So the biggest game in the history of everything is now a week away and I feel like the focus on CSC should shift entirely towards the Superbowl. Everyone on here knows that we beat the Vikings fairly. The legality of the NFL's claims to "Who Dat" can be argued over long into the spring and summer when there's nothing else to do. The Pro Bowl can just be ignored, since the Saints don't have any players featuring and even half of the CSC board members turned down an invitation to be on a roster.
The Superbowl it is, then. I'm sure everyone here is anxious for next Sunday to get here, but since we all have to wait, I've wanted to highlight the performance of both teams and see if any analysis can be made from the library of stats available to NFL fans these days. The performances on Sunday might not correlate at all to their relative performances so far this season, but stats can be a good indicator of what to expect.1. QB's vs pass defenses.
I'm starting where everyone seems to start, with the quarterbacks.
||Comp rate %
||TD rate %
||INT rate %
Though I think that the Saints have performed better than the Colts in both pass offense and defense, the stats above were fairly similar. In the run game, though, we see bigger differences on both sides of the ball.
||Yards / Play
[I also have a bunch of special teams stats, but looking at them, the two ST groups look very similar. Both excel at kickoff touchbacks - the Colts 26.3% and the Saints 29.1% vs the NFL average of 16.2%. Both are distinctly average at returning kickoffs and below average at returning punts. And the two teams even have similar field goal success - the Colts edging out the Saints 84% to 80%.]
The two teams look very closely matched. Many in the mainstream media believe there is a much wider gap between Manning&Co and the Saints than actually exists. The two offenses score efficiently but have gained their way to their opponents endzones in different ways; the Colts almost entirely behind the league MVP, and the Saints with a surprisingly-to-many balanced rush/pass attack. The Saints also score much more heavily than their Super Bowl opponents, with a 6.7 points per game advantage. I think the Saints rushing attack matches up well with the run defense of Indianapolis. The Saints may be able to combine the running and passing games to great success in the Super Bowl.
Neither defense was especially lauded this season, but both have helped their team reach this point, though again in different ways. The Colts defense has managed to be average in yards given up to both the pass and the run, whilst somehow restricting teams to only 18.1 points per game so far. The Saints, whilst conceding 3.1 more points per game, has been able to come up with a huge +14 turnover differential, compared to the Colts +4. Though the Saints pass defense has given me cause to worry in the run-up to this game, especially with so many potential big-game receivers available to Manning, I wasn't aware that the Colts have been similarly poor against the pass, giving away less yards but more touchdowns.The Saints ability to create turnovers should be crucial.
This isn't backed up by statistic and is merely my opinion, but I forsee the Saints having a game much like Week 12 against the Patriots. I don't think Drew will throw 5 TDs as he did in that game, but I do think the Saints will win TOP, gain 100+ rushing yards and 200+ passing and overcome the Colts to win their first Superbowl.
OK guys, give me your analysis or predictions, or just tear me apart.
This FanPost was written by a reader and member of Canal Street Chronicles. It does not necessarily reflect the views of CSC and its staff or editors.