Because I've been feeling pretty positive about this years pre-season and what it could mean for the regular season, I decided to closely examine this years pre-season stats thus far, look for anything interesting and compare it to figures from years past to try and gleen information. Below are the numbers I thought were most interesting. I know it's pre-season but what else do we have to look at? This post is meant to generate conversation so after reading this, make sure to join the discussion.
The following is a list of pre-season statistical categories and the Saints 2009 NFL rank in those categories so far.
|Points per Game||2nd|
|Point Differential per Game||3rd|
|Offensive Yards per Game||5th|
|Offensive Yards per Play||4th|
|Offensive Passing Yards per Play||3rd|
|Offensive Interception Rate||1st|
|Defensive Interception Rate||4th|
|Rushing Yards Allowed per Game||8th|
|Passing Yards Allowed per Game||32nd|
Below is a look at how the 2009 pre-season so far is stacking up to pre-seasons of the recent past. Since the Saints have only played two games and stats from previous years are based on four games, we're only looking at categories that are based on averages not quantities.
The Saints are averaging more yards per play so far than they ever did in recent history.
|Year||Avg. Gain Per Play|
The rushing game is as good as it has ever been this pre-season. In fact, the only year it was equally as good was in 2006. That's gotta be good news.
|Year||Avg. Gain Per Rush|
This one is interesting. The Saints are currently hovering at the high twenty-six minute mark in the time of possession department, significantly lower than most recent years. The only other pre-seasons the Saints were anywhere near their current time of possession were the 2006 and 2000 seasons.
|Year||Time of Possession|
Since 2004 the Saints have gradually improved their 3rd Down Conversion Percentage. The trend continues this pre-season at a recent all-time high.
|Year||3rd Down Conv. %|
Here is a look at how the defense has been doing on third downs against opponents. Surprising?
|Year||3rd Down Conv. %|
And this is what teams have been doing against the Saints pass defense. An improvement over last year, but not much.
Okay, so I did include two quantifiable stats but they are good. The Saints defense has already, in two games, made nearly as many interceptions this pre-season than as they ever have in the six years prior.
We all knew this one already but it's just so damn glaring.
Here's another glaring difference. Is the punting really that bad or is one bad kick really skewing this years figure?
|Year||Gross Punting Average|