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What we -- and the Saints -- can learn from the NFL's Final Four

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; When an NFL team reaches the conference championship game, it has established its bona fides. Rarely do teams get this far by accident. Championship game participants usually come in two forms. Powerhouses that earned the right to host divisional-round games ...

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Old 01-22-2017, 09:47 AM   #1
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When an NFL team reaches the conference championship game, it has established its bona fides. Rarely do teams get this far by accident.

Championship game participants usually come in two forms. Powerhouses that earned the right to host divisional-round games with dominant regular seasons. Or late-season streakers, teams that found themselves over the course of the long season and are playing their best football at the right time.

Both are present this season. The Patriots and Falcons were titans from the outset, securing their respective conference's No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. The Steelers and Packers are the league's two hottest teams. Neither has lost since mid-November. Pittsburgh has won nine consecutive games; Green Bay eight in a row.



The teams share several common denominators: dynamic offenses; elite quarterback play; opportunistic defenses; and good health.

So what can we - and the Saints - learn from the NFL's final four? Plenty. And you probably won't be surprised to learn the Saints compare favorably in some areas and not so well in others than you'd expect for a 7-9 team.

A look at some trends and common denominators from the last teams standing on the NFL's championship weekend:

1. Offense wins championships

The NFL has been turned on its head. Rule changes have tilted the field toward the offense. The 2016 season exemplified this truth more than ever. All four championship game participants boast Top 10 offenses. The Falcons (33.8, 1st), Patriots (27.6, 3rd) and Packers (27.0, 4th) also ranked among the league's four highest scoring teams. Offense wins.

How the Saints stack up: Scoring points and moving the chains have never been a problem for the Brees-Payton Saints. They led the NFL in total offense and finished second in scoring with averages of 421.8 yards and 29.3 points a game. A healthy Mark Ingram and the addition of dynamic rookie receiver Michael Thomas took the Saints to a level in 2016 they hadn't seen since 2011. Best of all, right guard Jahri Evans and fullback John Kuhn are the only offensive regulars not under contract through next season.

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Old 01-23-2017, 08:20 AM   #2
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Re: What we -- and the Saints -- can learn from the NFL's Final Four

How does this guy say defense is overrated? Of the last 8 superbowl winners, here is where they ranked in points allowed.

2015: Denver Broncos, 4th

2014: New England Patriots, 8th

2013: Seattle Seahawks, 1st

2012: Baltimore Ravens, 12th

2011: New York Giants, 25th

2010: Green Bay Packers, 2nd

2009: New Orleans Saints, 20th

2008: Pittsburgh Steelers, 1st

I know he stated that it helps for a defense needs to be opportunistic (see 2009 Saints), but generally, the best D still wins.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:13 AM   #3
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Re: What we -- and the Saints -- can learn from the NFL's Final Four

I think balance is the key.

Rarely does a championship quality team have a crappy offense or defense.

Both are typically ranked pretty high.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:20 AM   #4
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Re: What we -- and the Saints -- can learn from the NFL's Final Four

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
I think balance is the key.

Rarely does a championship quality team have a crappy offense or defense.

Both are typically ranked pretty high.
We're living proof that offense wins games.... It was the Patriot's and Falcon's D that really won those games yesterday. Their offenses were just there to make sure it happened. Neither packers or steelers defenses made it to the stadium.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:01 PM   #5
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Re: What we -- and the Saints -- can learn from the NFL's Final Four

Originally Posted by Seer1 View Post
We're living proof that offense wins games.... It was the Patriot's and Falcon's D that really won those games yesterday. Their offenses were just there to make sure it happened. Neither packers or steelers defenses made it to the stadium.
Offense wins the games when the defense let's them have the ball on a shortened field or repeatedly gives the offense extra attempts to score. Teams with a good offense should score at least 50% of the time if they are really good. Give them a couple of extra shots at the end zone and it's a recipe for success. You don't have to be a great defense, but you have to be opportunistic on a consistent basis. Turnovers are the difference when all things are equal.

That and field presence that squeezes down with pressure inside the red zone. Dennis Allen seems to be pretty good at bending but not breaking. He just needs a few play makers.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:38 PM   #6
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Re: What we -- and the Saints -- can learn from the NFL's Final Four

Originally Posted by Rugby Saint II View Post
Offense wins the games when the defense let's them have the ball on a shortened field or repeatedly gives the offense extra attempts to score. Teams with a good offense should score at least 50% of the time if they are really good. Give them a couple of extra shots at the end zone and it's a recipe for success. You don't have to be a great defense, but you have to be opportunistic on a consistent basis. Turnovers are the difference when all things are equal.

That and field presence that squeezes down with pressure inside the red zone. Dennis Allen seems to be pretty good at bending but not breaking. He just needs a few play makers.
I agree.
Bad health on D, without sufficient depth, killed us this past season.
I believe we are headed in the right direction though.
I will edit this and eat crow if we don't address D as a priority in FA and the draft.
If that happens?
I give up.
Unless Deshaun Watson is available when we pick.
If we pass on him?
I really give up.
UNLESS!!!!
We get a few more picks from a team that REALLY wants Watson.
Then...........
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:39 AM   #7
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Re: What we -- and the Saints -- can learn from the NFL's Final Four

offense exposes weakness in defenses is the thing I saw.

GB and Pitt have had issues in the secondary all season long

Superbowl will not be which offense will show up

It will be which defense can step up

My gut says this game will be won in the A gap for the falcons

If there is a weakness to the Pats for the Falcons to exploit it is upfront.

If they fail it is all over.

The falcons can not win a shot out with the Pats with getting pressure up the middle
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:28 AM   #8
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Re: What we -- and the Saints -- can learn from the NFL's Final Four

-3 (23) ... in the T/O dept.

Saints must do better in creating turnovers. Bring in some ball hawks/play makers this off season in addition to the draft.

The current roster lacks play makers.
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Old 01-24-2017, 10:23 AM   #9
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Re: What we -- and the Saints -- can learn from the NFL's Final Four

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
-3 (23) ... in the T/O dept.

Saints must do better in creating turnovers. Bring in some ball hawks/play makers this off season in addition to the draft.

The current roster lacks play makers.
We need to be able to pressure the QB which will cause errant throws leading to turnovers. I think the DB's we have will be fine next year we just a DE and LB's
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Old 01-24-2017, 04:08 PM   #10
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Re: What we -- and the Saints -- can learn from the NFL's Final Four

Originally Posted by Budsdrinker View Post
We need to be able to pressure the QB which will cause errant throws leading to turnovers. I think the DB's we have will be fine next year we just a DE and LB's
I agree the DB's developed over the year, but I still want someone with good height/length. Although they had moments of greatness, we can't continue to have B.W., Sterling, or Crawley covering Julio/Mike Evans/ other big WR in one on one coverage in the red zone.
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