|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1||1-2||0-3||18.3||14.0||311.7||(5.4)||0.3||20.0||15.3||341.0||(5.5)||0.3|
|Offense (All Games)||26.4||15.7||22.2||32:08||24-92||(3.8)||27-40||68.0%||303||(7.6)||64-394||(6.2)||(14.9)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||22.6||11.6||19.9||30:27||27-115||(4.2)||22-35||61.2%||232||(6.6)||63-347||(5.6)||(15.4)|
|Offense Road Games||18.8||12.0||18.7||29:49||21-77||(3.6)||25-40||61.9%||265||(6.6)||61-341||(5.6)||(18.1)|
|Defense (All Games)||18.7||11.8||17.6||27:52||24-114||(4.7)||20-33||60.3%||199||(6.1)||57-314||(5.5)||(16.8)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23.3||12.2||19.6||30:10||27-111||(4.2)||21-34||61.9%||226||(6.6)||61-337||(5.5)||(14.4)|
|Defense Road Games||22.5||15.2||19.8||30:11||30-135||(4.5)||20-31||63.6%||232||(7.5)||61-367||(6)||(16.3)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.6||0.5||1.1||0.2||13-6||45.7%||1-0||33.3%||2-36||(23.1)||2-13||(6.2)||6-47|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.1||0.6||1.7||2.1||14-5||39.2%||1-0||47.2%||2-52||(22.2)||20-2||(9.3)||6-56|
|Stats For (Road Games)||0.8||0.3||1.2||-0.3||14-5||38.6%||1-0||25.0%||2-41||(19.2)||1-4||(3.4)||6-46|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.8||0.5||1.3|| ||13-5||36.2%||1-0||33.3%||2-51||(25.7)||2-12||(7.3)||6-47|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1.1||0.6||1.7|| ||13-5||37.9%||1-0||46.4%||2-51||(23)||19-2||(9.4)||6-53|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.3||0.5||0.8|| ||13-5||39.7%||1-0||33.3%||2-51||(25.6)||2-9||(4.4)||6-58|
|Last 3 Games||1-2||-1||1-2||1-2||21.7||10.0||325.0||(6.1)||1.0||24.7||13.7||377.0||(5.8)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||22.2||10.0||18.2||29:01||26-113||(4.4)||19-34||57.3%||206||(6.1)||59-318||(5.4)||(14.3)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||22.3||11.6||19.7||30:10||27-114||(4.2)||21-35||61.4%||226||(6.5)||62-339||(5.5)||(15.2)|
|Offense Home Games||24.0||11.8||20.0||31:10||29-141||(4.8)||18-33||54.7%||194||(5.8)||63-335||(5.3)||(14)|
|Defense (All Games)||23.7||11.8||21.0||30:59||28-109||(3.9)||22-32||68.5%||249||(7.8)||60-358||(6)||(15.1)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23.4||12||19.6||30:12||26-109||(4.1)||21-34||61.9%||227||(6.7)||60-336||(5.6)||(14.3)|
|Defense Home Games||23.7||10.3||19.8||28:50||28-120||(4.3)||19-30||63.7%||220||(7.3)||58-341||(5.9)||(14.4)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.7||0.6||1.3||0.5||13-4||33.5%||1-0||31.2%||2-56||(22.7)||3-22||(8.2)||8-62|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||0.7||1.6||2.1||13-5||38.2%||1-0||48.1%||3-58||(22.8)||19-2||(8.6)||6-55|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.7||0.7||1.3||0.7||14-5||34.5%||0-0||0.0%||2-50||(23.1)||3-13||(4)||7-55|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.9||0.9||1.8|| ||12-5||40.9%||1-0||33.3%||2-42||(21.8)||2-6||(3.1)||7-62|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.6||1.6|| ||13-5||38.1%||1-0||51.5%||2-56||(23.5)||18-2||(8.5)||6-53|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.0||1.0||2.0|| ||12-5||41.9%||1-0||25.0%||2-45||(24.6)||2-4||(2.1)||7-66|
|Average power rating of opponents played: NEW ORLEANS 21.3, ST LOUIS 21.3|
|11/3/2013||@ NY JETS||20-26||L||-6||L||45.5||O||13-41||30-51-366||2||36-198||9-20-140||0|
|12/15/2013||@ ST LOUIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/22/2013||@ CAROLINA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/29/2013||TAMPA BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/1/2013||@ SAN FRANCISCO||13-23||L||7.5||L||40.5||U||26-114||19-38-198||1||30-83||19-28-255||1|
|12/15/2013||NEW ORLEANS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/22/2013||TAMPA BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/29/2013||@ SEATTLE|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|NEW ORLEANS: The Saints are a pass-heavy offense, but they feature one of the NFL's most versatile and unique running games. They have a series of looks they can run out of, the most common of which is Mark Ingram behind fullback Jed Collins. They use a series of zone and man blocking schemes borrowed from other systems. Darren Sproles is on the field a lot, but primarily in spread formations from which the Saints almost always throw. Most of his touches will come on receptions. Pierre Thomas is the team's most versatile back.
