s, look at the WR’s, look at the secondary, MLB, etc. etc. The starters are all pretty good but after that, there is literally no depth. Heath is garbage. Terrance Williams, Whitehead (haha) etc. etc. are garbage. You can’t build a winning team without some depth and Jerry, Stephen and Stephen’s 16 year old son can’t evaluate talent.

    Petyon Manning should retire, now. The Broncos defense is too good to waste on his inability to complete even the most basic passes. He can’t even be a competent game manager anymore.

    The Packers aren’t that good. Rodgers simply cannot win without Jordy Nelson and when he does win, it isn’t that exciting.

    The Ravens are awful. I still don’t understand why anyone in the media thought they’d have a good year.

    Fat Ben is a pretty darn good QB. I can’t think of a tougher guy than that guy.

    DFS is stealing my money. I lost $50 this week. What the heck man?

  3. Packers won six straight to start the year and suddenly they can’t win without Jordy? Okay, one bad game and everybody overreacts.

  4. I understand that Mike Sherman is looking for a DC for the High School team he coaches. Perhaps Rob Ryan should call for an interview but then he may not get one.

  5. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, look up where Rob Ryan’s defenses have averaged over the years; consistently in the 26-30 range. How he has ANY reputation as a defensive coordinator, after a DECADE of this is beyond me.

  6. How ironic that no sooner had Peyton surpassed Favre for the record his ability completely disolved? It reminded me of when a product breaks down the day following expiration of the warranty.

    Both Ryan brothers are overrated. Rex at least is funny/goofy with it. He’s like the Benny Hill of the league. He’s almost likable. (Cue up the theme to the show, and put a slide show together of the foolish antics and costumes he’s worn over the years and tell me you don’t get a whole new view of him.) Rob is not.

    The flip-side of the Lions getting passed the schneid with Green Bay at Lambeau will obviously be the Pack (McCarthy, Aaron & Co) having to be reminded (this year and next year or 2 after that) that they are now on a 3-game Losing streak, there’s no time to R-E-L-A-X and they lost to the worst team in the league to help themselves get there.

    Romo will be back (but too late). Manziel will be benched (but too soon). And Dumerville is apt for at least a couple bone-headed moves on average per year since he came into the league. Oh, and how a-BOUT them Redskins with the highest offensive output (47 points?!!) yesterday. Wait, what?

  7. Would love for my team to play this defense! Get well game. Rodgers is so much BETTER than Breese, it isn’t even close. He would put up 500+ yards.

    I think the Saints are in big trouble. Packers need to make a few tweaks, and playing against this sorry team would sure help!

  8. Breaking a personal record during a home blowout loss he threw 4 INTs in and was benched is so Peyton Manning that it may be his version of going out on top.

  9. Romophobic you have some rose colored glasses. The biggest critics of Tony Romo have always been Cowboys fans. A large portion of the fanbase seems to flat out hate the guy. If he makes a great comeback no one remembers it. As soon as he throws a pick that’s all Cowboy fans remember.

    I remember when he threw for like 500yard 5TDS and 1INT. Cowboy fans only remembered the INT. Now that he’s been out and the Cowboys have been atrocious, Cowboys fans have seen how good he is and are trying to act like “haters” have been dissing him all these years. Cowboys fans need to own it.

  10. “He’s the first NFL quarterback since 1986 to have five or fewer completions and four or more interceptions in a game.”

    Yet some people STILL make excuses for this guy.

  11. You say Ryan has never really proven himself or that his defenders haven’t been particularly good? You make the man sound almost okay when the facts are he’s been dreadful.

    He’s been a DC for 12 years. He’s had a top ten defence (in yards) twice. He’s had a bottom three defence three times and a bottom half defence nine times. In points allowed he’s been top ten once, bottom three twice and bottom half nine times. Takeaways? Never has had a top ten defence and has been bottom half, eleven times.

    He has proven himself alright. He has proven to be one of the worst defensive coordinators in the game. Why anyone would bother to hire this clown is beyond me.

  12. Peyton Manning has a safe record…..9 one and dones. Actually maybe not since he has a good shot at 10 this year 🙂

  13. IF Dummerville would have taken him down by the jersey? I like that you say it as if its easy to do and he didn’t have a lineman on his back and a QB fighting to stay up right.

