Bleacher Report ranks Saints defense just outside NFL’s top 10

Defense has been the face of the New Orleans Saints since Drew Brees retired and has, arguably, been the backbone for even longer. Coming into the season, Bleacher Report ranked the Saints as the 11th-best defense in the NFL. The B/R scouting department used offseason activity in addition to last year’s performance to form their rankings.

The belief in the Saints defense stems from what they’ve historically been able to do. The defense has been strong since 2017. Dennis Allen’s stretch of consistent defense creates a blind faith similar to the Sean Payton era offense. The confidence is only heightened by the Saints retaining last year’s defensive core.

The two concerns comes from age and pass rush. Cameron Jordan, Demario Davis and Tyrann Mathieu are all 32 years old or older. At that age, a steep fall off could happen at any time. In Jordan’s case, the beginning may have already started.

The pass rush struggled mightily last season, but the signing of Chase Young should help with this. The Saints were bottom-five in both pass rush percentage and sacks in 2023. New Orleans succeeded in spite of the pass rush, but shouldn’t bank on that in the upcoming season. It should be better and the Saints defense should improve because of it as well. Signs point to their arrow trending up, not down.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire