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Monday, December 17, 2012
Where they rank on offense, defense

By Pat Yasinskas

Even after shutting out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the New Orleans Saints still rank No. 32 in total defense.

The Saints rank 31st against both the run and the pass. But the Buccaneers aren’t far behind them. The Bucs are No. 30 in overall defense. Tampa Bay continues to have the league’s top-ranked run defense, but a pass defense that’s ranked No. 32 offsets that.

After shutting out the New York Giants, Atlanta ranks No. 19 in total defense (24th against the run and 17th against the pass). A Carolina defense that struggled early in the season has emerged as a top-10 defense with strong performances in recent weeks. The Panthers rank No. 10 overall (No. 17 against the run and No. 10 against the pass).

On offense, the Saints rank No. 3 overall (No. 24 in rushing and No. 2 in passing). Atlanta also has a top-10 offense. The Falcons are No. 7 overall (No. 28 in rushing and No. 5 in passing).

Tampa Bay is No. 13 in total offense (No. 14 in rushing and No. 12 in passing). Carolina is No. 14 overall (No. 9 in rushing and No. 15 in passing).