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Crusader 09-01-2010 02:19 PM

2010 Division Preview: NFC South
 
2010 Division Preview: NFC South

This week, SI.com is rolling out previews for all eight NFL divisions. Today, we tackle the NFC South and AFC South, following up Tuesday's breakdowns of the AFC East and NFC East. The AFC North and NFC North follow Thursday and the AFC West and NFC West conclude things Friday.

In the eight-division NFL, the NFC South stands alone as a remarkable testament to the model of parity the league strives so diligently to achieve. Everyone truly has a chance to win every year in the NFC South, where for seven years in a row the last-place team from the year before has made the playoffs the following season, and there has not been a single repeat playoff qualifier yet in the eight-year history of the division (2002-2009).

Those trends can't possibly go on forever, and it would seem the defending Super Bowl champion Saints are as good a candidate as anyone to bring some sense of continuity to the NFC South. After all, New Orleans posted the league's largest gap (147 points, or more than nine per game) between a division's highest-scoring team and its second-highest scoring team last season, and it's unlikely to expect that kind of superiority to just vanish. But we've probably made similar assumptions before when it comes to the NFC South, and been proven wrong.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
What the Saints do best: Pile up the passing yards.

New Orleans tied Indianapolis and Minnesota with a league-best 34 touchdown passes last season, and its 69.5 completion percentage dwarfed the league average (60.9). In other words, Drew Brees and Co. can really throw the football, and that's why last year's Saints became just the fifth team of the NFL decade to crack the 500-point barrier in a season (510).

And New Orleans spreads the love around on offense. All told, 10 Saints caught touchdown passes from Brees, and 21 Saints scored six points or more. In case you've forgotten, New Orleans scored at least 45 points in four of its first six games, and averaged almost 36 points per game during the course of its 13-0 start. This is a well-balanced attack (passing ranked fourth overall, rushing sixth) that can pick apart even the best defenses with precision.



Read more: Saints aim to become NFC South's first repeat champion - Don Banks - SI.com

Choupique 09-01-2010 03:44 PM

Brees is like a machine. Amazing accuracy.

Srgt. Hulka 09-01-2010 04:03 PM

http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_o...0906_large.jpg

Just saw this. Brees on SI cove again! I had to post it.

73Saint 09-01-2010 04:52 PM

effing sweet man! Thanks!!


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