Ever since Sean Payton came on board to coach the Saints, the team has put up points with ease and gained yards by the bunches. We’ve been so spoiled by the offense, that while you never want to take production for granted, we’ve almost come to assume the Saints are going to hard to stop. Here’s the numbers we’ve seen for each season under Sean Payton:
2009: 403.8 Yards Per Game (1st in NFL), 510 Points Scored (1st in NFL)
2008: 410.7 Yards Per Game (1st), 463 Points Scored (1st)
2007: 361.2 Yards per game (4th), 379 Points Scored (Tied for 12th)
2006: 391.5 Yards per game (1st), 413 Points Scored (5th)
What you see above is that the Saints were a premiere offense in years 1 and 2, and they’ve been almost historic in years 3 and 4. I think Saints fans sometimes fail to realize just how dominant the Saints’ offensive outputs have been, consistently, for the last 4 seasons. The fact that Sean Payton’s troops have lead the entire league in 3 out of 4 seasons in yards per game offensively is beyond remarkable. I don’t know how to compare it to other historically dominant offenses, but I have to imagine that that kind of output day in and day out has to put them in the discussion with some of the best offenses of all time. The numbers don’t lie, the Saints have created an offensive dynasty. Now sure, in two of those seasons the defenses were so bad that the Saints failed to make the playoffs alltogether. In the other two seasons, though, the Saints made the NFC Championship and won the Super Bowl. The bottom line is the offense has been so consistently amazing that the defense only needs to be average, give or take. If it’s abysmal, the Saints are likely a ballclub hovering around .500. If it’s anywhere from mediocre to decent, the Saints are a contender for the title.
While there’s no given that this won’t change eventually, or even this year, based on the team’s roster makeup and past success you have to assume the same will be true this year. The Saints’ offense is enjoying the peak performance of a historical quality unit. The only question is whether their defense (and special teams) are passable enough to not hold them back.