Over the next few weeks, "Shutdown Corner" will pay homage to "Office Space" (TPS reports) as we take a quick look back at each team's 2012 season and a look at what lies ahead for the 2013 offseason. We continue in the NFC East with the New York Giants. 2012 record : 9-7 What went wrong : A 6-2 record at the midway point of the season had the defending Super Bowl champion Giants poised to walk away with the NFC East and defend the Lombardi Trophy in the playoffs. The Giants would lose three of their first four games to start the second half of the season, including a 17-16 loss to the eventual NFC East champion Washington Redskins on Dec. 3. After a blowout win of the New Orleans Saints the following week, the Giants were shut out 34-0 by the Atlanta Falcons and lost 33-14 to the Baltimore Ravens, putting them in a situation where they needed to beat the Philadelphia Eagles and have three teams lose and/or tie to make the playoffs. The Giants won, but two of the three teams they needed to lose in the regular season finale won their games, eliminating the Giants from the postseason. The Giants' problems were largely on the defensive side of the ball. In terms of raw numbers, the Giants allowed 383.4 yards per game, which ranked 31st in the NFL, ahead of only the New Orleans Saints, who were historically bad last season. The Giants were 25th against the run, 28th against the pass and ranked 30th on third downs. A pass rush that posted 46 sacks in 2010 and 48 sacks in 2011 had just 33 in 2012, posting one or no sacks in seven of 16 games. Defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora, who had 25.5 sacks combined in 2011, had 12.5 last season. The lack of a pass rush contributed to a pass defense that yielded 60 plays of 20+ yards and 13 plays of 40+ yards. What went right : Offensively, the Giants ranked seventh in Football Outsiders' opponent-adjusted team DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) metric, ranking fifth in rushing and 11th in passing. Ahmad Bradshaw played through chronic foot issues to lead the Giants with 1,015 yards , while Andre Brown had a team-high eight touchdowns before landed on injured reserve in late November. Brown landing on IR and Bradshaw's injuries led to first-round pick David Wilson emerging from his fumble-caused exile to Tom Coughlin's doghouse to carry the ball 43 times for 285 yards and three touchdowns in the final month of the regular season. Victor Cruz topped 80 receptions and 1,000 yards for a second consecutive season and set a career-high with 10 touchdown grabs. The Giants also got a productive season out of tight end Martellus Bennett, who had 55 receptions for 626 yards and five touchdowns to go along with some high-quality blocking in the run game. The Giants offensive line allowed a league-low 20 sacks in 2012, finishing third in the Football Outsiders' "Adjusted Sack Rate" metric. The Giants ranked 10th in Football Outsiders' special teams DVOA metric and were the best in kick returns, where rookie running back Wilson averaged 26.9 yards per return and had a 97-yard kick return for a touchdown in the shellacking of the Saints. Coaching/front office changes : No changes to Tom Coughlin's coaching staff, but the front office did lose senior pro personnel analyst David Gettleman, who is now the general manager of the Carolina Panthers. Estimated 2013 cap space : $4.518 million
The New Orleans Saints announced Saturday that they hired Rob Ryan as their defensive coordinator. Ryan was interviewed on Friday. He replaces Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired after one season. Ryan was let go by the Dallas Cowboys after the season.
The New Orleans Saints announced Saturday that they hired Rob Ryan as their defensive coordinator. Ryan was interviewed on Friday. He replaces Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired after one season. Ryan was let go by the Dallas Cowboys after the season.
The New Orleans Saints just cannot avoid drama.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The New Orleans Saints have fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo after one season - a record-setting year in the wrong way.
Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery hopes to have a new head coach in place by Jan. 19's East-West Shrine game and has a lengthy list of candidates to sort through. Emery fired Lovie Smith, in part, because of a failure over the years to develop the offense. Therefore, it's no surprise that most of the candidates on the Bears' interview list have offensive backgrounds, with over 25 percent of the NFL's current offensive coordinators on the Bears' list of candidates. The Bears have interviewed Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Other offensive coordinators on the Bears' list include Pete Carmichael (New Orleans Saints), Tom Clements (Green Bay Packers), Rick Dennison (Houston Texans), Bruce Arians (Indianapolis Colts), Darrell Bevell (Seattle Seahawks) and Montreal Alouettes head coach and quarterback guru Marc Trestman. Special teams coordinators are also on the Bears' list, as Keith Armstrong (Atlanta Falcons), Joe DeCamillis (Dallas Cowboys), Mike Priefer (Minnesota Vikings) and current Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub are candidates for the job. One defensive coach is in the mix, as Bears Hall of Fame linebacker and former 49ers head coach and current Vikings special assistant to the head coach/linebackers coach Mike Singletary is a candidate , reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Below is a look at the latest in coaching and general manager searches: Arizona Cardinals : The Cardinals have interviewed current defensive coordinator Ray Horton and met with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Saturday. Though no interview has taken place, the Cardinals requested permission to interview Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who was the Cardinals' offensive coordinator from 2007-08. The Cardinals received permission to interview Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, which will take place on Thursday. Steve Keim, the team's vice president of player personnel, remains the top candidate for the team's general manager position, but is drawing interest from other clubs, including the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers. The Cardinals have also interviewed Washington Redskins director of pro personnel Morocco Brown for the GM post. Buffalo Bills : The Bills concluded their head coaching search by hiring Syracuse University head coach Doug Marrone, who was introduced by the team on Monday. Marrone is looking for NFL-level coordinators and received permission to interview New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who declined an extension with the Jets during the 2012 season. In addition to Pettine, the Bills are looking to interview Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker for their coordinator vacancy. Carolina Panthers : Owner Jerry Richardson decided that the team made enough progress in the second half of the season to keep head coach Ron Rivera for a third season. Now comes the task of finding a full-time replacement for general manager Marty Hurney. Some candidates have emerged , reports Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Including interim GM Brandon Beane, the Panthers are also looking at New York Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross, Giants senior pro personnel executive Dave Gettleman, Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton, Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp, andTennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson.
