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Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints' 2014 offense was an enigma. They finished first in the NFL with 411.4 yards per game. They had ...

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Old 01-02-2015, 08:43 AM   #1
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Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints' 2014 offense was an enigma.

They finished first in the NFL with 411.4 yards per game. They had more first downs than any team in the league. They had the best third-down conversion rate. And quarterback Drew Brees wound up tied with Ben Roethlisberger for the most passing yards at 4,952.

Yet the offense was also a liability at times, especially because of its 30 turnovers, which tied for fifth in the NFL.

Put simply, the Saints played bad complementary football. Their offense was hurt by a poor defense and mediocre return game, which rarely gave them the ball back in good field position (the Saints had the third-worst field position in the league, per ESPN Stats & Information).

But the offense also hurt the defense with all of those turnovers.

Coach Sean Payton seemed properly conflicted when reviewing the offensive numbers on Monday.

“Look, the numbers were real good on third down, the numbers were good in the red area, the total offensive numbers were good. The turnovers were poor. And I thought the rushing numbers ended up probably just where they’re at, a little bit better than the middle of the league,” Payton said. “I think that, A: that ball security -- especially in the last half of the season -- I think hurt us at times. I think we’ve gotta be a little bit more consistent. The third-down numbers were encouraging. But overall there’s a team element to winning games.

“I think the balance helps the defense, I think the ball security helps the defense. We’ve got a real good punter, someone we feel like can change the field position for us, and a good coverage group there. So I think, look, it has not been about stats for us, it’s been about wins and losses. And really, like I mentioned to the team today, there are some muddy hands in this room and they probably go across the board. Not just on one side of the ball or the other.”

Here’s a look at where the Saints ranked in key statistical categories this season:

OFFENSE:

Total yards: 1st (411.4 per game)

Passing yards: 3rd (297.8 per game)

Rushing yards: 13th (113.6 per game)

Third-down conversions: 1st (48.3 percent)

Red-zone touchdowns: 6th (60.0 percent)

Turnovers (giveaways): 5th most (30)

Sacks allowed: tie-9th fewest (30)

Overall efficiency (per ESPN Stats & Info): 7.8 expected points added per game (5th)

DEFENSE:

Total yards: 31st (384.0 per game)

Passing yards: 25th (251.2 per game)

Rushing yards: 29th (132.8 per game)

Third-down conversions: 31st (46.1 percent)

Red-zone touchdowns: 30th (62.8 percent)

Turnovers (takeaways): 28th (17)

Sacks: 25th (34)

Overall efficiency (per ESPN Stats & Info): minus-8.0 expected points added per game (32nd)

Rest: ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports


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Old 01-02-2015, 10:54 AM   #2
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Re: Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

Gee turnovers and a crappy defense blamed again...

Difference... OL had been added too.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:54 AM   #3
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Re: Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

Those defensive stats are simply horrible. If Rob returns (along with his staff), he has serious work to do. 3rd down efficiency must also vastly improve.
As poorly as we have finished games offensively, we a still a dangerous bunch.

This off season will be challenging & interesting.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:39 PM   #4
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Re: Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

Scary part is they could have easily been a 10 win team with very similar defensive stats but looking at the numbers it's amazing they were able to win at all.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:41 PM   #5
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Re: Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

Situational stats would be interesting to me. Anyway you slice it we were awful this year. But I would like to see how many times our Offense went 3 and out, failed to score on drives, coughed it up and put the Defense on a short field etc.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:48 PM   #6
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Re: Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

If we fix the O-line our offense will be back to being unstoppable.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:05 PM   #7
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Re: Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

Originally Posted by Foot Stomper View Post
Situational stats would be interesting to me. Anyway you slice it we were awful this year. But I would like to see how many times our Offense went 3 and out, failed to score on drives, coughed it up and put the Defense on a short field etc.
Our Defense had the best starting field position in the entire NFL. Other teams had farther to go against us than any team, and they didn't have much trouble doing it.

We also had the 3rd fewest offensive possessions, and our offense had the 3rd worst starting field position in the NFL. Our offense had to go farther each drive than 29 other teams.

Our offense had the 7th best points per drive average in the league.
Our defense had the 2nd worst points per drive average.
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:54 PM   #8
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Re: Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
Our Defense had the best starting field position in the entire NFL. Other teams had farther to go against us than any team, and they didn't have much trouble doing it.

We also had the 3rd fewest offensive possessions, and our offense had the 3rd worst starting field position in the NFL. Our offense had to go farther each drive than 29 other teams.

Our offense had the 7th best points per drive average in the league.
Our defense had the 2nd worst points per drive average.
Very surprising. I guess I tend to remember the short fields our Offense gave the other teams Offense thus putting our Defense in terrible position.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:08 PM   #9
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Re: Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

Stats are a little scewed because Brees threw a number of pick 6's.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:16 PM   #10
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Re: Where Saints ranked in 2014: Offense was No. 1 in NFL -- but not really

Originally Posted by dizzle88 View Post
Stats are a little scewed because Brees threw a number of pick 6's.

What number?

He threw 3 total.
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