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A Quick Statistical Comparison: The 2009 and 2010 Saints Seasons Through Three Weeks

Am I the only Saints fan in the world who is constantly comparing this season to last, hoping the team can duplicate everything they did and keep the magic alive? With February still fresh in my memory, you can't possibly blame me. And let's face it, the 2009 season will forever be used as the measuring stick against which every other future season will be judged, what with winning the Super Bowl and all. Until the Saints win another one that is.

If you're like me then you're in luck because my curiosity was too much and I finally broke down. We know this team isn't off to nearly as fast a start as last September and many of us have a pretty good inkling as to why. But I wanted to know just what the differences were and how much they were different so I busted out the old TI-86 and did a little number crunching. 

What follows is a comparison of the current season thus far to the first three games of the 2009 season (vs. Lions, @Eagles and @Bills) in key statistical categories. I then used the results to make my own, personal assumptions. If you don't agree with any or all of this, of course you are free to share your own thoughts and opinions below.

Whether or not any of this information is cause for concern cannot be known but the Saints are 2-1 so even if thinks might seem bleak there's plenty of time to right the ship. Also keep in mind the quality of opponents in each sample set of three games. That may affect what you take from all of this.

So how does this years team so far stack up to last years squad three weeks into the 2009 season? Well...

It's obvious the team just isn't putting up as many points... 

Total Points Scored
2009 120 points
2010 63 points
Percent Decrease  -47%





Or racking up the yardage...  

Yards per Game
2009 438 ypg
2010 331 ypg
Percent Decrease  -24%





The playcalling isn't nearly as balanced... 

Run/Pass Balance
2009 102/203 - 50% / 50%
2010 65/182 - 35% / 65%




And the running game is all out of whack... 

Total Rushing Yards
2009 512 yards
2010 172 yards
Percent Decrease  -66%





Yards per Carry
2009 5.01 ypc
2010 2.65 ypc
Percent Decrease  -47%





But Drew will be Drew...

Passing Yards
2009 841 yards
2010 821 yards
Percent Decrease   -2%





QB Rating
2009 109.5
2010 107.6
Percent Decrease  -2%





And the defense is about the same... 

Defensive Points Allowed
2009 56
2010 58
Percent Decrease  -3%





Defensive Yards Allowed
2009 937 yards
2010 1087 yards
Percent Decrease   -14%




Turnover Differential
2009 +4
2010 +3





But they can't come through when it counts...

Opponent 3rd Down Conversion
2009 26.49%
2010 48.00%
Percent Decrease  -45%





And spend too much time on the field while the offense sits on the bench...

Offensive TOP
2009 33:30 min
2010 29:06 min
Percent Decrease   -13%





The return game is as good or better, thanks to Lance Moore...

Punt Return Average
2009 2.2  ypg
2010 29.5 ypg
Percent Increase  +93%





And Courtney Roby...

Kickoff Return Average
2009 18.9 ypg
2010 24.3 ypg
Percent Increase  +22%





Morstead is still solid...

Net Punting Average
2009 37.9 ypg
2010 41.8 ypg
Percent Increase  +9%

Except the kicker's got some new consistency problems...

Field Goals
2009 5/6 - 83%
2010 4/7 - 57%
Percent Decrease   -26%