The New Orleans Saints are absolutely rolling right now after another beat down Sunday. After their second blowout win and stringing together nine straight, this team looks to be the best in the league.
With the dominance the Saints are showing has everyone thinking Super Bowl or bust this season. But it also is worth looking at how this team matches up with the 2009 team that brought New Orleans a Lombardi Trophy.
2009 Offense Vs 2018 Offense
the offense in 2009 was incredible ranking first in the NFL with 32 points per game and Drew Brees was having an even better year. The ground game was a three headed attack with Reggie Bush, Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas and Marques Colston was the leading receiver.
The 2009 Saints were actually very balanced and that is what made them so deadly because the could do both running and throwing the ball so well. The offensive line was also full of Pro Bowlers which has been a staple of a Sean Payton led team since 2006. But the real difference was the play of Drew Brees.
Brees had 4,355 yards and 34 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. Throw in two rushing touchdowns and completing 70.6% of his passes and you have a very impressive year. I won’t take away from that season but Brees has been blowing his numbers out of the water this year.
Drew Brees just shows how ageless he is this season by completing an absurd 77% of his passes. If that stat holds, it would shatter the old completion percentage for a season that Brees also holds. Not only is his completion percentage impressive, he is on pace for 40 passing touchdowns and 4,742 yards with only two interceptions.
That would well surpass his 2009 season in all four categories at almost 40 years old. So the 2018 Saints must be running the ball less then in 2009, right? The 2009 Saints had 21 rushing touchdowns, the 2018 Saints are already at 19. The 2018 Saints are scoring six more points a game and also hold the number one spot for points per game.
It doesn’t seem possible but Drew Brees is playing better at 40 then he was at 30. This Saints offense is insanely talented and have taken on some of the best defenses in the league.
The 2009 offense was a very solid and balance team. The 2018 saints offense is going scorched Earth and destroying everyone in their way. If Dez stayed healthy, this offense could have been unfair. I didn’t even touch on all of the weapons because they are everywhere and that includes the offensive line. It is starting to look like there isn’t a defense that can compete with them.
Advantage: 2018 Saints
2009 Defense Vs 2018 Defense
Just like comparing the offenses, both of these defenses are good but not equal. The 2009 defense is just head and shoulders better actually and it was one player that tipped the scale, Darren Sharper.
The guy is a terrible person, but his stats in 2009 are worth noting. He had nine interceptions and took three back for touchdowns. At this point in the season, the 2018 Saints have nine picks total. The 2009 Saints also had 19 fumble recoveries to go with their 26 interceptions. Throw in 35 sacks and five defensive touchdowns and you can understand why they won a Super Bowl.
2018 has a group that is starting to come on in the last few weeks and really grow into a solid unit. They need to continue to build confidence if they want a deep playoff run. I don’t want to disrespect the 2018 defense, but they just don’t compare. When you look at the sheer volume of turnovers from 2009 you can see what made that group so talented. The 2009 team averaged 2.8 turnovers a game to 2018’s 1.7.
That would give Drew Brees and company another possession to likely score and put games further out of reach. The bright spot that 2018 is better is sacks per game. 2018 is averaging 2.4 sacks a game while 2009 averaged 2.2.
2018 is a good defense and could grow into being great but haven’t quite hit that point yet. But there is still a lot of season left, but in the meantime
Advantage: 2009 Saints
Both teams are loaded with talent and 2018 has the same goal to get to greatness. From watching the last few weeks, it seems more then possible that Drew Brees has another Lombardi trophy in his future.
When comparing the two, it really is a toss up between them as they both are so impressive. I would give the nod to 2018 simply because of the way the defense has played the last few weeks. If they continue to shut people down and the offense lights the world on fire, nobody can stop this team. Having Drew Brees play at an MVP level and having a defense holding teams to under 21 points, that is hard to argue against.
Let us know what you think below, which team was better?
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.