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The Top Ten Pass Defenses: New Orleans Saints

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Wow! The St. Louis Cardinals are ranked 5th in PYA. A fluke no doubt, but a closer look shows most of these teams rank in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards allowed. The Packers are 29th, Cleveland 23rd, St. Louis 32nd, Philadelphia 24th, Denver 31st. Even the undefeated Tennessee Titans rank 19th in RYA over its past three games.

Being the best in PYA seems to be useful to determine which teams are being run on successfully. The big exceptions on this list are the Pittsburgh Steelers (5th in RYA), Baltimore Ravens (3rd) and, surprisingly, the New Orleans Saints (6th in RYA).

Early this season, the Saints were being scorched on the ground and through the air. Their RYA and PYA through their first three games was 22nd and 29th overall. At that point, the Saints seemed like an opposing offense's dream. Who is the real New Orleans Saints team? The bottom ten one from Games One through Three or the Top 10 one Through Games Four through Six?

Unfortunately for fantasy players, the Carolina Panthers don't offer the level of skills players to help determine an answer. Is anyone surprised when RB DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart rushed for a pedestrian 40 yards? Does anyone attribute a good defense or poor defense to the production of WR Steve Smith? The Saints "power" doesn't change the start-sit decisions for the Panthers.

Top Ten Pass Defenses:

Rank Team PYA Vs
1 Green Bay 135.7 IND
2 Carolina 138.3 NO
3 Cleveland 152 @WAS
4 Pittsburgh 170 @CIN
5 St. Louis 171.7 DAL
6 Philadelphia 179.3 BYE
7 Tennessee 192.3 @KC
8 Denver 195.3 @NE
9 New Orleans 196 @CAR
10 Baltimore 196.3 @MIA