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whodatfan
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Mar 2008
19831 posts

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
Over their last four outings, New Orleans has allowed an average of just 13 points per game. That leads the group of teams likely to make this year's postseason.

Points per game allowed

1. New Orleans Saints, 13 points per game

2. Minnesota Vikings, 16

3. Dallas Cowboys, 18

4. Chicago Bears, 20

5. Seattle Seahawks, 26

6. Philadelphia Eagles, 28

7. Los Angeles Rams, 36

Over their last four outings, New Orleans has allowed an average of just 13 points per game. That leads the group of teams likely to make this year’s postseason. Sure, the teams they’ve played have averaged 23 points scored per game on the year, but that’s not far from what almost every other team on this list has faced. Only the Rams have seen a slate of offenses scoring more than 26 points per game – and L.A. is one of two teams to allow more points than their opponents normally get. All that said to say: these rankings are not an indictment of the Saints’ strength of schedule.

Total yards per game allowed

1. New Orleans Saints, 289 yards per game

2-tied. Chicago Bears, 311

2-tied. Minnesota Vikings, 311

4. Dallas Cowboys, 321

5. Philadelphia Eagles, 398

6. Seattle Seahawks, 436

7. Los Angeles Rams, 439

This is another category in New Orleans’ favor. They are the only playoff hopeful to allow fewer than 300 total yards per game, and they’ve given up 150 yards less than the worst team (the Rams, again). That’s outrageous. Two popular picks for best-defense-in-football, the Bears and Vikings, are tied for second-best behind New Orleans. You have to imagine that the three worst teams in this stat, the Eagles, Seahawks, and Rams, can’t be happy at allowing around 400 yards per game despite squeaking out some wins.

Combined third/fourth down percentage

1. New Orleans Saints, 33-percent

2. Dallas Cowboys, 36-percent

3-tied. Los Angeles Rams, 39-percent

3-tied. Seattle Seahawks, 39-percent

5. Minnesota Vikings, 40-percent

6. Chicago Bears, 41-percent

7. Philadelphia Eagles, 43-percent

It turns out that the Saints are stronger on third down than they get credit for. An ugly performance against Dallas notwithstanding (they allowed 7 of 14 attempts to succeed), the Saints defense has been on a roll. Stellar execution on a big stage against New Orleans’ offense vaulted the Cowboys out of a tie with L.A. and Seattle. It’s surprising to see that Chicago is so vulnerable on critical downs, but they’ve only allowed a conversion rate lower than 40-percent once in their last four games (38-percent to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving).

Takeaways per game

1. New Orleans Saints, 3 takeaways per game

2-tied. Dallas Cowboys, 2 takeaways

2-tied. Los Angeles Rams, 2 takeaways

2-tied. Minnesota Vikings, 2 takeaways

2-tied. Chicago Bears, 2 takeaways

6-tied. Seattle Seahawks, 1 takeaway

6-tied. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 takeaway

The Saints lead these teams in the most single-game turnovers over the last month or so (bagging four takeaways against the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago) but they’re also averaging the most, and haven’t created fewer than two turnovers per game in the sampled span. Seattle is ranked low and would have been lower if not for a three-turnover bonanza against the San Francisco 49ers’ third-string quarterback. The Cowboys and Vikings also have just one multiple-takeaway game each in the last four weeks.

Sacks per game

1. New Orleans Saints, 5 sacks per game

2. Minnesota Vikings, 4 sacks

3-tied. Dallas Cowboys, 3 sacks

3-tied. Los Angeles Rams, 3 sacks

3-tied. Chicago Bears, 3 sacks

3-tied. Seattle Seahawks, 3 sacks

7. Philadelphia Eagles, 2 sacks

Read that again. All year, ever since the Saints traded up for defensive end Marcus Davenport, everyone has talked about New Orleans’ bad pass rush. It’s needed to get better; All-Pro end Cameron Jordan needed help; defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins needed to step up; you’ve seen all the other tropes. But now we’re in December and the Saints have collected 20 sacks in their last four games, and 13 in their last two outings. Don’t let that Vikings number fool you – it’s inflated by an insane 10-sack game against the Detroit Lions four weeks ago. They were shut out against the New England Patriots and sacked Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky just once. The Cowboys and Bears pass rushers are consistently productive, but the normally-great Rams were blanked by the Saints a month ago.

We’ll see if this trend continues through the final weeks of the regular season and into the playoffs, but it’s very encouraging to see the Saints defense finally playing so well. It’s very off-brand for New Orleans, but it’s starting to look like their offense is the unit in need of greater consistency.

LINK


Hoodoo Man
LSU Fan
Sunshine Pumping most days.
Member since Oct 2011
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re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
These are pretty awesome stats.
Good thread.


