Saturday, December 3, 2011

On Beating the Packers

I have grown weary listening to football experts discuss whether the Saints are built to beat the Packers in the playoffs.

The pontificators always answer "No" to this type of question, and argue that the Saints are a dome team dependent on an impressive and complex passing game for lots of points--a strategy that typically does not translate well for a visiting team challenging those "cheese-heads" on a frigid Wisconsin Sunday. 

They also list the Saints defense as questionable with their 18th NFL ranking in "Points Allowed Per Game."

So what is wrong with this explanation?

It fails to address that the Packers are not built like a team that wins in cold weather either

Every liability that New Orleans has, could be characterized as a weakness for Green Bay as well.

The Packers are a high-octane passing team with a superstar QB and fantastic receivers.

Both teams depend on throwing to their TEs to create match-up problems.

Neither team runs the ball exceptionally well--I think the Saints have the advantage here with the four good backs.

And what about defense? 

The Packers are only ranked 14th in the league in points allowed.

In "Total Yards Per Game," twenty-nine other team defenses are better than the Packers (the Saints are ranked 25th overall).

In sum, neither team has a great defense, running the ball is not a strength for either, and both would likely prefer to play in a comfy dome somewhere where they can score 70 points by passing. 

So, the next time you hear "the Saints are not built to defeat the Packers in the cold weather", I say flip the argument on them and have them explain how the Packers are constructed to win in January.

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