As we all now know, the New Orleans Saints won their first title in franchise history by beating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV. In a game of twists and turns that seemed like it could very easily be a Colts blow-out early on, New Orleans made some bold calls and had a very timely defensive TD to secure their first Lombardi trophy. Reviewing the box score, this really was an evenly played game until near the very end. Although the Colts outgained the Saints by 100 yards, 81 of those yards came on the final drive following Tracy Porter’s 74 yard interception return for a touchdown. So, those 81 were at a point when the game was pretty much decided. Certainly, there are tons of game recaps out there, but in this post I just wanted to take a look at the numbers and throw out some thoughts based on those numbers.
Archive for the ‘New Orleans Saints’ Category
The Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints were the best teams in their respective conferences this year. So for the first time in years, we get to see the top seeds meet in the Super Bowl. Earlier this year, we were wondering if two teams could possibly go 16-0 in the same year, just two years after the Patriots’ run of 2007. Prior to this season, the NFL had never seen two teams even 11-0 in the same season. This year, these teams reached 13-0 before the Saints fell in week 15 to the Cowboys, and, some believe, the Colts turned their backs on history by resting their starters in the second half of week 16 against the Jets. Regardless of how the final 2-3 weeks ended, both teams showed that they were the class of their conferences in playoffs.
For the first time in NFL history, two teams, the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, have started out 11-0. With just 5 games left in the regular season, we now face the possibility that not one, but two, teams could go 16-0 in the regular season. Since that is the case, I wanted to take a quick look at how these two teams compare against the 2007 New England Patriots, the only team to complete an undefeated regular season in the NFL.
Both ESPN.com and NFL.com have their power rankings as to where teams rank in NFL after the first 8 weeks of the regular season. Everyone that I have seen ranks the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints as the top two teams in the league, but there is some disagreement as to which should be ranked number 1. Both teams have become known for explosive passing games behind future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, who may be making his case for the Hall as well. But as I mentioned in an earlier post on the Saints, New Orleans now also has a serious rushing attack. Let’s see if the Colts have also found that kind of balance. We’ll also compare each team’s opposing offensive and defensive ranks to see what level of competition that they have faced this year.