Saints move up slightly in latest NFL defensive stats

While enjoying a bye week, the Saints moved up slightly in several NFL statistical categories — most notably total defense, passing defense and scoring defense.

The Saints moved up one spot in fewest yards allowed to 11th with an average of 338.0 yards per game, and jumped two spots in pass defense to ninth at 224.0 yards per game and scoring defense at 17.2 points per outing.

Offensively, the Saints dropped one spot in total yards to sixth at 397.7 per game, but inched up one spot each in rushing to 22nd (86.7), passing to second (311.0) and scoring to sixth (26.8).

When the Saints return to the field on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills in the Superdome, they’ll face a Bills’ offense that is among the league leaders in rushing under first-year coach Doug Marrone.

They rank fifth in netting 140.4 yards per game, but are 30th in passing at 192.9 yards a game after injuries to starting quarterback E.J. Manuel and former practice squad player Thad Lewis.

The Bills’ defense ranks 24th in total yards allowed (380.4) and are 28th against the run (123.6) and 21st against the pass (256.9). They are 22nd in scoring defense (25.4).

Here are the pertinent numbers for Sunday’s game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome:

SAINTS (5-1)

Offense: Total yards, 397.7 (6); rushing, 86.7 (22); passing, 311.0 (2); scoring, 26.8 (6).

Defense: Total yards, 338.0 (11); rushing, 114.0 (22); passing, 224.9 (9); scoring, 17.2 (4).

Turnover differential: Plus-5 (t6)/7 giveaways (5 interceptions, 2 fumbles), 12 takeaways (8 interceptions, 4 fumble recoveries).

BILLS (3-4)

Offense: Total yards, 333.3 (18); rushing, 140.4 (5); passing, 192.9 (30); scoring, 22.7 (16).

Defense: Total yards, 380.4 (24); rushing, 123.6 (28); passing, 256.9 (21); scoring, 25.4 (22).

Turnover differential: Plus-5 (t6)/10 giveaways (5 interception, 5 fumbles), 15 takeaways (12 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries).