The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

New Orleans Saints By the Numbers

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At DallasCowboys.com, I broke down some interesting stats on the Saints.

Airing It Out on Second-Down

One of the biggest outlying stats I’ve uncovered all season is the Saints’ pass rate on second down. On a league-wide scale, NFL teams have passed the ball 58.0 percent of the time in 2012. The Saints have basically lapped the field on second-down passes, dropping Brees back to pass on 74.0 percent of their second-down plays. The Saints have passed the ball 228 times on second down and rushed it on just 80 occasions. The next closest team is Detroit with a 66.5 percent second-down pass rate.

 

Watch Out for Run-Fakes

The Saints are the perfect example of why play-action passes can work whether or not you run the ball often. New Orleans has rushed the ball less frequently than every team except the Jaguars, and that’s really just because Jacksonville hasn’t run as many total plays as the Saints. Despite their reliance on the passing game, the Saints have used play-action on 19.3 percent of their passes, about average for an NFL team.

And guess what? Since defenders typically react to play-action based on down-and-distance and personnel (not past running rate), the Saints thrive on play-action looks. Brees has totaled 9.3 YPA and a 102.2 passer rating on play-action passes this year.

Check out the whole article at the team site.

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