Tuesday, June 26, 2012

APR's top 25 regular season upsets: #8

Yeah, Buccaneers and Saints again. Remember when I said the Saints were the team to appear the most on this list? We've still got a few more to go.

# 8: 2009 Week 16: Buccaneers 20, Saints 17 (OT) (ρ=1.3187)
Buccaneers' season: finished 3-13. This was Raheem Morris' first season as head coach.
Saints' season: finished 13-3, clinched the #1 seed in the NFC, and won Super Bowl XLIV.
What happened: through the first 13 games of the 2009 season, the Saints cut a pretty impressive swath through their opponents, averaging a dominating 35.8 points scored per game. Something happened for those last three games, and the Saints offense fell off a cliff, scoring just 44 points total in those last three games.
The 2009 Buccaneers were a team with a mediocre defense and a really bad offense. Bad enough that the Saints came within a doinked field goal of winning the game in spite of their offensive struggles. But after scoring on their first three drives, the Saints offense dried up, and (thanks in part to a special teams touchdown), the Buccaneers were able to start moving the ball on the Saints defense right about that same time.
Also of note: one of the ironies of the bounty scandal associated with this era of the Saints is that they had a very unremarkable defense, at least in terms of points allowed to their opponents. 19 teams in the league allowed fewer points than the Saints during the 2009 regular season.

Next week: the oldest second oldest game on the list.