With everyone acting like the sky is falling, I decided to take a look into the Saints deeper statistics and compare them with the rest of the league or the NFC and was surprised with some stats I found, not only on the Saints, but other teams in the NFC too.
I first decided to look at simple stats such as total points and points per game and compare them to the NFC.
- Dallas Cowboys- 257
- Chicago Bears- 240
- Green Bay Packers- 232
- Seattle Seahawks- 232
- Philadelphia Eagles- 225
- Chicago Bears- 30
- Green Bay Packers- 29
- Dallas Cowboys- 28.6
- San Francisco 49ers- 27.
- Detroit Lions- 27.1
Although, the Saints were not in the top 5 in total points or points per game, they were just outside of them with 216 points and 27 points per game. The next thing I decided to look at was drive success rate(DSR) in the NFC:
- Carolina Panthers- 0.761%
- Green Bay Packers- 0.730%
- Detroit Lions- 0.728%
- New Orleans Saints- 0.720%
- Washington Redskins- 0.711%
Now the Saints had the third highest percentage of scoring on a drive in the NFC and the 6th highest in all of the NFL. That's terrific right? Well, when I looked at Red Zone Touchdown Percentage, not so much:
- Dallas Cowboys- 67.86%
- Washington Redskins- 65.38%
- Chicago Bears- 63.33%
- San Francisco- 62.96%
- Detroit Lions- 62.07%
Not only were the Saints not in the top 5 in the NFC, they were 12th in the NFC and 22nd in the NFL, a stat they had been close to first in in past years. I think there is a major problem there. I guess if you say this offense isn't as good as past years, you would be right, at least in the scoring touchdowns area. Here are some other Saints stats compared to the NFL:
9th in 3rd Down Percentage- 41%
7th in Yards Per Play- 6.0
16th in Scrimmage Plays- 554
9th in First Downs Per Game- 21.2
Now I was surprised when I found a few stats on the Saints defense compared to the rest of the NFL.
Points given up per quarter:
1st Quarter- 17th with 4.1
2nd Quarter- 14th with 6.9
3rd Quarter- 1st with 2.0
4th Quarter- 9th with 5.2
The Saints have the best 3rd quarter defense in the entire NFL, a stat I thought I would never see after last year. They are also super against the pass, but have a major problem when it comes to stopping the run.
The Saints against the Run:
31st in Yards Given up Per Rush- 4.9 yds
15th in Rushing 1st Downs Per Game- 5.8
25th in Rushing Yards Per Game- 121.2
Even with those not so great stats standing out, the Saints defense is still very good with a 34.69% 3rd down opponent conversion rate which is 6th in the NFL and they only give up an average of 18.4 first downs per game which is 7th in the NFL. All in all, the Saints could use some improvement against the run, but I cannot complain too much with how well they have been playing.
With all of this being said, the Saints are still in the top 10 in the NFL in many stats, except when it comes to both being able to run the ball and stop it. Though, seeing other teams stats, I do believe some teams are overrated. The Panthers have excellent looking stats, until you look at who they have faced. None of the teams they have palyed have a winning record. It's the same thing with the Chiefs. I will not discredit these teams, but I will not be impressed with them until they beat a quality football team. The team I'm sure everyone would like to compare the Saints to is the Seahawks. After researching Seattle, I found that they had an excellent pass defense:
5th in Completions Per Game- 19.3
1st in Pass Yards Per Attempt- 5.5
3rd in Yards Per Completion-9.3
4th in Sack Percentage- 9.20%
2nd in Passer Rating- 68.6
Though, their rush defense was less than impressive:
19th in Rushing Yards Per Game- 116.2
19th in rushing yards per attempt- 4.2
27th in Rushing First Down Percentage- 32.96%
The Saints Defense didn't trail too far behind in Pass Defense:
4th in Completions Per Game- 19.2
11th in Pass Yards Per Attempt- 6.4
16th in Yards Per Completion - 11.0
5th in Passer Rating- 75.8
5th in Sack Percentage- 8.93%
As you can see, Seattle defense is still better, but they are pretty close in all categories. What really separates Seattle from us, is they can run the ball and we can't. We do have the better passing offense, but as you can see that is Seattle's strength. When the Saints go play Seattle, it really is going to come down to stopping the run and being able to run the ball. If they can do that and not turn over the ball, the Saints could very well win that game.
I hope you can see that even though the Saints have lost two games, they are still an impressive football team. I think we all need to relax a little. Some of you are acting like they are the Falcons or haven't won a game. At the very least this team would get a wild bard spot.