It seems that every day, a new article or blog post is written talking about the vaunted San Francisco defense slowing down our record-setting offense. And that is the only thing that most people are talking about with this matchup. Well, I'd like to follow up on Dave's wonderful article from last week by breaking down what I think will be a determining factor in this weekend's game between the Saints and the 49ers. Read past the jump to see more...
If you followed the link to Dave's fan post from last week, you can guess that I'm talking about 3rd down conversions. Here are some stats that I find quite interesting:
3rd down off: 29.4%
3rd down def: 35.2%
Red zone offense TD percentage: 40.74%
3rd down off: 56.7%
3rd down def: 33.2%
Red zone offense TD percentage: 59.26%
The defenses are pretty close, but the offenses show a world of difference. I added in the red zone percentages on offense to give a good indication of what to expect when the teams do move the chains. I know this is only one set of stats that is out there, but it is the one set that I have not seen anybody really analyze for this matchup and thought it was worth looking at.