Saints move up four spots in NFL rankings in rushing

With 148 rushing yards in Sunday’s 31-27 win over the Atlanta Falcons, the Saints moved up four spots in that category and no longer rank last in the weekly NFL stats.

Ranked at the bottom of the 32-team league going into last weekend’s play, the Saints added 7.4 yards to their per-game average and now are 28th with an average of 88.4 yards per game.

The rushing defense also climbed out of the cellar in holding the Falcons to just 46 yards and are now ranked 31st in allowing 162.0 yards per game — trimming 14.5 yards a game off last week’s average.

The bad news is that the Saints gave up 408 net passing yards last week and dropped two spots to 31st with 307.3 yards a game going into Sunday’s matchup with the Oakland Raiders.

Here are the pertinent numbers for Sunday’s matchup with the Raiders in O.co Coliseum (NFL rank in parentheses):

SAINTS

Offense: Total yards, 392.3 (4); rushing, 88.4 (28); passing, 303.9 (2); scoring, 27.7 (6).

Defense: Total yards, 469.3 (32); rushing, 162.0 (31); passing, 307.3 (31); scoring, 28.4 (t28).

RAIDERS

Offense: Total yards, 365.6 (t12); rushing, 76.7 (31); passing, 288.9 (5); scoring, 21.2 (20).

Defense: Total yards, 374.9 (23); rushing, 119.0 (21); passing, 255.9 (24); scoring, 31.6 (31).

SAINTS FEATURED: The Saints-Falcons game will be one of two examined Wednesday at 9 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network’s weekly feature, NFL Turning Point (Cox Cable 105).

The show will take a closer look at the high-scoring matchup of the Saints and previously-undefeated Falcons as well as how the Dallas Cowboys outplayed the Philadelphia Eagles.

BREES NOMINATED: Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a candidate for the FedEx NFL Air Player of the Week award after going 21-of-27 for 298 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday’s win over the Falcons.

Fans can vote online until 2 p.m. Friday at www.NFL.com/FedEx.