TeamCKennedy
New Orleans Saints Fan
The Dirty Dell
Member since Feb 2018
360 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
Have an upvote ole boy


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51
CptRusty
New Orleans Saints Fan
Basket of Deplorables
Member since Aug 2011
9013 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
quote:

it’s starting to look like their offense is the unit in need of greater consistency.





One game, sheesh.

I am in agreement with the rest, our front 7 is right up there with the best in the league. The secondary is pitiful, but if we can pressure the QB that helps quite a lot.


ShootingsBricks4Life
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since May 2017
1174 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
Just to be clear are all of these stats for the last 4 games? Like the Total yards per game allowed?


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goatmilker
LSU Fan
2014 drunkin Bobby award winner!
Member since Feb 2009
43625 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
It must be nice for the defense not to need to hide in the locker room these days


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Northshore Saint
New Orleans Saints Fan
Covington, LA
Member since Feb 2013
901 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
That's actually amazing. Dennis Allen catches a lot of shite on here but props to him for making adjustments as the season goes on. It's hard to play great defense with the rules heavily in favor of the offense. The Bears are probably the only defense I'd say that's without a doubt better.


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Lester Earl
Chicago Cubs Fan
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Member since Nov 2003
233941 posts
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re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
quote:

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, A


Not anymore but I’m glad our D is playing well,


Hoodoo Man
LSU Fan
Sunshine Pumping most days.
Member since Oct 2011
30335 posts
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re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
quote:

One game, sheesh.
Two games, I'd say.
It's really our OL and the lack of consistent receivers beyond Thomas.

I think they'll figure something out.


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50_Tiger
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Dallas TX
Member since Jan 2016
20940 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
Yet all you hear on shithead tv is Saints Secondary sucks, exposed, blah blah blah.


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PhillyTiger90
Villanova Fan
Member since Dec 2015
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re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
Wouldn’t be shocked if we make it to NFCCG that our opponent is the Vikings

Their defense is good and if Dalvin Cook starts to get rolling that’ll take pressure off of Cousins to make plays


Hoodoo Man
LSU Fan
Sunshine Pumping most days.
Member since Oct 2011
30335 posts
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re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
quote:

Yet all you hear on shithead tv is Saints Secondary sucks, exposed, blah blah blah.

Well, our secondary is still our weakness on defense.


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10
clamdip
LSU Fan
Rocky Mountain High
Member since Sep 2004
12280 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
quote:

Not anymore but I’m glad our D is playing well,
not anymore?

The reason Philadelphia won the super bowl is because their defense was exceptional at the end of the season and choked the life out of the Patriots down the stretch in those 4th quarter drives.


bigpapamac
South Alabama Fan
Mobile, AL
Member since Oct 2007
20387 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
Pretty remarkable how bad the Rams defense is with all the big names there, especially up front.


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CM84
USA Fan
Louisiana
Member since Nov 2007
2576 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
quote:


The reason Philadelphia won the super bowl is because their defense was exceptional at the end of the season and choked the life out of the Patriots down the stretch in those 4th quarter drives.


There is no blueprint to winning a Superbowl. Your margin of error to lose is less when you can play complimentary football.

It's hard to argue the eagles beat the Patriots because of their defense. They gave up 33 point and over 600 yards.


clamdip
LSU Fan
Rocky Mountain High
Member since Sep 2004
12280 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
Their defense was smoking down the stretch. Held Dallas, ATL, Minnesota to average of 7.6 points. Brady was gonna get his, but the Eagles had two big stops in the 4th when Brady is usually crushing the souls of opponents.

If those Patriots were playing the Rams last super bowl do you think they lose?

Only thing concerning me on the Saints is the secondary. It's been helped out a lot by the pass rush this season, but still is the obvious weak link.


NawlinsTiger9
New Orleans Saints Fan
Where the mongooses roam
Member since Jan 2009
19718 posts
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re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
quote:

Wouldn’t be shocked if we make it to NFCCG that our opponent is the Vikings


In order of things I'd like to avoid:

1. Bears @Chicago
2. Vikings
3. Rams in LA


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CM84
USA Fan
Louisiana
Member since Nov 2007
2576 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
Eagles defense played well leading up to that game. Giving up over 600 yards isn't getting yours. The Defense wasn't the reason they won against the Patriots. Their offense was playing 7 on 7 football out there. Did they get a timely turnover from the Patriots, yes.

It was an offensive game and both defensive were awful that night.



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St Augustine
New Orleans Saints Fan
The Pauper of the Surf
Member since Mar 2006
51186 posts

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST
This post was edited on 12/5 at 7:07 pm


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CocoLoco
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Jan 2012
27225 posts
 Online 

re: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND SAINTS HAVE PLAYOFF PICTURE'S BEST

Despite the loss to Dallas I feel more confident in the Saints being the premier team in the NFC. They have an elite offense with the Rams and Chiefs, but a much better defense. And if they do have to go on the road to LA, a run stuffing defense and a good running game travels. I like our chances. Obviously home field makes the % of reaching the SB go up quite a bit more.


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