Saints are best, Rams are worst in points allowed over last six games

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Halfway through the season, the Rams looked like the best team in the NFC behind Jared Goff, and the Saints next in line with Drew Brees leading the way. Those teams have since diverged, with the Saints now cruising toward home-field advantage while the Rams are just holding on trying not to lose a bye week. And a big part of that is the fact that Brees is playing better than Goff.

But a bigger part is on defense, where the Saints have played very well — and the Rams have played very poorly — over the second half of the season.

In fact, over the last six games, the Rams have allowed an NFL-high 188 points, and the Saints have allowed an NFL-low 74 points.

As great as the Rams were in the first half of this season — and they were great, with an 8-0 record and a +109 point differential — they’ve been mediocre at best over the second half of the season, with a 3-3 record and a -4 point differential. The Saints, meanwhile, have been 5-1 with an NFL-best +106 point differential since the halfway point of the season.

If it’s a Rams-Saints NFC Championship Game, it’s easy to see which defense should be trusted, and that’s the one that leads the league in points allowed over the last six games.

49 responses to “Saints are best, Rams are worst in points allowed over last six games

  1. Bears fans and other NFC contenders…read this article again. The Saints have defense this year to go with their offense. They have a running game & a passing game. Most complete team easily….oh and Dome field advantage.

  2. These are the moments where I can state Pro Football Focus is an absolute sham. It was week 6 or 7 they had the Rams as the number 1 defense in the NFL.

    Aaron Donald was a wrecking ball but they were giving up big plays on the back end with Talib out. Their linebackers were getting gashed on runs and passed once offensive players made it past the defensive line.

    Anybody with 2 eyes could see their offense was carrying the team.

  3. “If it’s a Rams-Saints NFC Championship Game, it’s easy to see which defense should be trusted”

    That’s a pretty silly statement considering the basis of this article. If both of these teams end up in the NFC Championship I would trust the defense that has played better of the 4-5 more games it will take to get to that point for them. Where they are now is a function of how they have played the last half of the season. Where they are 2 weeks before the Superbowl will be a function of how they play over the next month+.

  4. Let’s be real. Saints would have handily lost that game if Cam Newton had not suddenly turned into Jamarcus Russell. Saints were owned by Dallas–just saying, juggernaut, they are not. Rams got real problems. Best current teams in NFC: Bears, Hawks, Boys–in that order. I would put the Eagles 4th, but they wont be in the post season…Saints defense beat up on a team with no QB, O-Line like sieve..they were bringing the big time lumber in the secondary though, I will give them that.

  5. I’ve got nothing against the Saints but I hate domes in January. That’s no fun. A conference championship game in terrible Chicago weather would be much more interesting.

  6. Don’t worry…Sean McFay will rest his starters so they can be better rested to play football…

  7. As much as I like Brees, this is one of the reasons he probably won’t get the MVP. Mahomes, on the other hand, needs to put up 30 a week for his team to win.

  8. richndc says:
    December 18, 2018 at 9:35 am
    Let’s be real. Saints would have handily lost that game if Cam Newton had not suddenly turned into Jamarcus Russell. Saints were owned by Dallas–just saying, juggernaut, they are not. Rams got real problems. Best current teams in NFC: Bears, Hawks, Boys–in that order. I would put the Eagles 4th, but they wont be in the post season…Saints defense beat up on a team with no QB, O-Line like sieve..they were bringing the big time lumber in the secondary though, I will give them that.

    I don’t even know where to begin on this one. Bears – shoddy offense but I do believe one of the best in the NFC. Wins by defense but that seemed to work pretty well in 85 so I am a believer. But to even throw the Cowboys up there (and I live in Dallas) is ludicrous. Dak Prescott is not very good and I wouldn’t trust that offense for a dime and two nickels. Seahawks? (and my son in a Hawks fan) or overachieving as they retool (not rebuild). They just lost to a JV team.

  9. If the road to the bowl go thru NOLA, Saints will be representing NFC in Febuary: I prefer to let things play out rather than making projections…two years ago I went to bed (around 10pm) thinking Clinto would be president, woke up and Trump was president. You never know…bye the bye, Bree’s playoff record is a pedestrian 7-6…just sayin’…

  10. As a Rams fan can’t dispute the facts… they are just not a good team right now. Defensively, Donald is constantly facing double and triple teams. You would think that would free up Suh and Brockers but they have been invisible. The LB’s are out of position and can’t stop the run. The defensive backfield with the exception of John Johnson has been free lancing all over the field. Peters just does whatever he feels like doing,Talib has looked slow most of the time and Lamarcus Joyner has seemingly forgot how to play since he got his franchise tag. You couple all of this with recent mediocre offensive performance with has carried them all season, this team is seriously headed for another 1 and done in the playoffs.

  11. And right smack dab in the middle of this a bunch of shoddy reporters wanted to give Aaron Donald the League MVP trophy. SMH

    I’ve written here before that Donald’s constant upfield push is a run game liability. Even the layman game watcher could see evidence of this Sunday night. But stat crazy reporters still were all over the Donald train in the name of sacks.

