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The Pursuit of Perfection, Part 2

11.27.09 at 9:25 pm ET
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Earlier this week, we talked about the Colts as they work towards a perfect regular season. The New Orleans Saints is the other undefeated team in the league, and they face off against the Patriots on Monday. You’re probably asking “Who Dat?” So, it only seems fair to do a comparison between the 2009 Saints and the 2007 Patriots, so let’s have at it.

The Streak

Obviously, the Saints are undefeated through 10 games, just like the Patriots were in 2007. The Saints have 369 points for, with 204 points against. Despite having more points for, they are in second place in the league because the Colts have less points scored against them (157). (As we previously mentioned, the Pats had 411 points for with 157 points against after Week 10.) While not the same as the Pats in 2007, the Saints are clearly on pace to shatter all the scoring records set by that year by New England. Hear them talk about it, the Saints hit many of the same notes as the Pats did that year. But before we write the Saints off as some upstart super-offense let’s not forget that in ’91 they went 7-0 to start the season. Maybe the players on this team haven’t been there, but the franchise has a winning history.

Games Played

This is where the Saints come up short as it pertains to perfection. The last few weeks have provided real tests for the vaunted offense. At the end of October, they played Miami and came back from a 21-point deficit to win, so kudos. They outlasted the Falcons a week later despite coughing the ball up four times. Well played. However, they only beat the St. Louis Rams by five two weeks later. The Rams are not good. (Sure, the Saints beat up Tampa Bay, but everyone beats up Tampa Bay.) What is interesting is that four out of their last five games have been closer than expected. We see that, the Saints offense can put up points, but how well can their defense hold up? That leads us to the next segment.

Players

We can go down the line for either team on this one. In 2007 the Pats lined up Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Laurence Maroney and Ben Watson to name a few. That year, they led the league with 411.2 yards per game. The 2009 Saints have Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas and Jeremy Shockey. It’s no wonder they lead the league in average yards per game (420.5). But the focus has to be on the defense. With guys like Tracy Porter out of practice or Jabari Greer and Randall Gay, there will be pressure on the defense to stop Brady who, this year, have the second most yards per game at 416.1.

Like the Patriots of 2007, the Saints are dealing with key injuries that could hamper them down the stretch. At quick glance, the rest of their schedule, after the Patriots, may seem light, but Atlanta did play them close and there is no reason to suspect they won’t do it again.

On Monday, the Patriots get a second chance to play spoilers. They may have struck out the first time around, but hope springs eternal.

Still, I know you wonder!

Read More: Ben Watson, Drew Brees, Jabari Greer, Jeremy Shockey