Monday, June 18, 2012

APR's top 25 regular season upsets: #9

# 9: 2011 Saints 20, Buccaneers 26 (ρ=1.3163)
Saints' season: finished 13-3, clinched the #3 seed of the NFC, and lost to the 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Buccaneers' season: finished 4-12. Head coach Raheem Morris was fired after the end of the season.
What happened: in both 2010 and 2011, the Buccaneers games followed a simple rule: when they held their opponent to 21 points, they won, and when they didn't, they mostly lost. The difference between their 10-win 2010 season and their 4-win 2011 season is the Buccaneers mostly didn't hold their opponents to 21 points in 2011.
The Saints turned the ball over 4 times, including three interceptions thrown by Drew Brees. Other than the playoff loss to the 49ers, it's the only game all season the Saints turned the ball over more than twice.
It says something about how weak the Buccaneers' offense was that even with 3 extra chances (*) at the ball, they were only able to score 26 points, and nearly lost anyway. (*) The final interception came at the very end of the game, where the Buccaneers could just kneel out the clock.
Also of note: I wrote about this game in the week 6 pick results and the top upsets of 2011.

Next week: the first upset featuring a team that went on to win the Super Bowl.