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From the Left Hash: Saints Go for First Round Bye

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; by Bradley Handwerger / WWL-TV.com Sports Writer Posted on December 10, 2009 at 4:07 PM The Saints sealed the NFC South a week ago with the win at Washington. This week, it’s another “prize,” as quarterback Drew Brees calls it. ...

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Old 12-12-2009, 02:42 PM   #1
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by Bradley Handwerger / WWL-TV.com Sports Writer

Posted on December 10, 2009 at 4:07 PM

The Saints sealed the NFC South a week ago with the win at Washington. This week, it’s another “prize,” as quarterback Drew Brees calls it.

A win against Atlanta secures at least the No. 2 seed in the NFC and the first-round bye and home game that comes with it. New Orleans sits 1˝ in front of Minnesota for the No. 1 overall seed (the Vikings would win a tiebreaker should the teams finish with the same record. One of the Vikings losses came to an AFCC team).

New Orleans’ 3-point overtime win against Washington was by far the closest game of the season and maybe somewhat unexpected to some people after the Saints beat New England 38-17 in the previous game.

The Saints’ wins have come by 18, 26, 20, 14, 21, 12, 8, 10, 5, 31, 21 and 3 points.

It’s All History
Atlanta is New Orleans’ most common opponent and it hasn’t quite gone the Saints way.

The Saints trail in the series 36-44, but New Orleans does own a 6-1 record in the past seven games against Atlanta.

In the game played on Nov. 2, New Orleans rang up more than 400 yards of total offense in a 35-27 Saints win on Monday Night Football. Quarterback Drew Brees was 25 of 33 for 308 yards and three touchdown passes.

The Saints’ defense came up with three interceptions of Matt Ryan, returning one for a touchdown

New Orleans’ largest margin of victory is 38 points, coming in a 38-0 shutout in Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium on Nov. 1, 1987. The Saints biggest loss came 36 years ago when the Falcons won by 55 (62-7 in 1973 at Tulane Stadium).

The longest win streak in the series is 10 for Atlanta while New Orleans’ longest streak is six.

The most points scored by New Orleans is 45 (2003) while the fewest is 0 (twice, 1982 being the last time).

The most points by the Falcons is 62 (1973) while Atlanta has been shut out two times (1987 being the last time).

Bucking History
For much of the 42-year history of the Saints franchise, New Orleans has been nothing more than a mid-level team. But since the arrival of Sean Payton in 2006, the Saints have turned things around.

New Orleans is 12-0 for the first time in franchise history and the 12-game win streak is the best in team history.

The Saints are 6-0 at home this season and the six straight wins at the Superdome is a team record. In the past two seasons, New Orleans is 12-2 at home, tied with Atlanta, Indianapolis and Minnesota for best home winning percentage in the NFL.

And since 2006, the Saints have performed above average on the road. New Orleans is 18-12 away from New Orleans since 2006, tied for fourth-best in the NFL. Only Indianapolis (23-7), New England (22-8) and the Giants (20-10) are better.

That’s nothing, though, on the turnaround the Saints are having in getting turnovers. The Saints lead the NFL with 36 takeaways, five more than the next closest team.

Defensive Scoring
New Orleans is the best team in the NFL taking interceptions or fumbles back for touchdowns. The Saints’ eight are four more than San Diego and San Francisco.

In fact, New Orleans’ eight on defense are five fewer than Oakland has scored on offense, six fewer than St. Louis’ offense and seven fewer than Cleveland’s offense.

Here are New Orleans’ eight defensive touchdowns:
Sept. 20: Darren Sharper, 97-yard INT return vs. Eagles
Oct. 4: Sharper, 99-yard INT return vs. Jets
Oct. 4: Remi Ayodele, fumble recovery in end zone vs. Jets
Oct. 25: Sharper, 42-yard INT return vs. Dolphins
Oct. 25: Tracy Porter, 54-yard INT return vs. Dolphins
Nov. 2: Jabari Greer, 48-yard INT return vs. Falcons
Nov. 8: Anthony Hargrove, 1-yard Fumble return vs. Panthers
Dec. 6: Robert Meachem, 44-yard Fumble return vs. Redskins

3's Company (third-down analysis)
154 plays overall of which 43 were runs and 111 were passes. They have averaged 4.09 yards per run and 7.86 yards per pass play.

* Third-and-short (1-2 yards) - 22 runs, 17 first downs; 13 passes, 5 first downs
* Third-and-(3-5) - 9 run, 3 first down; 42 passes, 27 first downs
* Third-and-(6-10) - 5 runs, 1 first downs; 35 passes, 14 first downs
* Third-and-(11-15) - 7 run, 0 first downs; 13 passes, 4 first downs
* Third-and-(16-plus) - 0 runs, 0 first downs; 8 passes, 1 first downs

What stands out to me from this past week is that heading into the game against Washington, the Saints were 16 of 18 on third-and-short runs. They left the nation’s capital 17 of 22, meaning they went 1-for-4. Heading into Sunday’s noon game against Atlanta, the Saints are 4th in the NFL in third-down conversions at 46.1 percent.

From the Left Hash: Saints Go for First-Round Bye | wwltv.com | Sports

Last edited by papz; 12-24-2011 at 07:47 PM..
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:44 PM   #2
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Re: From the Left Hash: Saints Go for First Round Bye

Personally I hate when people talk about history, especially when it compares now from the 90's. Like, we have no players (maybe one or two) who played here then, so why think stuff like that would affect now?
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:39 PM   #3
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Re: From the Left Hash: Saints Go for First Round Bye

Im just happy we finally made a turnaroun and people are respecting us. I been a fan since i was 6 years old and I've never been excited for sundays like this ever. Even if we never win a superbowl this is without a doubt becoming the most memorable season we have ever had.
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