  14. Brady wasn’t at his best yesterday, but after watching the Giants beat the Pats in the past on ‘lucky’ plays, the Pats were due for some luck of their own.

    Finally an awesome game to watch where the Pats had to fight to the end.

  15. (1) Garrett is toast…will be the fall guy for the GM mistakes…and why is Cassel (noodle arm) starting over Weeden…
    (2) Actually. the Broncos allowed 2.85 TD passes per game in 63, the Saints are currently averaging 2.8 so Rob has to try a little harder…also, the 66 Giants gave up 35.8 pts per game, the Saints are averaging 31.5…there is work to be done Rob before we can call your defense the worst of all time…

  16. Rob and Rex are both greatly overrated. Rex turned a #4 defense in the league into a mid 20’s ranked defense. And now Rob is going to allow over 40 pass td’s. Get these two out of the league, neither can coach. Rex runs his mouth until ppl think he’s good, at least Rob is quiet.

  17. mropinionguy says:

    Packers won six straight to start the year and suddenly they can’t win without Jordy? Okay, one bad game and everybody overreacts.

    One bad game?

    Rogers had 77 gross yards against Denver.

    Against Carolina, it wasn’t until the middle of the 4th quarter that the Packers trailed by 23 points and Carolina started playing a prevent defense that the Packer offense looked decent.

    And then yesterday, 3 points in the first 3 and 2/3rds quarters.

    That’s three bad games in a row.

  18. Yet some people STILL make excuses for this guy.

    As a Pats fan I’m still figuring P. Manning has one more good game left in him – against the Patriots. Otherwise the epic 15 year battle of Manning vs. Brady games is going to go out on an epic thud.

    Why was his brother the first one to pick on Pats cornerbacks I had forgotten were even on the team?

  19. romophobic says:
    Nov 16, 2015 6:24 AM
    Fat Ben is a pretty darn good QB. I can’t think of a tougher guy than that guy.

    1 of the biggest myths in football. He was going to sit out yesterday! Very good QB but not nearly as “tough” as his rep suggests. Misses more games with minor injuries than anyone yet is singled out for toughness?

    gimme a break

  20. I’m not going to say he’s a great coordinator but defense has always been an after thought for the Saints. It was always pay Brees whatever he wants and the receivers, whatever’s left over get’s spent on defense.

    Add on the fact all the dead cap money from the last 2 years and you have a bunch of scrubs making minimum while Brees has a cap hit of $24 mill this year and $30 mill next year. How many guys from off the street are playing in the Saints defense?

    I predict next year they won’t have Brees or Payton because Payton is smart enough to realize the party is over and the Saints are in cap hell.

  21. With all due respect to the author’s comment on Manning, to that game being one of the worst any quarterback has had in NFL history: relax. It’s not even the worst game by Bronco QB in the team’s history. That belongs to Craig Morton in Super Bowl XII, who completed as many passes to his own team as he did to the Cowboys (4).

    Manning had a very bad day yesterday. He’s hurt, and yes his skills are not what they were five years ago. But Manning is two weeks removed from having decimated the previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers. He may need a week or two heal. But if you think we’ve seen the last of Peyton Manning, you’ll be proven wrong before Christmas.

  22. When a team doesn’t exactly have all the talent on defense, the DC is the scapegoat. Does the DC sign all the contracts, draft the players? If the press doesn’t like him, they can add to the fire. What’s Dennis Allen doing there? Oh yeah, Seattle looked great last night too. Legion of gloom.

  23. I hope you are right about the Browns giving Manziel more chances. He put up big numbers because the game was out of reach. When he had the chance to put points on the board, he turned the ball over. Best thing they can do is start over, but they are the Browns, so I fully expect more Johnny and more futility.

  24. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how awful Manning was. I figured he was hurt……….or drunk.

    If they had randomly pulled a guy out of the stands, I don’t see how he could have been much worse.

  25. I’m getting fed up with Manning’s Papa Johns and Nationwide commercials. There is no way a washed up has been is going to encourage people to but a certain pizza or insurance because over the hill Peyton is promoting them.
    The only reason he is promoting Papa Johns is because he owns 28 Papa Johns restaurants in the Denver area.

    He should switch to Medicare or old age home commercials.

