Last week belonged to that one word. Scandals left and right rocked the two most popular sports in America.
For everyone who thought the Ray Rice furor had ended, JUST KIDDING! The league might have gone full Richard Nixon to sweep issues under the rug. For those who thought racist issues in the NBA were over after Donald Sterling, NOPE! The Atlanta Hawks will see that and raise you one by stereotyping and talking about African heritage as though it were some delinquent character trait. And this is without even mentioning that Adrian Peterson, NFL MVP and one of its most marketable superstars, was involved in a child abuse case brought about this weekend.
Watching the Giants game last night, one thing was clear. This was not the type of football that defined the Giants. There was no power in the trenches, especially on offense. Nothing pronounced that more clearly than when they called fade routes on 3 out of 4 plays at the goal line rather than trust their running backs.
One thing most followers of football take at its face is that you need to be strong up front in the NFL to be successful. And given high profile offensive line failures like the Falcons last year, coupled with high profile offensive line successes like the Giants during their Super Bowl years, who could blame them?
It’s hard to definitively predict anything year to year in the NFL. This is one league where parity reigns above all. With that said, the beauty of numbers is that they can still allow you to get a general sense of the landscape.
The New Orleans Saints, my hometown team, are walking into this season with their heads held high. And for good reason- they’ve had an aggressive offseason and bolstered both sides of the ball. Walter Football puts them at one of six teams that could realistically win the Super Bowl. As such, I wanted to explore some key statistics to try and understand where they stand, less than a week from opening day.