It's safe to say that the first season for current New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo did not go well. The former New York Giants defensive coordinator and St. Louis Rams head coach, who replaced Gregg Williams as the man in charge of New Orleans' defense in January of 2012, oversaw a unit that set an NFL record for the most yards allowed in a single season with 6,799, breaking the old mark of 6,793 set by the 1981 Baltimore Colts. Not all of it was Spagnuolo's fault -- the Saints had age and injury issues, and the specter of the suspensions that never actually happened in the bounty case weighed heavily on linebacker Jonathan Vilma, defensive end Will Smith, and their teammates. But the decline in defensive efficiency was precipitous enough to leave people wondering about Spagnuolo's fate when Sean Payton gets back in the building after the Super Bowl. Once Payton is back on board, he'll have to go through a unique process when vetting his coaches and deciding who he wants to keep. One condition of his yearlong suspension is that he cannot have contact with the team, and that's been the case but for a couple of exceptions -- he was allowed to watch Drew Brees break Johnny Unitas' record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass, and he was allowed to negotiate and agree upon a new five-year extension. But when Payton reviews and deduces how things went while he was away, he'll apparently will have some interesting discussions with his defenders when the subject of Spagnuolo comes up. Larry Holder of NOLA.com recently spoke with one current Saints defensive player who chose to remain anonymous, and who put Spagnuolo on full blast. "Trust me, all the guys were being politically correct this season when answering questions [about] Spagnuolo," the player told Holder. "To give up what we gave up can't be all talent. Look at where his units [have] been ranked before. I think one top 10?" Spagnuolo's star started to rise when the Giants defense he coached in 2007 manhandled Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. He got the Rams' head coaching job in 2009, and put together a 10-38 record in three seasons with a team that was rebuilding from nothing. His defenses finished 31st, 19th and 21st in Football Outsiders' opponent-adjusted efficiency metrics in those three seasons, though the drafts put together by Spagnuolo and former general manager Billy Devaney did set things up for current head coach Jeff Fisher, whose Rams defense ranked seventh in those same stats in 2012. According to the Saints player Holder spoke to, the problems with Spagnuolo go beyond scheme to communication and attitude.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- This miserable season without their suspended coach won't end in a playoff appearance for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
Week 16 continues for the NFL and features the Atlanta Falcons facing the Detroit Lions on Dec. 22. The Dallas Cowboys, first in the NFC East, will face the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 23. The following schedule has a complete list of the games for Dec. 22 and Dec. 23.
Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions The Falcons can clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win over the Lions on Saturday night. After making the playoffs in 2011, the Lions have regressed in 2012, carrying a six-game losing streak with them into Week 16. During their current losing streak, the Lions have allowed 32 points per game, a figure the Falcons could exceed if Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez are on their games. Pick : Falcons 34, Lions 23 Oakland Raiders at Carolina Panthers Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been red-hot lately, passing for 1,308 yards with 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last five games. This week, Newton faces a Raiders defense that has picked off just 10 passes all season long and has gone without an interception in eight of their 14 games this season. Pick : Panthers 27, Raiders 20 New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys The Saints have won six of their last seven against the Cowboys, including a 30-27 win in Cowboys Stadium on Nov. 25, 2010. Another win by the Saints would deal a setback to the Cowboys' playoff hopes and could eventually lead to Jerry Jones firing head coach Jason Garrett and being in the market to hire Sean Payton, who has yet to reach a contract extension with the Saints. What had been a roller coaster season for the Cowboys has stabilized, with the team winning five of their last six, including three straight. Pick : Cowboys 31, Saints 27 Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers A foot of snow awaits the Titans, who are again having to shuffle their offensive line after losing center Kevin Matthews on Monday night to an ankle injury. The Titans' reshuffled line meets a revitalized Packers' pass rush that got to Bears quarterbacks four times last Sunday. Titans quarterback Jake Locker has been sacked 11 times over the last three weeks and could spend considerable time on the Lambeau Field turf this Sunday. [ The top five NFL stories of 2012 ] Pick : Packers 38, Titans 16 Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans The Texans can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win, and the Vikings can keep their playoff hopes alive with an upset of the Texans, but a lot of eyes will be on the intriguing subplot of Adrian Peterson's pursuit of a 2,000-yard rushing season and Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record of 2,105. Peterson has rushed for 1,313 yards over the last eight games – the same total Arian Foster has this season – and will catch a Texans defense that has allowed 108.3 yards per game on the ground over the last six weeks after allowing just 81.9 yards per game in the first half of the season. Pick : Texans 28, Vikings 24 (Peterson goes for 140, putting him 154 rushing yards away from history)

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