Saints’ offense, defense drop in NFL rankings after big loss

The Saints’ 34-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night put a dent in their lofty NFL rankings both offensively and defensively.

After managing a season-low 188 total yards on offense and giving up 429 yards on defense, the Saints dropped three spots to sixth in the offensive rankings and five spots to eighth in total defense.

The Saints dropped below 400 yards for the first time in four weeks as they average 396.1 yards per game going into Sunday night’s game with NFC South co-leader Carolina.

The Saints fell just one spot in passing offense to third with 302.8 yards per game despite a miserable night in which they finished with 144 net passing yards. They remained 23rd in rushing offense at 93.3 yards per game.

In scoring a season-low seven points, the Saints are down four spots in this week’s rankings to seventh at 26.0 points per game.

Defensively, the Saints now give up 319.8 yards a game to fall three spots, but were down just one spot in passing defense to fourth (206.7) and one spot in rushing defense to 16th (113.2).

They’re down one spot in scoring defense to sixth at 19.2 points per game.

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

SAINTS (9-3)

Offense: Total yards, 396.1 (6); rushing, 93.3 (23); passing, 302.8 (3); scoring, 26.0 (7).

Defense: Total yards, 319.8 (8); rushing, 113.2 (16); passing, 206.7 (4); scoring, 19.2 (6).

Turnover differential: Plus-3 (12)/14 giveaways (8 interceptions, 6 fumbles), 17 takeaways (10 interceptions, 7 fumble recoveries).

PANTHERS (9-3)

Offense: Total yards, 327.8 (24); rushing, 129.3 (9); passing, 198.4 (27); scoring, 23.8 (t14).

Defense: Total yards, 289.8 (2); rushing, 80.3 (2); passing, 209.6 (6); scoring, 13.1 (1).

Turnover differential: Plus-10 (t4)/16 giveaways (11 interceptions, 5 fumbles), 26 takeaways (16 interceptions, 10 fumble recoveries).