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Monday, September 17, 2012
Numbers: Saints are NFL's worst defense

By Pat Yasinskas

We probably didn’t need the NFL to tell us this because it was pretty obvious.

But the league just made it official that the New Orleans Saints have the league’s worst defense. The NFL just put out its release ranking offense and defense through Sunday’s games and the picture isn’t pretty for the Saints.

They’re No. 32 in overall defense. They’re No. 32 against the run and they’re tied for No. 26 against the pass.

And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are right behind them. The Bucs are No. 31 overall. They’re No. 32 against the pass and No. 3 against the run.

The Atlanta Falcons play Monday night, so their ranking is based only on what they did in the season opener against Kansas City. The Falcons are ranked No. 22 overall (No. 29 against the run and No. 18 against the pass).

Barely, Carolina has the only NFC South defense in the top 20. The Panthers are No. 19 overall (No. 27 against the run and No. 13 against the pass).

Offensively, the NFC South teams rank much better, with three in the top 10.

The Saints are No. 3 overall (tied for third in passing and No. 19 in rushing).  The Panthers are No. 8 overall (tied for No. 11 in rushing and No. 8 in passing). The Falcons are No. 10 overall (25th in rushing and fifth in passing).

Tampa Bay is No. 29 in total offense. The Bucs are No. 29 in passing and tied for 15th in rushing.