In the Numbers: Seek Up
Sometimes rebounding is the easiest thing to do.
For New Orleans (4-2), Sunday presents an opportunity they couldn’t have scripted before the season. After a tough, fairly-lackadaisical loss to Tampa Bay a week ago, the Saints will get the chance to rebound against a winless Colts (0-6) team.
Indianapolis, meanwhile, is just trying to get something going as future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning remains sidelined after offseason neck surgery.
The Colts are losing by an average of 9.8 points per game, but two have been by four or fewer points.
The Saints are seeking a rise up from last week’s loss while the Colts are just seeking upward movement from the grave.
It’s All History
New Orleans and Indianapolis haven’t played all that many times – 10 during the regular season and one postseason meeting.
During the regular season, the series is tied 5-5, with the Colts winning the most recent meeting 41-10 in 2007.
But the Saints own the biggest victory – a 31-17 win over Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV.
New Orleans has won six of the past eight meetings.
Breesing by the competition
Yes, Saints quarterback Drew Brees had a rough game against the Buccaneers, tossing three interceptions, including one that ended New Orleans’ chance at winning late in the fourth quarter.
But the man has still been better than the rest.
He’s one of four quarterbacks to throw for at least 25 touchdowns in five consecutive seasons and he already has 13 this season. He’s tied for fourth on the all-time list for seasons with 25-plus touchdown passes, trailing only Peyton Manning (13), Brett Favre (11) and Dan Marino (7).
He’s third on the all-time list for longest streak of games with a touchdown pass, hitting 33 a week ago against Tampa Bay. Favre’s 36 and Johnny Unitas’ 47 are the only streaks better.
Brees is one season behind Marino for third in NFL history for seasons with 30 or more touchdown passes. He’s on pace for 33 right now.
And he’ll likely tie Peyton Manning for the NFL record for five or more straight 4,000 yard-plus seasons. He has five straight from 2006-10 and with 2,152 through six games, is on pace to pass 4,000 yards this season.
Leading the pack:
Team leaders for the Saints heading into Jacksonville –
Rushing (Total) – Mark Ingram: 71 carries, 238 yards, 3 TD
Rushing (YPC) – Darren Sproles: 7.4 yards per carry on 27 runs
Receiving (Total) – Jimmy Graham: 39 catches for 620 yards, 3 TDs
Receiving (Catches) – Jimmy Graham: 39 catches for 620 yards, 3 TDs; Darren Sproles: 39 catches for 310 yards, 1 TD
Scoring (non-kicker): Jimmy Graham: 18 points (3 TD); Robert Meachem 18 points (3 TD); Darren Sproles 18 points (3 TD); Mark Ingram 18 points (3 TD)
A little about the Colts:
Indianapolis has thrown only two interceptions, tied for best in the NFL with three other teams. And with 200 pass attempts, the Colts throw an interception only once every 200 passes.
WR Pierre Garcon has recorded there of his longest career receptions this season, two coming in the Colts near-win at Tampa Bay. He had an 87-yard touchdown versus the Bucs, a 67-yard touchdown against the Chiefs and a 59-yard touchdown against Tampa Bay. Only his 66-yard catch against Baltimore came prior to the 2011 season.
WR Reggie Wayne has caught a pass in 88 straight regular season games.
Comparing the Teams (stats/rank)
Offense Yards/Game: Saints (452.2/2); Colts (287.7/31)
Sacks allowed: Saints (11); Colts 11)
3rd Down %: Saints (56.3%/1); Colts (35.5%/19t)
Red Zone %: Saints (42.9%/28); Colts (50.0%/13t)
Defense Yards/Game: Saints (365.5/17); Colts (392.5/27)
Sacks recorded: Saints (14); Colts (9)
3rd Down %: Saints (39.2%/16); Colts (48.3%/31)
Red Zone %: Saints (66.7/30); Colts (54.5%/23t)
2011 3's Company (third-down analysis)
87 plays overall of which 18 were runs and 69 were passes. They have averaged 7.39 yards per run and 8.93 yards per pass play.
• Third-and-short (1-2 yards) - 13 runs, 10 first downs; 7 passes, 4 first downs
• Third-and-(3-5) - 3 run, 2 first down; 20 passes, 10 first downs
• Third-and-(6-10) - 2 runs, 1 first downs; 28 passes, 15 first downs
• Third-and-(11-15) - 0 run, 0 first downs; 9 passes, 7 first downs
• Third-and-(16-plus) - 0 runs, 0 first downs; 5 passes, 0 first downs