The return of head coach Sean Payton should be a nice boost for Drew Brees and the passing game. This is a spread passing attack, with a lot of West Coast routes. Brees is most comfortable with Marques Colston, who does a lot of his work facing the line of scrimmage. They'll also use TE Jimmy Graham as basically a receiver 1A, moving him around in formations and having him work underneath or up the seam when the matchup is right. Slot receiver Lance Moore also did more work up the seam last year, though he only plays about 60 percent of snaps. Joe Morgan will take Devery Henderson's field-stretching role on the outside. The Saints are very pass-heavy in the red zone, throwing on a league-high 71.2 percent of their goal-to-go plays in 2012.
The Saints gave up 908 more yards than any other NFL team, setting a league record for futility with 7,042 total yards allowed. They also surrendered the second-most points (28.4 PPG). New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan inherits a defense that recorded just six sacks in the final six games. There are still productive veterans in ILBs Curtis Lofton and Jonathan Vilma to lead the front seven, but two newcomers must have a huge impact right away, former Steelers CB Keenan Lewis, and versatile rookie FS Kenny Vaccaro.|
|ST LOUIS: Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has always been more of a finesse coach, and the loss of Steven Jackson will force him away from the ground game. They may have to install some more zone looks, with outside runner Daryl Richardson the only proven back on the roster. Isaiah Pead, more of a one-cut back, has a shot at a bigger role after a poor showing as a rookie, as does rookie Zac Stacy. There's a chance big back Terrance Ganaway could work his way into the rotation, as the team's only true power runner.
The Rams will spread it out and go with a lot of short, catch-and-run stuff. Rookie Tavon Austin steps into Danny Amendola's slot position and should lead the team in targets, getting the ball on a lot of short and behind-the-line-of-scrimmage passes. Sam Bradford prefers to work over the middle, so there will be enough balls for Austin and TE Jared Cook, who should be option 1A. Chris Givens is a field stretcher, and they'll look for more catch-and-run stuff out of developing flanker Brian Quick. Schottenheimer has always gotten pass-happy in the red zone, and that should be the case again with no proven power runner. Expect a lot of stuff for Cook near the goal line. Austin Pettis saw a lot of red zone looks last year, though he could be pushed to the bench by Quick.
The Rams posted a whopping 52 sacks last season, which tied for the NFL lead. But this unit had just four fumble recoveries all season and failed to pick off a pass in nine of the final 12 games. Talent does exist for new defensive coordinator Tim Walton though, with DEs Chris Long (11.5 sacks) and Robert Quinn (10.5 sacks) and LB James Laurinaitis (142 tackles) standing out among the front seven, and CBs Cortland Finnegan (83 solo tackles) and Janoris Jenkins (4 INT) both strong cover men in a solid secondary.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (NEW ORLEANS-ST LOUIS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Saints-Rams Preview* =====================
By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer
If the New Orleans Saints are to clinch a playoff berth this weekend on their own, they must improve their recent the road.
