The NFL is all about efficiency (1 Viewer)

bclemms

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It's not about how many yards you gain, it's not about how many yards you allow, it's this grand combination of efficiency.

You can look at many stats that total up efficiency numbers. Stuff like turnovers, 3rd down efficiency, yards per carry, yards per pass attempt, penalties, red zone numbers, etc.

You don't need a lot of yards if you don't turn the ball over, score TD's when you get in the redzone and convert a lot of 3rd downs. It means when your offense is getting the ball, they are turning those possessions into points. Two teams can average 24 points per game on offense and look equal in the scoring offense rankings. What those don't show is how many plays each team runs. A Chip Kelly offense that scores 24 points per game is going to lose a lot of games while a Pete Carroll offense that scores 24 points per game will win a lot. The difference is because of tempo and ball control philosophy. The Chip Kelly offense will still be scoring 24 points per game but they are doing it in 80 plays where the Carroll offense may do it averaging 50 plays which means one defense is having to defend a lot more plays than the other. Hence the point per play stat.

The best single measurement on an offense or defenses success I've ever seen is points per play and points per play allowed. This year we were second in the league in points per play. Our offense really was a machine. We did just about everything right. We led the league in 3rd down efficiency, we were one of the best in the league in the redzone and we scored a lot of points in the final two minutes of halves. We were also second in the NFL in points per play. All the other teams in the top 5 in points per play stat won their division and includes the #1 seeds from both Conferences. Not only were the Saints the only team that didn't win their division but they managed to finish with a losing record. The other 4 teams combined for 48 wins.

Defense, the same thing applies. Limit opponents on third down and in the redzone while forcing a couple turnovers a game and they'll be pretty good even if they aren't very good everywhere else.

So how did the defense stack up after being dead last in the NFL last season in points per play allowed? Well, we were dead last in the NFL in points per play allowed again this season. The bottom 5 teams in points per play allowed all finished dead last in their division with the Saints being the only exception. The other 4 teams combined for 13 wins.


The mother of all stats is the point per play differential. It takes the points per play for the offense and subtracts the points per play for the defense and the sum of the two is the point per play differential. Teams that have values around 0 usually finish around .500, teams that finish with a +.5 or better make the playoffs at a very high percentage. Teams that finish with a -.5 or worse end up with a top 10 pick. This year, the Saints finished -.026, 10th worst in the NFL and it got us the 11th pick in the draft. The top 3 teams? Patriots, Falcons and Cowboys.

You combined the worst defense in the NFL with some of the worst special teams play in the NFL and the stage is set for a losing season. Every single time. We have to get better on defense. We've finished dead last both of the last two seasons. We've finished bottom 5 3 straight seasons. We can even afford to get worse on offense while improving on special teams and defense and end up a much better football team.

https://www.sportingcharts.com/nfl/stats/points-per-play-differential/2016/




The good news, is with our offense it doesn't take much. We have a lot of players coming back from injury and with just a little improvement on defense and special teams and this team can go a long way. The bad news? We've been saying this 3 straight seasons.
 

crosswatt

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I'm assuming this was meant for the Super Forum. I'll move it there.
 

rsmith2783

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Statistically, the Saints offense did a good job, but I have a hard time forgetting the games where they struggled in, which are the ones we ended up losing .
 

BoNcHiE

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It's really a minor miracle that we consistently aren't a 3-4 win team with our defense.
 

BoNcHiE

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Statistically, the Saints offense did a good job, but I have a hard time forgetting the games where they struggled in, which are the ones we ended up losing .
What we consider struggling is normal for a lot of winning NFL teams.

There will be games where your offense only scores 7 points in a 1st half, or only scores 21 points in a game. And good teams have to be able to win those types of games.

A lot of our offensive "struggles" are also caused by being so far down, so quickly, that it completely destroys our game plan.
 

Mr. Sparkle

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TL/DR: Lousy defense and special teams are why we keep losing
 

rsmith2783

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What we consider struggling is normal for a lot of winning NFL teams.

There will be games where your offense only scores 7 points in a 1st half, or only scores 21 points in a game. And good teams have to be able to win those types of games.

A lot of our offensive "struggles" are also caused by being so far down, so quickly, that it completely destroys our game plan.
The games that come to the mind are the Bucs (1st game), Giants & Carolina (2nd game).

In two of those games we had a blocked FG, so i guess we can blame ST too, but our offense didn't play well.
 

BoNcHiE

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The games that come to the mind are the Bucs (1st game), Giants & Carolina (2nd game).

In two of those games we had a blocked FG, so i guess we can blame ST too, but our offense didn't play well.
The 2nd Panthers game is a good example of my point.

You have to be able to win games in which you only score 20 points sometimes.

And when you have a really bad week and only score 13, then you lose. But it's unreasonable to look at a 16 game season and not expect a bad offensive performance or two.
 

Igordão

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The 2nd Panthers game is a good example of my point.

You have to be able to win games in which you only score 20 points sometimes.

And when you have a really bad week and only score 13, then you lose. But it's unreasonable to look at a 16 game season and not expect a bad offensive performance or two.
But the saints are an offensive team. That's their identity. Just like the raiders, the falcons, we win games by having a great offense. All we need is the defense to give the offense an opportunity to win games and the defense gave them the opportunity in at least 4 games this year and they were not able to win the game.
 

Saintfan in Dallas

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From my observations of this year's defense compared to the last two or three. This year they looked younger and were somewhat in position a large percentage of the time. They just got beat by more experienced and better players, but at least they were in the vicinity to make a tackle.

The last couple of year's, there were so many blown assignments and players out of position on EVERY play, it was ridiculous to watch. While our stats may not have been a whole lot better, at least they seemed to know when and where they were supposed to go. To me, that's a huge step in the right direction. If they can now gain experience and anticipate plays, there will be more turnovers, tackles for loss, etc.
 

BoNcHiE

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But the saints are an offensive team. That's their identity. Just like the raiders, the falcons, we win games by having a great offense. All we need is the defense to give the offense an opportunity to win games and the defense gave them the opportunity in at least 4 games this year and they were not able to win the game.
I'm not disagreeing that there were a few games the offense didn't play well enough to win, like the Giants, 1st Bucs game, and Lions games. You have to expect that in a 16 game season. Those were gonna be losses no matter what the defense did.

But we also lost every single game in which we scored under 30 points except one. The 25 point win against the Seahawks at home.

Having to score 30+ every week to have a chance is just not sustainable over the course of a season except in very rare cases, whether you are an offensive team or not. It's why we keep ending up 7-9. You have to be able to win 3-4 games every year where you only manage to score 20-28 points.

The Patriots won 6 games this year in which they didn't score more than 27 points. We won one. That's the difference between 7-9 and having a much better record.
 
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bclemms

bclemms

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The Patriots won 6 games this year in which they didn't score more than 27 points. We won one. That's the difference between 7-9 and having a much better record.
It's also the difference between a QB who wins the MVP and won that isn't even voted to the Pro Bowl.
 

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The bottom 7 teams have a combined Ats w% of 36% with the top 4 having a combined 67% ats w%.

There definitely is an edge with teams having a higher PPP margin leading directly to ats w%.

Some valuable info shared by bclemms!
 

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