Saints Performance in Indoor Games vs. Outdoor Games under Sean Payton

Something has really been bugging me this week as the Saints prepare to play the 49ers. All week I've been reading how the Saints offensive production in indoor games has been significantly greater than their production in outdoor games. That's not what bothers me though, what's really bothering me is sample size. The Saints have played only 5 outdoor and 12 indoor games this year, which is an extremely small sample to analyze data with, and frankly, too small to come to any statistically significant conclusion. So I decided to look at the Saints offensive for each game (both regular season and postseason) since Payton and Brees arrived in New Orleans for indoor games vs. outdoor games, and this is what I found.


Total Yards/Game

Pass Yards/Game







45-19(4-0 postseason)





22-14(1-2 postseason)

2 Notes: I decided to only look at passing yards/game because it seems that most of the discussion has surrounded Drew Brees and his ability to move the ball. Additionally, I ignored 3 week 17 games where the Saints starters did not play the entire game, because Mark Brunell and Jamie Martin aren't playing qb on Saturday.

You can see that Saints clearly have performed better on offense while playing indoors under Sean Payton, however, only marginally. On average, the Saints have gained 13.55 more yards, passed for 6.81 more yards, and scored 0.92 more points per games playing indoors. So while the Saints have a great difference in points scored over the course of this season, that simply does not hold up when the sample size is increased to include all games since Payton and Brees arrived. Quite simply, the Saints offensive production does not suffer when they have to play outdoors.

.The only major difference is the win percentage. The Saints have won 70.3% of their indoor games and 61.1% of their outdoor games. Why this is, I'm not exactly sure. It could be anything from turnovers and penalties to the performance of the defense to the play of opponents. But I will say this, if the Saints lose the 49ers on Saturday, it will be because the 49ers are a very good team with one of the best defenses in the league, not because Drew Brees and Co. can't produce when they play outdoors.

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.

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