Cats In The Cradle
Saints 21.63 – 371 yards: 266 passing, 105 rushing
Actual 7 – 191 yards: 147 passing, 44 rushing
Seahawks 21.55 – 353 yards: 223 passing, 130 rushing
Actual 34 – 437 yards: 310 passing, 127 rushing
Well, if you add them together I was close…
The Saints trail the series 17-19, 10-8 at home including a 2005 loss in Tiger Stadium. Since 2006 Sean Payton is 6-8 against the Panthers.
Despite their oft-praised defense, Carolina is average against the pass. In fact this year opponents have out-aired Cam Newton an average of 16 yards per game. Of course, Cam Newton tends to rabbit when things get hairy which explains the Panthers’ out-rushing opponents by an average of 49 yards per game. In fact, Carolina has only allowed 963 yards on the ground through 12 games; an average of 80.2 yards per game! So the smart prognosticator, the numbers man, would tell you to expect the Saints anemic ground game to bleed out and die in this one.
Well, screw the smart numbers man. Despite the following numbers cranked out by The Machine I’m predicting a full-scale Seattling of the Panthers in our house! Ingram and Thomas will both have hundred-yard games, Brees will destroy the air with 400 yards passing and a rushing TD of his own, Sproles will break the drought and dazzle a punt from end-zone to end-zone for a score and Junior Galette will become the 15th Saint in history to notch a safety on his belt with a Cam Newton sack in a 42-10 evisceration! Why the hell not! It’s Christmas, right? Anything can happen!!
OK, now that’s out of my system, here’s the smart numbers from The Machine itself:
Saints 18 – 362 yards: 275 passing, 87 rushing
Panthers 17 – 343 yards: 222 passing, 121 rushing
Department of Trivia:
This is the Saints seventh stop at 9-3, the second time we got here by losing a game. Today we take our fifth shot at 10-3. The 2013 Saints can now only hope to tie the 2009 and 2011 squads for best season at 13-3.
The Statistical Frippery:
Garrett Hartley extended his franchise record for PATs without a miss to 139.
Darren Sproles (176-35th) passed Jimmy Rogers on the franchise rushing attempt list.
Jimmy Graham (222-12th) is now tied with Pierre Thomas and Danny Abramowicz on the franchise scoring list. Graham (37-7th) is also tied with Thomas and Abramowicz on the franchise TD list. Graham (286-7th) passed Tony Galbreath (284) on the franchise reception list.
Marques Colston (7990-1st) is just 10 yards away from his 8000th career receiving yard!
Pierre Thomas (2154-19th) passed Reggie Bush (2142) on the franchise receiving yards list.
Mark Ingram (1351-18th) is now tied with Ray Zellars on the franchise rushing yards list and needs just eight yards to pass Hokie Gaijan (1358).
Drew Brees (353-4th) is once again tied with Tom Brady on the NFL career TD list. Brees’ 49,713 yards passing puts him just 287 yards away from his 50,000th career yard! (That will be his 37,653rd yard as a Saint!) Only Warren Moon (51,475), Dan Marino (61,361), Peyton Manning (63,612) and Brett Favre (71,838) have hit this mark. Manning hit it in his 12th season, Brees his 13th, Marino 14th, Favre 15th and Elway 16th.