  12. Playoffs. Anything can happen. Obviously the #1 and #2 seeds records overall should be good but: 14 No. 1 seeds have lost the conference championship game — 8 NFC, 6 AFC and 20 No. 1 seeds have lost their first playoff game — 8 NFC, 12 AFC. It helps but it is no way a stone cold lock.

  13. Ok, we get it. The Rams are an awful team and the Saints are the best team in the NFL. We might as well skip the first two rounds and just advance the Saints to NFC Chanptionship game, right?

    Let’s ignore the fact that the Saints offense has looked terrible the past three games and their defense has played lights out against offensive juggernauts like the Cowboys, Buccaneers, and the Panthers.

    Ignore all of that and just put them in the championship game, right?

  14. Let’s ignore the fact that the Saints offense has looked terrible the past three games and their defense has played lights out against offensive juggernauts like the Cowboys, Buccaneers, and the Panthers.

    *************************************************************************

    No, we shouldn’t ignore that but what we should do is revisit this again after the Saints finish out the regular season at home, where they haven’t looked terrible on offense. Oh, and..by the way – the Buccaneers rank in the top 3 in multiple offensive categories, so I’d be careful about tossing them in so flagrantly.

  15. dcnupe3 says:
    December 18, 2018 at 10:32 am
    Ok, we get it. The Rams are an awful team and the Saints are the best team in the NFL. We might as well skip the first two rounds and just advance the Saints to NFC Chanptionship game, right?

    Let’s ignore the fact that the Saints offense has looked terrible the past three games and their defense has played lights out against offensive juggernauts like the Cowboys, Buccaneers, and the Panthers.

    Ignore all of that and just put them in the championship game, right?
    ____________________________

    The Bucs and Panthers actually do have good offenses usually. Much better than anything in the NFC west…and the Eagles.

  16. vikesfansteve says:

    December 18, 2018 at 9:27 am

    The Saints & Rams will be out after their first games.

    ———————————————————-

    Not to your team they won’t.

  17. charliecharger says:
    December 18, 2018 at 11:30 am
    Check that. 4 big name guys. Suh. Peters. Talib. Fowler.
    _______________________________________________________

    Actually they traded for Fowler and Peters, they did not sign them. But they are not playing their best ball right now.

  18. Suh is doing nothing. His ass is wider then my snow shovel and its not a contract year. Donald can’t do it alone but apparently the rest of the line thinks he can. What a waste of money.

  19. Having put up an awesome 17 points at home against a weak Patriots defense, the Steelers must be pooping their pants reading this. Time for little Ben Rottenburger’s fake cracked ribs to kick in.

  20. As a Rams fan can’t dispute the facts… they are just not a good team right now. Defensively, Donald is constantly facing double and triple teams. You would think that would free up Suh and Brockers but they have been invisible. The LB’s are out of position and can’t stop the run. The defensive backfield with the exception of John Johnson has been free lancing all over the field. Peters just does whatever he feels like doing,Talib has looked slow most of the time and Lamarcus Joyner has seemingly forgot how to play since he got his franchise tag. You couple all of this with recent mediocre offensive performance with has carried them all season, this team is seriously headed for another 1 and done in the playoffs.

    ——————————————————————————————

    This defense doesn’t have talib in his prime, Travathan, Miller off the edge, of Chris Harris Jr like the Broncos had for Phillips. The Rams got rid of Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, Olgeltree and Robert Quinn for a win now pack of free agents for Wade Phillips’ defense. They are built to play with a lead or a shootout. As soon as they get punched in the mouth they look mediocre. Suh nor brockers demand double teams which allows teams to double and triple Donald and that is just sad. They have no edge rusher and Peters on the back end in particular has been wildly inconsistent and exposed in Talibs absence. The Rams are going to have to rebuild this defense. The problem is Gurely and the rest of the offense is starting to get nicked up more and more. Teams are making thier playoffs pushes and it appears no one fears this Rams offense like they were in the beginning of the season. They better get their moojo back quickly or they will that team that always wins the Superbowl of the regular season and fades every year in the playoffs.

  21. To be honest, with Josh Johnson working magic in Washington, I don’t see either of these teams going to the Super Bowl. Right now at least, it looks like a Redskins-Chargers Super Bowl.

  22. As a Saints fan, I’m not sure they have recovered from the Cooks trade. They have no one who can stretch the field. They got a 1st round pick from NE for Cooks which turned into one of the top RTs in the league, but they have yet to replace him. NE gave up on him so there may be something behind the scenes about Cooks that the Saints and Pats don’t want to deal with.

    I’m glad they won and the D has been very good, but Cam was hurt, too. That said, the Panthers came out full guns blazing last night. That was a hard-hitting, rough game. Panthers are still a quality team despite the losing streak.

    The NFL schedule masters have the Saints playing on the road the last three weeks, last on on MNF, then get the Steelers at home on a short week. They will lose on Sunday after last night’s brawl. Then they get the Panthers again. They will need to beat them again to retain home field.