  26. Wellll, they only played a 14 game season in 1963, so when you average it out, assuming 45 TDs allowed in their 16 game season, the 1963 Broncos would still be worse

  27. No, now Lions fans will get to hear the commentators remark about that record they finally broke last year…two years ago…three years ago. Unfortunately, that was the benchmark for futility

  28. The only thing worse than how unbelievably bad Peyton was… was Kubiak doing nothing about it until it was too late and the game was lost.

    Kubiaks offense is so antiquated and completely predictable, it’s painful. But I wonder… is it BECAUSE of Peyton’s limitations?

    Sad to start a downward spiral to a VERY hopeful season, by being stubborn about reality.

  29. PS – They can give Manziel every chance… he’s still a poor field marshall who makes plays much harder than they have to be. Watch how many open receivers he bypasses, to throw into a tough catch.

  30. I never want to hear another Cowboys fan talk smack about Tony Romo ever again! I have been his biggest cheerleader and always have stuck up for him when people talk their nonsense about him.
    We have all gotten a glimpse of what life is like without him. It ain’t pretty. Now the rest of the league may enjoy it but we don’t. Get on board with him or go jump on to some other bandwagon.

  31. Peyton getting shut out and benched on the same day he celebrates a statistical ‘achievement’, waving to the crowd and enjoying the pats on the back is a perfect analogy for his entire career.


  32. This all makes sense except the line about Tony Romo. Is romo a good qb? yes. Does he extend plays with elusiveness in the pocket? yes. does he have a good arm? yes. But should a team lose every game because he is not in there? no.

    This is why ever since he was hired I have told everyone Jason Garrett is a horrible coach. And I want to emphasize HORRIBLE. He rides on the coat tails of Romo and Dez and if he ever has to improvise without them, as you can see, he can’t.

    So yes we can give credit to Romo for winning some games and keeping Dallas relevant but lets look at the real reason they’re losing.

    Jason Garrett

  33. As a Cowboys fan, I’ve always appreciated how good of a player Romo is. To my fellow fans that for years clamored for the Cowboys to get rid of him…how do you like these results? Hopefully, he gets the appreciation he deserves from not only Cowboys fans, but from the rest of the football watching masses as well. Time to clean the Cowboys QB house, except for Romo, and look to the draft for the future…we don’t want to be stuck in the Gary Hogeboom/Steve Pelluer era again.

  34. Interesting that you point out Rodgers has the highest all time passer rating the morning after his adoring fans booed him in the FIRST QUARTER.

    I’m with Vikings and Bears fan now, you cheesehead fans are pathetic. You have a surefire hall of fame quarterback and you can’t accept they got stopped on a couple drives.

    You can talk about your sell outs and your season ticket waiting list but let’s be honest if a 6-2 football team with Aaron Rodgers at the helm isn’t enough for you to show some patience, we all know that stadium would be a ghost town at the first sniff of a losing season.

  35. ROB gets fired today… or soon.

    Can’t get much worse… Offense can’t outscore the Defense’s ineptitude.

    There is no downside to canning Rob today.

  36. “but the man who deserves the bulk of the blame for that is Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.”

    I hate taking any blame away from Rob but you could make a pretty strong argument that Sean Payton is equally responsible being he hired Ryan and stuck with him after a lousy year last season.

  37. The Packers in the past three weeks have given up more yardage in three games then any packer team in history and most of those are passing yards.

    I beleive firmly that if the first six teams the packers beat had known how pourous the pass defense was and went after them from the get go, the Pack would have certainly lost 3 of those games.

    So why do the Lions come out running? That alone is piss poor coaching preparation. With the game films they had to work with I would have thought they would have passed on the first two downs and ran once if needed. This is why the Lions suck. Un-prepared to play.

  38. Who will be Offensive player of the week? Lets see who played the Saints defense…..Kirk Cousins it is…..look out Denver the bad news hasn’t stopped, next up Fox, Gase and Cutler are coming to town and say you dissed them….Fox is my pick right now for coach of the year…..

  39. mropinionguy says:
    Nov 16, 2015 6:42 AM
    Packers won six straight to start the year and suddenly they can’t win without Jordy? Okay, one bad game and everybody overreacts.
    When you look at the Defenses of the teams that they beat -Seahawks,49ers,Chiefs,Rams,Chargers…this season, they haven’t been all that.. at the time they were playing.

