Saints offense is No. 4, defense is No. 6 in NFL rankings

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan Show caption
Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan

After a 38-17 thrashing of the Miami Dolphins on Monday night, the Saints’ offense and defense switched places in the latest NFL stats through Week 4.

Last week, the Saints’ defense ranked fourth in total yards allowed and the offense was sixth.

This week, the offense is up two spots to fourth after piling up a season-high 465 total yards in thrashing the Dolphins. The defense, on the other hand, dropped a couple of notches after giving up 331 total yards.

The Saints moved up two spots in passing offense to second and average 338.3 yards per game after Drew Brees carved up the Dolphins in completing 30 of 39 pass attempts for 413 yards with four TDs.

With 31 and 38 points in their last two games, the Saints improved to a tie for seventh in scoring at 27.0 points per game after being tied for 15th at 23.3 points a game last week.

While the Saints’ defense dropped two spots in total yards allowed to sixth and rushing yards allowed to 22nd as well as one spot against the pass to fifth, they still got the job done in giving up fewer than 20 points for the fourth consecutive game.

They rank fifth in scoring defense at 13.8 points per contest.

This week’s opponent, the Chicago Bears, are tied for 13th in total offense (352.3 yards per game) and are 20th in total defense (384.0). They’re third in scoring at 31.8 points a game and are 26th in allowing 28.5 per game.

Here are the pertinent numbers for Sunday’s game between the 4-0 Saints and 3-1 Bears in Soldier Field:

SAINTS

Offense: Total yards, 419.5 (4); rushing, 81.3 (25); passing, 338.3 (2); scoring, 27.0 (t7).

Defense: Total yards, 304.5 (6); rushing, 112.3 (22); passing, 192.3 (5); scoring, 13.8 (5).

Turnover differential: plus-5 (t5)/5 giveaways, 10 takeaways.

BEARS

Offense: Total yards, 352.3 (t13); rushing, 111.5 (16); passing, 240.8 (t19); scoring, 31.8 (3).

Defense: Total yards, 384.0 (20); rushing, 106.3 (15); passing, 277.8 (23); scoring, 28.5 (26).

Turnover differential: plus-5 (t5)/9 giveaways, 14 takeaways.