The New Orleans Saints have been incredibly bad at stopping the run over the last two games.
The New Orleans Saints have a problem: Their rush defense is terrible.
At the very least, the defense has apparently gotten very bad against the run over the last two games.
Jeff Duncan of the Athletic has the ultimate stat to prove it.
That’s a whole lot of rushing yards to allow. It’s no wonder the Saints lost both games.
The Eagles and the Chiefs ran all over the Saints
The trouble for New Orleans started against the Eagles last weekend. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was a nuisance with his legs, racking up 106 yards on the ground. Running back Miles Sanders ripped off an 82-yard touchdown and ultimately tallied 115 yards. The damage — 246 yards in total — was enough to result in a 24-21 loss for the Saints.
That performance alone was bound to mess up the defensive rushing average for the team. Before Week 14, they hadn’t allowed more than 116 yards in a game. The best an opposing offense had averaged per carry was 4.2 yards. The Eagles averaged 6.8.
It wasn’t a one-off either.
The Kansas City Chiefs also found plenty of success on the ground despite an injury to Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He had 79 yards on 14 carries before leaving the game and Le’Veon Bell picked up where he left off with 62 yards on 15 touches. Adding in Patrick Mahomes’ 37 yards rushing, the Chiefs had 179 total rushing yards with a 4.4 yards per carry average across the team.
It’s hard to say what has caused New Orleans’ defense to fall off this particular cliff. Maybe it’s to do with the struggling Saints offense. Drew Brees was back at quarterback for the team against the Chiefs, but his performance wasn’t anything to write home about and Kansas City had 41:14 minutes of possession. Any defense would get worn out by that.