TB Off NO Def NO Off TB Def NO NET ADV.
EXP 13 13 2 30 28
Scoring % 17 12 4 27 28
Turn over % 27 9 11 6 13
points /drive 18 12 3 32 35
passer rating 11 10 2 23 22
Sack % 16 6 2 32 40
rush yds/att 27 27 1 24 23
rush yds/gm 27 16 5 25 31
punt yds/ret 7 26 24 9 -34
kick yds/ret 15 31 18 27 -7
179

The above table shows the rankings (1-32) in 10 statistical categories for each team’s offense and defense.  The NO NET ADV. column gives the Saints statistical ranking advantage (or disadvantage if negative).  The 179 is the sum of all 10 advantages, meaning the Saints enjoy a 17.9 average ranking advantage.  Biggest advantage for the Saints is sack % where Saints offense is 2nd best and the defense is 6th best while the Bucs’ offense is 16th, but their defense is 32nd.  Thus, 32+16 = 48 – (2+6) = 40.  Biggest advantage for the Bucs is on special teams in the punt and kick return game, which is an area the Saints have struggled with all year.

nfl no vs tb graph1

In the chart above lines that extend to the right of 0 show advantage Saints, those to the left show advantage Bucs, the longer the line the bigger the advantage.

nfl no vs tb graph2

In the above graph the shorter the bar the better (lower, as in smaller number) the ranking.  All data comes from pfref.com.

The Saints *should* win this game, based on the above analysis.  Also, Bucs are 4-11 and have lost 5 in a row while the Saints are 11-4.  But caveat aleo, even though the Bucs have lost 5 in a row they’ve been in those games down to the final few minutes.  Last 3 losses have been by 3 points each.  In his last 4 games Jameis Winston has had 8 TD’s against just 2 INT’s.  He’s getting healthier and the Bucs might be playing their best ball of the year.  And, even though the Saints are 11-4, they’re only 3-3 on the road in true road games (not counting the neutral field London game).

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