Week 11 is nearly upon us and with that the now 3-7 New Orleans Saints take on a similarly disappointing 3-6 Los Angeles Rams, with both teams trying desperately to try and catch a thread to unravel their 2-game losing streaks. With this, each team will need to try and get the run game going, as both have struggled in this department lately for various reasons. With that said, in this article, I will be covering how the Saints’ rushing defense and Rams’ rushing offense have performed so far this season, and then projecting how they will matchup against each other this Sunday. So, without further ado, let’s get right into it.
How have these two units performed this season?
Starting off with the Saints’ rushing defense, they have severely underperformed this season in many games so far. Tackling has been a major issue at, well, every level of the defense, which has impacted their performance a huge deal. The Saints currently have allowed the 8th most rushing yards (1,305), have the 12th highest YPC allowed (4.6), have allowed the 10th most rushing touchdowns (11), the 7th most rushing first downs (73), and the 7th most rushing attempts against them (284). The only statistic they have done relatively well here has been rushing first down success rate, which they have allowed a 25.7% rate of success (13th lowest)
On the other side of the ball, it is even worse though, with the Rams ranking last in nearly every rushing statistic. They rank last in rushing yards (613, 96 less than the next lowest), rushing attempts (191, 36 less than the next lowest), rushing first downs (36), rushing first down success rate (18.8%), 2nd to last in yards per carry (3.2), and 8th to last in rushing touchdowns (7). Cam Akers not returning to form after his Achilles injury has been the primary reason for this, as this has left Darrell Henderson and Kyren Williams (who came off IR last week) as the only other remaining backs on the roster.
What should we expect from these units matching up?
This is one of the matchups that favors the Saints statistically in this matchup, primarily because their opponent has been absolutely wiped off the map in rushing yards and success. It will be interesting to see how Kyren Williams fits into the Rams’ offense, and if he can make it at least somewhat respectable. With Cooper Kupp out for a few weeks on IR, and Matthew Stafford dealing with concussion protocols, the run game will likely be heavily utilized.
The Saints will have their work cut out for them on the ground, but if they want to get things moving in the right direction again, as they did against the Las Vegas Raiders, this is the team to do it against. 4-7 is still not great, but it is something, and you’re facing a team with a struggling offensive unit on the ground, and with major injuries in the air, so you NEED to impose your will now more than ever.