Kristian Quick Hits: No need for rah rah speeches this week
No we're not talking Super Bowl titles, or heavy weight titles, but the NFC South crown is on the line Sunday when the 9 and 3 Saints host the likewise 9 and 3 Carolina Panthers. "I think we all know what's at stake here. This is all for the division title," said quarterback Drew Brees. Not to mention the winner of the NFC south will likely end up with the #2 seed in the NFC playoff picture. The Saints have owned the primetime stage at home with Sean Payton on the sidelines. They have 14 straight victories at the Superdome on the big stage.
Stats that matter:
I'm not a huge fan of some statistics. I think they can be manipulated to tell one side of the story or the other, good or bad. Some stats can be misleading in the overall effectiveness of a team. With that said, keep an eye on the time of possession (TOP) in this game. The Saints are right behind the Carolina Panthers in TOP this season. The Panthers come in averaging over 33 minutes in time of possession, the Saints just over 32 minutes per game. Converting third downs will be another key to this. The Saints have struggled to string together some drives recently. New Orleans has scored 1 touchdown in their last 19 possessions.
Who has the longest rushing TD of the season for the Saints? How long was it? Pierre Thomas? Darren Sproles? Wrong! Drew Brees has it with a 7 yard keeper against Arizona in week 3. The Saints have seven games this season without a rushing TD. That is eye-popping. Please don't take this as an invitation to blame it on Mark Ingram. That's not all on him.