The Saints hope to accomplish both Sunday while trying to send the St. Louis Rams to a seventh consecutive losing season with a third straight defeat.
Various scenarios that would involve help from other teams can put New Orleans (10-3) in the playoffs with a loss, but it can simply secure a berth with a victory Sunday.
The Saints have some renewed confidence after they rebounded from a 34-7 loss at Seattle on Dec. 2 with a 31-13 victory last Sunday over Carolina. With the win, New Orleans improved to 7-0 at home and took a one-game lead over the Panthers in the NFC South.
While the Saints have the inside track on the division title and a first-round bye, they play the next two on the road - including a rematch with Carolina - before concluding the regular season by hosting Tampa Bay.
"We'd like to be able to take the show on the road, but definitely playing in the dome is an advantage," center Brian de la Puente said. "We know that. Teams know that coming (to New Orleans is) a difficult place to play. There's unique things that present themselves when you're on the road and that's part of it."
The Saints average 32.9 points and allow 15.4 per game at home but are scoring 18.8 and giving up 22.5 per contest while going 3-3 on the road.
Drew Brees, who became the fifth quarterback to eclipse 50,000 career passing yards last Sunday, has thrown 23 of his 33 touchdowns while posting a 122.5 passer rating at home. On the road, he's thrown five of his eight interceptions and has an 87.7 rating.
Though Rob Ryan's defense ranks sixth overall at 313.6 yards per game, its three worst yardage and point totals have come away from home. New Orleans has dropped three of the last four on the road while allowing its opponent to score first in each contest.
"It's not so much about being on the road that really causes problems," safety Roman Harper said. "It's the fact that when we don't have success early, how guys respond and things like that.
"When we come out and we play fast, we get off to good starts offensively, defensively, that's when we're at our best. We've got try to find a way, no matter where we're at location-wise, to come out of the locker room and start fast."
Though the Saints' most recent road victory came at another indoor venue, 17-13 at Atlanta on Nov. 21, St. Louis was responsible for one of their three losses in 2011 with a 31-21 victory at the Edward Jones Dome when the teams last met.
Brees threw for 269 yards with a TD and two INTs in that contest. He's been picked off twice in each of his five career games against the Rams.
Tight end Jimmy Graham recorded five of his league-leading 14 TDs in the last three contests but was held to four receptions for 39 yards and no scores versus St. Louis in 2011.
The Rams (5-8) improved to 3-3 at home after they ran for a season-high 258 yards during a 42-21 victory over Chicago on Nov. 24. Since, they've been outscored 53-23 in road losses to San Francisco and Arizona that eliminated them from playoff contention and secured a 10th straight season without a winning record.
"We are going to get better," coach Jeff Fisher said. "Our focus is going (to be) on the Saints. That is what we are going to do."
With two first-round draft picks next year - including a Redskins pick that is currently second overall - the Rams have reason to be excited about next season but will focus on the present.
"We have to finish strong," said defensive end Robert Quinn, who has recorded eight of his NFC-leading 13.0 sacks at home. "You don't want to look at the next season, you want to finish strong and take it one game at a time."
Kellen Clemens, who has thrown one TD and three INTs in the last two games, was sacked a season-high four times in last Sunday's 30-10 loss to the Cardinals. He's been sacked 18 times since replacing the injured Sam Bradford and now faces a New Orleans defense that leads the NFC with 43 sacks.
Defensive end Cameron Jordan and outside linebacker Junior Galette combined for all five sacks of Cam Newton last week.
St. Louis rookie Zac Stacy averaged 86.5 rushing yards in his previous eight games before he was held to 25 on 14 carries against the Cardinals.
It's uncertain if fellow rookie Tavon Austin will play after he injured his ankle on a 56-yard run versus Arizona.
|Last Updated: 9/17/2014 12:36:58 PM EST|