With a 4-4 overall record the Saints are officially at the halfway point of their 2014 season. Because this time easily lends itself to projecting their final season statistics, I've gone ahead and done just that.
Below is a glimpse of the offensive stats we might expect the Saints to finish the 2014 season with, assuming they continue on the same or similar path. I've done this by simply doubling their stats so far at the halfway point. This is very scientific stuff here people. For reference, I've put these projections next to the final offensive stats from all the Sean Payton-coached seasons prior.
|Total First Downs||434||359||352||416||351||348||354||346||330|
|3rd Down: Made/Att||100/194||97/221||91/207||118/208||106/217||88/197||97/200||99/214||105/234|
|3rd Down Pct.||51.50%||43.90%||44.00%||56.70%||48.80%||44.70%||48.50%||46.30%||44.90%|
|4th Down: Made/Att||6/12||9/19||8/14||3/10||5/11||6/15||10/18||11/25||12/20|
|4th Down Pct.||50.0%||47.4%||57.1%||30.0%||45.5%||40.0%||55.6%||44.0%||60.0%|
|Total Net Yards||6,984||6,391||6,574||7,474||5,960||6,461||6,571||5,780||6,264|
|Avg. Per Game||436.5||399.4||410.9||467.1||372.5||403.8||410.7||361.3||391.5|
|Avg. Per Play||6.2||5.9||6.2||6.7||5.6||6.3||6.3||5.5||5.8|
|Net Yards Rushing||2,072||1,473||1,577||2,127||1,519||2,106||1,594||1,466||1,761|
|Avg. Per Game||129.5||92.1||98.6||132.9||94.9||131.6||99.6||91.6||110.1|
|Net Yards Passing||4,912||4,918||4,997||5,347||4,441||4,355||4,977||4,314||4,503|
|Avg. Per Game||307||307.4||312.3||334.2||277.6||272.2||311.1||269.6||281.4|
|Net Punting Avg.||42.8||42.3||43.2||43.1||38.4||36||35.9||37.2||37.5|
There are a lot of stats here to digest so here's a quick little summary of what we're seeing and might expect to see the rest of 2014 compared to years past:
- The Saints are on pace to run more plays, gain more first downs, and score more rushing touchdowns this season than any other season under Sean Payton.
- More of their first downs are coming by way of the run and by opponent penalty than ever in the last 8 years.
- Their third down conversion percentage, a very important stat, would be second only to the record-breaking 2011 season.
- Drew Brees, who has 2,524 passing yards so far, will probably end up with yet another 5,000 yard passing season.
- The offense is fumbling the ball away much more than usual.
- For the second straight year the offense continues to get no help in the touchdown department from the defense (interception/fumble returns) or special teams (punt/kickoff).