    They’ve lost three in a row. It’s not about whether they have lost one or two…it’s that Rodgers was doiminating last season. This year he’s not. The obvious reason is that Nelson is out. Another is that Lacy has been crap. I thought it was something of an over reaction prior to the Lions game….playing the Broncos and the Panthers…two elite defenses and all…now maybe not so much. They are in serious danger of having to go through the wildcard route….Which is sad, because when all players are fit and healthy they are easily the best team in the division.

  40. How does Rob Ryan have a job?

    He set the record for most yards allowed in a season in Dallas, and now most TDs allowed in New Orleans.

    The man is a complete fraud who only looked good because of a GM who gave him great players to work with in New England

  41. dayglo80 says:
    Nov 16, 2015 9:33 AM
    This all makes sense except the line about Tony Romo. Is romo a good qb? yes. Does he extend plays with elusiveness in the pocket? yes. does he have a good arm? yes. But should a team lose every game because he is not in there? no.

    This is why ever since he was hired I have told everyone Jason Garrett is a horrible coach. And I want to emphasize HORRIBLE. He rides on the coat tails of Romo and Dez and if he ever has to improvise without them, as you can see, he can’t.

    So yes we can give credit to Romo for winning some games and keeping Dallas relevant but lets look at the real reason they’re losing.

    Jason Garrett
    You make some valid points about Romo but your assessment of Garrett being the blame is totally off base and misplaced. I’m not defending Garrett but (in fact I think he is an embarrassment to himself) Jerrah calls the shots. Jerrah took any and all authority and responsibility from Garrett, he is nothing more than a bobblehead puppett that Jerrah pulls the strings on. Anyone who watches the NFL knows the real reason Dallas is losing.
    Jerrah Jones

  42. joetoronto says:
    Nov 16, 2015 7:24 AM

    “He’s the first NFL quarterback since 1986 to have five or fewer completions and four or more interceptions in a game.”

    Yet some people STILL make excuses for this guy.


    He got them to 7-2. Yeah… mostly because of the defense, but still he was they starting QB. He doesn’t have to to look like 2004 Peyton to be better than Brock Osweiler. He might be done now with this injury, but if they end up using their 7-2 record to hold on to the division, that’s a pretty good accomplishment. Lots of other teams wish they were Denver right now.

  43. At least we have a PFT thread that doesn’t involve any backhanded compliments about the Panthers being undefeated but still not legitimate because their offense still isn’t anywhere near as pretty as New England’s or Cincinnati’s. I’m sure you’ll get around to it soon enough.

  44. RR looks bad but realize that each team he signs up for just fired their previous DC because of ineptitude. So this guy goes into each new job with an awful defense in place. With that said, I support his firing.

  45. I love Petyon Manning. I think he is one of the best QBs to come out of the SEC and the best out of Tennessee. He is definite future Hall-of-famer. However, like Brett Favre, Peyton has stuck around too long. He should have left last year (or was it the year before) when the Broncos were humiliated in that conference championship game. Personally, I thought he should have retired after leaving Indianapolis, but I guess that’s the problem with having such a competitive nature – you want to stick around for another shot at the title. Peyton, my man, please, please, please for the sake of your family and your health, retire. Leave the game. It’s for younger folks who can take a beating, like Andrew Luck who is already out with an injury after taking that hit when running the ball 2 weeks ago. Leave, leave, leave. Retire, retire, retire. There is no shame in it. Don’t wait around until you’re totally irrelevant and you are forced to fade into the annals of obscurity until they call your number at the Football Hall of Fame.

  46. When Brees and the offense has to score 40+ points to “maybe” win a game, it’s gone too far. Look at the bright side though, at least the Saints won’t lose this weekend!

  47. I heard an update story to the Dumervil dilemma. Supposedly the NFL has admitted that they missed a call on that play involving a JAX lineman that was out of place. And it would have been offsetting penalties and JAX losing the game.

  48. Romo the Savior, will be performing his miracles, as the Cowboys will go undefeated, starting with the Dolphins on Sunday. That’s right you heard it here first. The Cowboys will finish 9-7, and will win the NFC Least. Romo the Savior will do the impossible, and do what no other NFL Team has ever done. JJ will be laughing all the way to the bank. The Cowboys are back, enough said. How About Them Cowboys! ! Super Bowl Bound! !

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.