Saints defense slowly dropping average in total yards

The Saints remain last in the NFL in total defense and rushing yards allowed, but they are making some progress according to updated NFL stats.

The bleeding has stopped a little as the Saints, who remain on pace to set an NFL single-season record for total yards allowed, have given up fewer than 400 yards in three consecutive games.

The New York Giants finished with 394 total yards in a 52-27 win over the Saints on Sunday, but the Saints, who surrendered more than 400 yards in each of their first 10 games, dropped their average to 436.9 yards a game.

With 5,680 yards allowed so far, the Saints will have to give up no more than 1,112 yards in the final three games — or 370.6 per game — to avoid breaking the record of 6,793 yards by the 1981 Baltimore Colts.

Here are the pertinent numbers for Sunday’s matchup with the Tampa Bay Bucs in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (NFL rank in parentheses):

SAINTS

Offense: Total yards, 394.2 (3); rushing, 96.1 (26); passing, 298.1 (2); scoring, 26.8 (6).

Defense: Total yards, 436.9 (32); rushing, 152.4 (32); passing, 284.5 (30); scoring, 29.2 (30).

Turnover differential: minus-4 (20); 19 takeaways/23 giveaways.

BUCS

Offense: Total yards, 356.8 (14); rushing, 118.9 (13); passing, 237.9 (13); scoring, 27.2 (5).

Defense: Total yards, 389.8 (29); rushing, 78.2 (1); passing, 311.6 (32); scoring, 23.7 (20).

Turnover differential: plus-12 (t5); 24 takeaways/12 giveaways.