Why Do The Saints Stink On The Road?
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I will readily admit if the Saints team that beat the Panthers 2 weeks ago in New Orleans shows up Sunday, the Panthers are in trouble. The good news is that team never jumps on the team plane. That team stays home like Jim Celania on a weekend. The Saints team they send on the road is a different one entirely. The Saints are 7-0 at home and 3-4 on the road with losses to the Jets and Rams. At home, they win by an average score of 33-17. On the road, they lose by an average of 23-18. Why the difference? Here are some answers…….
1) Offense- The Saints score 33 points a game at home and 18 a game on the road. How bad is 18 points a game? It’s what the Houston Texans average and they have 2 wins and rank 29th in scoring offense.
2) Drew Brees- Brees goes from Hall of Famer to slightly above average when he leaves the dome this year. At home he is completing 73 percent for an average of 8.76 yards per attempt and has 23 tds and 3 INTs and a 122 rating. On the road, he is completing 63 percent for 6.94 yards per attempt with 11 TDs and 7 INTS and an 86 rating.
3) Pass Rush- The Saints have 26 of their 43 sacks at home. They average almost 4 sacks a game at home and just over 2 a game on the road. Clearly the crowd noise helps the pass rush in the Dome. They sacked the Panthers 5 times in New Orleans. I would expect that figure to be much lower Sunday.
4) Turnovers- They have forced only 5 turnovers on the road this year. At home, they have forced 12. On offense, they have committed 12 TOs on the road and just 5 at home.
5) Run Game- Sure it isn’t their strength, but it becomes more of a weakness on the road. They average 4.4 yards per carry at home and 3.6 on the road.
6) Playing worse lately- The scariest thing about the Saints is their play on the road is getting worse. They started with 2 wins over TB and Chicago. Since then they have lost 4 of the last 5 road games. And, in those last 5 roadies, they have been outscored 26-17.