3 offseason moves the New Orleans Saints have to make to take the next step

The NFC South has not had a 10-game winner since 2021. The division has been there for the taking, but the New Orleans Saints keep coming up short.

Dec 31, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA;New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41)  stiff arms
Dec 31, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA;New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) stiff arms / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Shore up a disappointing rushing defense

When you look at some of the numbers for the New Orleans Saints when it comes to their defense, it’s hard not to be impressed. Only seven teams in the league allowed fewer points than Dennis Allen’s squad. The club allowed only 32 offensive touchdowns, just one more than the previous season (31). Only the Ravens (31), Giants (31) and Bills (30) totaled more takeaways than this club (29).

That’s the good news. Once again, opponents found success on the ground against the Saints’ defense. In 2022, the club surrendered 130.5 yards per game rushing. It’s worth noting that the team improved on this number in 2023 (119.9).

However, a much closer look shows that Joe Woods’ unit was highly erratic in this area. The team limited only five of its 17 opponents below the century mark on the ground. Then again, the Saints gave up 120-plus yards on the ground in eight of their final 12 outings, including 200 or more yards in late-season clashes with the Falcons (228) and Panthers (204).

This is an area that must be shored up sooner than later, especially in a division where Allen’s club will be getting a steady dose of Atlanta’s Bijan Robinson and Tampa Bay’s Rachaad White over the next few years.

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