Have the Saints made enough defensive moves to return to a dominant level in 2024?

The New Orleans Saints will need their defense to be dominant if they are going to win games next season. Has the team made enough moves for that to happen?
New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Last season, the New Orleans Saints were a disappointing 9-8, leading to a third straight year out of the playoffs. Naturally, a lot of the criticism for the underwhelming season focused on Derek Carr and the offense, as well as head coach Dennis Allen. However, the defense had their fair share of woes last season also.

In 2023, the Saints allowed 327.2 yards per game, which ranked them 13th in the NFL. They also only allowed 19.2 points per game, eighth in the league. Based on the two important categories, they were certainly a top unit. However, they also struggled in some critical departments.

New Orleans allowed 119.9 rushing yards a game, 22nd in the NFL. Additionally, the defense only recorded 34 sacks, which was 28th in the league. Stopping the run and harassing quarterbacks are two important factors to winning games.

The Saints knew they needed to improve in those departments and that was clear by the team’s offseason approach. New Orleans signed defensive end Chase Young, and multiple linebackers, including Willie Gay, and also added a defensive tackle and linebacker in the draft. Will the moves make the Saints a truly dominant unit again?

Bleacher Report thinks New Orleans will be pretty close, ranking the team’s defense 11th in a recent post-draft ranking of all 32 defenses.

Bleacher Report ranks Saints defense 11th in the NFL

The scouting department over at Bleacher Report explained that New Orleans performed well defensively last season. Highlighting the units fifth-best EPA allowed per play, the secondary was credited for their consistent performance all season. However, it was noted that if the Saints are going to be better in 2024, the pass rush has to be better.

With Chase Young and Cam Jordan healthy, and Carl Granderson getting better each season, the pass rush should be improved. If everyone else can continue to deliver, the Saints should definitely have a top-10 defense.