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Monday, November 26, 2012
Where they rank on offense, defense

By Pat Yasinskas

The NFC South isn’t going to be known as the land of great defenses this season.

In fact, the division has a representative ranked No. 32 in overall defense, run defense and pass defense.

The New Orleans Saints take most of the blame for this. They continue to rank as the league’s worst overall defense. They’re also last in run defense and they’re not too far off in pass defense, coming in at No. 30.

But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the Saints beat when it comes to futility as a pass defense. The Bucs continue to rank No. 32 in that department. Although Tampa Bay continues to rank No. 1 in run defense, that’s not enough to pull the overall ranking very high. The Bucs are No. 30 in total defense.

Heading into Monday night’s game with Philadelphia, the Carolina Panthers are No. 18 in total defense (No. 20 against the run and No. 17 against the pass).

Fittingly, the 10-1 Atlanta Falcons have the division’s best statistical defense. The Falcons are No. 15 overall (No. 23 against the run and No. 12 against the pass).

Atlanta also has moved ahead of New Orleans in the offensive rankings. The Falcons now are No. 6 in total offense (No. 2 in passing and No. 28 in rushing). The Saints are No. 8 in total offense (No. 27 in rushing and No. 5 in passing).

The Buccaneers are No. 12 in total offense (No. 10 in rushing and No. 13 in passing).

Carolina is No. 21 in total offense (No. 18 in rushing and No. 17 in passing).