Saturday, January 30, 2010

Any 17-15 win must be impressive if it includes #18

I've been reading tons of fan comments regarding the Super Bowl on NFL.com, where a number of trends are evident:

1) Colts fans bragging about how classy their team is, all the while accusing the Saints of playing dirty and living in a dirty city full of whiny welfare recipients.

2) Fans of every other team accusing the Saints of playing dirty and living in a dirty city full of whiny welfare recipients.

3) A handful of Saints fans praising and defending their team, many of whom are shockingly able to do so without tearing down another team.

4) A lot of heckling about New Orleans' talk of "destiny," followed by forecasts of Peyton Manning winning it all because, hey, it's just supposed to happen.

5) Tortured analyses of how the Colts will run all over the Saints in Miami (as long as the refs don't let the Saints win per NFL policy, which is clear to anyone who hasn't seen a Saints game all year).

6) Peyton Manning is the best quarterback in the history of the world. He could win it all by himself, and other variations thereof that inadvertently insult the rest of the Colts.

7) The occasional spelled word and not-missing punctuation.

However, there's something that neither side has brought up much, if at all, but it's something I've been noticing all season. In football, it's said the only stat that counts in the end is the score on the board. So I took the Saints score from each game and paired it with the Colts score from the same week. They had back-to-back bye weeks, so I paired those scores together. I know it's arbitrary, but so is every other tape-tale that hasn't been fleshed out on the field. Here are my findings:

Regular season
Saints - Colts - Result for NO
45 14 W
48 27 W
27 31 L
24 34 L
48 31 W (byes)
46 42 W
35 18 W
30 20 W
28 35 L
38 17 W
38 35 W
33 27 W
26 28 L
17 35 L
17 15 W (both lost)
10 7 W (both lost)

Playoffs
Saints - Colts - Result for NO
45 20 W
31 30 W

Total points
Saints - Colts
586 466

This table shows that the Saints outscored the Colts in 13 of 18 games (going 11-4 when both teams won and 2-0 when both lost). It doesn't even take into account margin of victory, strength of schedule or any number of other variables that might actually tip it more in the Saints' favor.

I'm not trying to reach any conclusion other than, how the hell can anyone say the Saints can't win Super Bowl XLIV? It seems to me that they have every bit a chance - and more - as their storied opponent. Bring it!

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