Stat trends for opening game
Posted Sep. 09 at 02:25 AM
New Orleans and Minnesota have met in back-to-back years at the same stadium, and several statistical trends stick out. The context is a little different this year because the Vikings will be without their second and third cornerbacks -- potentially a critical liability against New Orleans' passing attack -- but these historical trends deserve consideration nonetheless.
Reggie Bush can’t run against Minnesota
12 carries for 29 yards two years ago.
7 carries for 8 yards in the NFC Championship.
Not that Bush can’t contribute in other ways – he’s a good receiver and he returned 2 punts for TDs in the game two years ago – but he’s had a lot of problems running against that defensive line.
Do Vikings have Drew Brees’ number?
Against a strong pass rush, Brees hasn’t been as effective against this defense.
Last year, he went 17 of 31 for 197 yards, (albeit with 3 TDs). The 55 percent completion rate was his lowest all year.
In the 2008 game, he went 26 of 46 for 330 yards, with 1 TD and 2 interceptions. That was one of his worst games of that season (in terms of completion percentage and passer rating).
If Minnesota’s secondary was at full strength, I would be strongly tempted tempted to rank a couple of quarterbacks ahead of him this week.
Think about it: Devery Henderson
Henderson has scored in both of his last two games against Minnesota. He has scored in only 5 of 33 games against other teams the last two years. I’m not putting him up there with Marques Colston, but I’m ranking Henderson a little higher than usual this week.
Think about it, part 2: Bernard Berrian
Berrian looks just so-so, but he’s been very good against this team in the past. When Minnesota won at New Orleans in the Monday night game two years ago, he caught 6 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown (that was with Gus Frerotte at quarterback). Playing as a No. 3 receiver in the NFC Championship, Berrian played an unusually large role, catching 9 passes for 112 yards. When Berrian was with the Bears, he also scored in his final two games against this defense.
Super Bowl champs at home
Since the league started going with the tradition of having the Super Bowl champs open at home in Thursday night game, they’re undefeated in these games.
2004: Patriots 27, Colts 24
2005: Patriots 30, Raiders 20
2006: Steelers 28, Dolphins 17
2007: Colts 41, Saints 10
2008: Giants 16, Washington 7
2009: Steelers 13, Titans 10 (OT)
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Sep. 09 at 03:34 PM
Maybe we should pay more attention to these kind of trends. 4 of 5 held. Below-average game for Brees (237 yards, 1 TD). Bush ran for 14 yards. Henderson scored. And the Super Bowl champs won their 7th in a row. Berrian, however, had just 1 catch.
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