Naughty school girls squeal in delight
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Nov 24, 2008
(Ed. Note: Let us be the first to say that this inter-web thing is both amazing, and a sign of the apocalypse. Seriously, if you went to a computer 12 years ago and typed in "naughty school girls," nothing, sadly, would happen. The computer would stare at you with the same blank look that exists perpetually on the face of Kim Kardashian. Today, if you type in "naughty school girls" you find that thousands, if not millions, of women have taken photos of themselves dressed up as naughty school girls and posted them on the web. Next thing you know, guys will sit around in their underwear all day drinking beer and publishing football web sites.)
Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense slapped Green Bay's top-rated pass defense so thoroughly Monday night that naughty school girls across the parishes of Louisiana squealed in delight.
The Saints won, 51-29, in their first game in New Orleans in a shocking six weeks.
The list of superlatives is, well, superlative. The 51 points matched a Saints franchise high, set just twice before. The Saints beat the Cardinals, 51-42, in 1969, and pasted the Seahawks, 51-27, in 1976.
Considering that the Cardinals are the worst franchise in North American sports history, and that the Seahawks were an expansion team in 1976, Monday night's 51-point outburst was the greatest offensive performance in New Orleans history against a legitimate NFL franchise.
It was also the most points the team has ever scored at home, and such a dramatic output for the historically inept Saints offense that it surpassed the point totals the team has produced in entire months throughout its history. To cite a few examples:
- The 2005 Saints scored 42 points in the month of December
- The 1997 Saints scored 37 points in the month of October
- The 1982 and the 1981 Saints each scored 27 points in the month of December
- The 1973 Saints scored 20 points in the month of September.
But the true statistical story on this night was Brees, and what he did against a Packers defense that, until about 7:30 p.m. Central Time on Monday, boasted the best pass defense in football this year.
- The Packers entered the game with a stingy 59.5 defensive passer rating, best in the league. Brees torched it for a nearly perfect 157.5 passer rating, the highest mark of his career.
- The Packers entered the game surrendering just 5.65 yards per attempt, the best in the league. Brees torched it for 11.36 yards per attempt, double the average the Packers had allowed all year.
- The Packers entered the game allowing opposing passers to complete just 51.5 percent of their passes, the best mark in the league. Brees torched it with a nearly flawless performance, completing 76.9 percent of his passes (20 for 26).
- The Packers entered the game with 16 INTs on the year, again the best mark in the league. Brees was picked off just once in 27 attempts.
Brees, by the way, remains well on the way to breaking Dan Marino's single-season passing record (5,084 yards). With 3,574 yards through 11 games, he's on pace to throw for 5,199 yards this year.
We also found what the Saints are capable of if they balance out their offense. They dropped back to pass 28 times, while attempting 26 runs Monday night, easily one of their most balanced efforts of the year: it led to nearly as many points (51) as offensive plays (54). It stands in sharp contrast to the average game for the Saints this year, which featured 40 dropbacks and 25 rushes ... and just 27 points per game.
An empty victory?
Ironically, despite its statistical merits, the New Orleans victory, and the Packers loss, does little to change the playoff picture in the NFC. The Packers, at 5-6, are just one game out of the top spot in the aptly named Black & Blow Division, behind both the Vikings and Bears. The Packers have already split with the Vikings, and have blown out the Bears once with a game left to play against them. Green Bay still has a legitimate shot at winning the division.
The Saints, meanwhile, are 6-5, which puts them dead last in the tough NFC South and in about the fifth spot in the race for two wildcard slots. Their win Monday night may turn out to be the highlight of their season ... much to the dismay of naughty schoolgirls everywhere.
Finally, loyal readers of the Cold, Hard Football Facts know that the music of the 1980s has been our guiding cultural light here in the 2008 football season. Everything you need to know about life can be summed up by 1980s music. For example, if it weren't for the 1980s, we'd never know that naughty girls need love, too.
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