Saints, Falcons Monday night game all about home-field in playoffs

Saints, Falcons Monday night game all about home-field in playoffs

Credit: AP

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) works during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

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wwltv.com

Posted on December 22, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 22 at 5:37 PM

EOSB

In the Numbers: Securing a home game

How big is Monday night’s game against Atlanta?

It could be the difference between a home game to start the playoffs or a road game.

Which brings us to this query: Just how big was the loss to the Rams?

Well, instead of hoping for a San Francisco loss at Seattle, the Saints would be in position of owning the No. 2 seed with two more wins.

The Saints are 6-0 at home and winning by an average of 21.5 points per game. Even with the 55-point win over Indianapolis included, the Saints are winning by 14.8 points at home.

Meanwhile, the Saints are 5-3 on the road, average point differential coming in at plus-2.75. The Saints’ three losses have come by an average of eight points while the five wins are by 9.2 points.

In other words, playing in the Superdome, as we all know, is a huge advantage.

It’s All History

New Orleans is 9-2 against Atlanta since Sean Payton took over as coach in 2006.

The last loss came on Sept. 26, 2010 when the Falcons won by 3 in overtime in New Orleans.

The Saints have since won two straight, including an overtime 3-point win in Atlanta on Nov. 13.

Leading the pack:

Team leaders for the Saints heading into Atlanta –
Rushing (Total) – Darren Sproles: 76 carries, 496 yards, 2 TD
Rushing (YPC) – Darren Sproles: 6.5 yards per carry on 76 runs
Receiving (Total) – Jimmy Graham: 87 catches for 1,171 yards, 9 TDs
Receiving (Catches) –Jimmy Graham: 87 catches for 1,171 yards, 9 TDs
Scoring (non-kicker): Jimmy Graham (9 receiving TD)

Comparing the Teams (stats/rank)

Offense Yards/Game: Saints (456.7/1); Falcons (366.4/13)
Sacks allowed: Saints (23/4); Falcons (26/9)
3rd Down %: Saints (54.8%/1); Falcons (43.4/7)
Red Zone %: Saints (57.1%/8); Falcons (54.9%/11)
Defense Yards/Game: Saints (366.1/24t); Falcons (327.2/9)
Sacks recorded: Saints (31/18); Falcons (30/19)
3rd Down %: Saints (32.8%/6); Falcons (41.4%/25)
Red Zone %: Saints (64.7%/31); Falcons (42.1%/7)

2011 3's Company (third-down analysis offense)
   
186 plays overall of which 38 were runs and 148 were passes. They have averaged 6.61 yards per run and 8.34 yards per pass play.
• Third-and-short (1-2 yards) - 25 runs, 20 first downs; 17 passes, 10 first downs
• Third-and-(3-5) - 10 run, 4 first down; 47 passes, 28 first downs
• Third-and-(6-10) - 3 runs, 1 first downs; 53 passes, 26 first downs
• Third-and-(11-15) - 0 run, 0 first downs; 19 passes, 13 first downs
• Third-and-(16-plus) - 0 runs, 0 first downs; 12 passes, 0 first downs

2011 3's Company (third-down analysis defense)
   
181 plays overall of which 24 were runs and 157 were passes. They have averaged 6.83 yards per run and 5.73 yards per pass play.
• Third-and-short (1-2 yards) - 10 runs, 8 first downs; 18 passes, 7 first downs
• Third-and-(3-5) - 8 run, 3 first down; 31 passes, 11 first downs
• Third-and-(6-10) - 1 runs, 1 first downs; 67 passes, 23 first downs
• Third-and-(11-15) - 0 run, 0 first downs; 24 passes, 5 first downs
• Third-and-(16-plus) - 5 runs, 0 first downs; 17 passes, 2 first downs

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