    When does Dallas ever get schedules like that? Oh, that’s right, Jerry Jones is the de facto Commish, that’s why. They play the Bucs and Giants to end the season. And the Colts were considered patsies when the season started. And before that they got the Skins, Eagles, and Saints at home three straight weeks. Wow, that’s some REALLY favorable scheduling. But that’s OK. Dak still stinks and they will be one-and-done in the playoffs…again.

  23. Projection shmojection — who knows how the football will bounce in the playoffs. None of the NFC playoff projected teams have looked all that great in recent weeks as other teams now have 16 weeks of game film to watch. Let the usual suspects above stand on a soap box and proclaim their team is the best right now — chances are they will be weeping under the very same box in 3-4 weeks and absent from this site.

  24. I’ve got nothing against the Saints but I hate domes in January. That’s no fun. A conference championship game in terrible Chicago weather would be much more interesting.
    ________________________________________________________________________

    Maybe the Bears should next time, try winning more games. Then maybe you’ll get your wish….

  25. bearaholic1 says:
    December 18, 2018 at 9:39 am

    What’s wrong with the Saints offense ?????

    ——————————————————

    Nothing. They ran for 155 yards and threw for over 200.

  26. The Saints with the #1 defense in the entire NFL over the last 6 weeks in the NFL looks good enough to me. They are capable of putting up points on offense because the weapons are still there. If they get the bye long with an extra “bye” in week 17, they will get their injured O-linemen back and will have extra time to work out the kinks.

  27. richndc says:
    December 18, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Let’s be real. Saints would have handily lost that game if Cam Newton had not suddenly turned into Jamarcus Russell. Saints were owned by Dallas–just saying, juggernaut, they are not. Rams got real problems. Best current teams in NFC: Bears, Hawks, Boys–in that order. I would put the Eagles 4th, but they wont be in the post season…Saints defense beat up on a team with no QB, O-Line like sieve..they were bringing the big time lumber in the secondary though, I will give them that.

    ———————————————————————————-

    What’s your excuse for the Saints defense doing this for the last 9-10 weeks though? Does suddenly every QB they turn into JaMarcus Russell? Or maybe are they just really good and they make other QBs look bad?

    Defense is still a thing in the NFL. For years all we’ve ever heard is, “The Saints can’t win because they don’t run the ball and play defense” and now they have one of the top run games and best defenses in the league and now suddenly that’s not good enough somehow.

    LOL

  28. As a Saints fan, I’m not sure they have recovered from the Cooks trade. They have no one who can stretch the field.
    __________________________________________________________________________

    Huh? The Cooks trade is 2 years removed. They finished with the #2 offense in the league just last season. Ted Ginn filled in admirably the last couple of years. He along with getting Armstead back will make a big difference.

  29. What’s wrong with the Saints offense ?????
    _____________________________________________________

    They are missing Armstead (have to leave in an extra blocker to help Bushrod) and Ginn but they are coming back……

  30. brees4mvp says:
    December 18, 2018 at 11:37 am
    vikesfansteve says:

    December 18, 2018 at 9:27 am

    The Saints & Rams will be out after their first games.

    ———————————————————-

    Not to your team they won’t.

    ____________________

    LOL, Vikings pushed the Saints all over US Bank Stadium the last time they played. Two turnovers was the difference in the game. Vikings total yards 444 to Saints 270. Saints got lucky on a communication breakdown between Cousins and Diggs. Vikings went toe to toe with the vaunted Rams offense losing 38-31 at LA. So, yes, his team COULD beat LA or NO on the road.

  31. Seattle should have beaten Clara by 17. 14 penalties for 150 yards. More than half these penalties were suspect and the offensive holds were all called on big chunk plays so really it was like 245 actual yards lost. If Seattle makes the playoffs, I can see them being penalized right out of the first round in Dallas or Chicago.

  32. New Orleans is the most underrated fan bases in all of football. It would great to the Saints go to the Super Bowl and Brees win the MVP.

  33. LOL, Vikings pushed the Saints all over US Bank Stadium the last time they played. Two turnovers was the difference in the game. Vikings total yards 444 to Saints 270. Saints got lucky on a communication breakdown between Cousins and Diggs. Vikings went toe to toe with the vaunted Rams offense losing 38-31 at LA. So, yes, his team COULD beat LA or NO on the road.
    ______________________________________________________________

    Don’t know what you’re laughing for. The Saints beat them on their home turf by double-digits….

  34. LOL, Vikings pushed the Saints all over US Bank Stadium the last time they played. Two turnovers was the difference in the game. Vikings total yards 444 to Saints 270. Saints got lucky on a communication breakdown between Cousins and Diggs. Vikings went toe to toe with the vaunted Rams offense losing 38-31 at LA. So, yes, his team COULD beat LA or NO on the road.

    ==========================================================================================

    Umm….dude? That game wasn’t close.

    It was 30 to 13 with 6 minutes left and the Saints backed off and let you get a garbage time TD because they wanted to get out of there with no injuries.

    The Saints were very clearly the better team in that game. I’m not sure what drugs you’re on here.

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