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Primer for Saints-Cardinals game

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By Guerry Smith, TheExaminer.com - As predicted, the Saints will face the Arizona Cardinals in their first playoff game. Here are some interesting numbers as you start thinking about Saturday’s huge game against Kurt Warner and company: -20: The Saints’ ...

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Old 01-11-2010, 02:51 PM   #1
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By Guerry Smith, TheExaminer.com - As predicted, the Saints will face the Arizona Cardinals in their first playoff game. Here are some interesting numbers as you start thinking about Saturday’s huge game against Kurt Warner and company:

-20: The Saints’ point differential in the four games since I wrote they were on pace to have one of the 10 best scoring margins in the 32-year history of the NFL’s 16-game schedule. At plus-169 (510-341), they dropped outside of the top 10 for this decade alone, placing 12th, but that’s not a negative entering the playoffs. Only one of the decade’s top 11 teams in scoring margin won the Super Bowl – New England in 2004. Five lost in the Super Bowl, four lost in the divisional round and two lost in their conference’s championship game (see chart at bottom of story).

1: The number of combined Super Bowl appearances for New Orleans and Arizona. The Cardinals, of course, made it last year after finishing 9-7 in the regular season and losing three of their last five games by 21 or more points. The Saints have won two playoff games in their history, in 2000 and 2006. Nationally, the matchup will get much less attention this week than the other NFC divisional playoff between Dallas and Minnesota, which have 12 Super Bowl appearances between them.

2: The number of years in a row the NFC’s No. 1 seed has lost its first playoff game. The Cowboys lost to the New York Giants 21-17 in 2008 after sweeping them in the regular season. The Giants lost to Philadelphia 23-11 last season after splitting two regular-season games, with each team winning on the road. Before you get too concerned about this trend, both of those upsets were in games between division rivals. New Orleans and Arizona have no significant connection other than their discarded status as two of the league’s four most downtrodden teams along with Detroit and Cincinnati.

19: The number of years in a row the NFC’s No. 1 seed won its opening playoff game from 1988 to 2006. That’s right, 19 in a row, an incredible streak that proves how unusual the last two years have been. Only three of those 19 games were decided by seven or fewer points. In 1987, Minnesota beat No. 1-seeded San Francisco 36-24 a week after bashing the Saints 44-13, but usually, rested home teams have had no trouble with weary road teams in the second weekend. Arizona had an emotionally exhausting win against Green Bay yesterday in the last game of the first weekend and has to get ready for New Orleans in the first game of the second weekend. Good luck with that.

77.2: The HIGHEST efficiency rating a quarterback posted against the Saints (Jake Delhomme) before cornerback Jabari Greer got injured at midseason. To put that number in perspective, 20 NFL quarterbacks had a better rating for the season. The Saints’ pass defense struggled in Greer’s absence, but he should be 100-percent healthy after returning in the regular-season finale. Warner had a rating of 93.2 in the regular season and 154.1 versus Green Bay yesterday.

503: The passing yards Green Bay gave up to Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger in the Packers’ lone loss in the second half of the regular season. It was by far the highest total any team allowed in a game all year, but somehow it went unnoticed as one analyst after another picked the Packers for the Super Bowl. The Cardinals noticed. Kurt Warner had more touchdown passes (five) than incompletions (four) in Arizona’s wild 51-45 overtime victory yesterday. He should face a little more resistance from the Saints this week.

CHART: How the most dominant teams from 2000-09 have handled the playoffs:

Team Year +/- Result
New England 2007 315 Lost Superbowl
St. Louis 2001 230 Lost Super Bowl
Indianapolis 2005 191 Lost Divisional Rd.
San Diego 2006 189 Lost Divisional Rd.
Indianapolis 2007 188 Lost Divisional Rd.
Seattle 2005 181 Lost Super Bowl
Oakland 2000 180 Lost Conf. Champ
New England 2004 177 Won Super Bowl
Philadelphia 2002 174 Lost Conf. Champ
Chicago 2006 172 Lost Super Bowl
Indianapolis 2004 171 Lost Divisional Rd.
New Orleans 2009 169 ?



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Last edited by Halo; 01-11-2010 at 03:25 PM..
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:27 PM   #2
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Re: Primer for Saints-Cardinals game

503: The passing yards Green Bay gave up to Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger in the Packers’ lone loss in the second half of the regular season. It was by far the highest total any team allowed in a game all year, but somehow it went unnoticed as one analyst after another picked the Packers for the Super Bowl. The Cardinals noticed. Kurt Warner had more touchdown passes (five) than incompletions (four) in Arizona’s wild 51-45 overtime victory yesterday. He should face a little more resistance from the Saints this week.
The point driven ad nauseam about the Packers defense was that they had the #2 defense. The point that Geurry makes is little noted but shows what a good QB could do to the Packs pass-defense. The Saints secondary is back and I believe that we'll see some coverage sacks next Saturday on the Cardinals.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:38 AM   #3
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Re: Primer for Saints-Cardinals game

I had a slight error that I corrected on the Examiner site.

Four, not five, of the top 11 teams in scoring differential this decade lost in the Super Bowl. I'm sure no one would have noticed the mistake, but I did.
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:56 PM   #4
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Re: Primer for Saints-Cardinals game

all that won't matter if we put up a replay of patriots game. don't tell me it can't happen either, watch what fresh legs and a jabarre greer can do
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:41 AM   #5
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Re: Primer for Saints-Cardinals game

We can do this & we can go all the way. I know it is a pat repsonse BUT - just minimize our mistakes & this is ours!!
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arizona cardinals, drew, guerry smith, kurt warner, new orleans saints, playoffs, the examiner

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