Predicting the performance of the 2018 Saints after a bye week

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2017 NFC South Champions

Minneapolis Miracle
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JANUARY 14: Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings makes a catch over Marcus Williams #43 of the New Orleans Saints during the second half of the NFC Divisional Playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 14, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Aside from the “Minneapolis Miracle”, it looked as if though the Saints were about to waltz straight to the Super Bowl after a few years of mediocrity. Despite a slow start to the 2017 season, this team looked as solid as any to make a deep push into the playoffs. The 2017 Saints averaged 28 points/game, 391.2 yards of total offense, 261.8 passing yards, 129.4 rushing yards, and held opponents to 336.5 yards of total offense.

The 2017 Saints were unable to produce as much offense as their previous Super Bowl contending forms, but their defense was notably more efficient at stopping opponents, which allowed this team to be dangerous, and more complete.

After a Week 5 bye in 2017, the Saints returned to action hosting the Detroit Lions. The 52 points the Saints scored in this game would be the highest total of the entire season. However, they only produced 379 yards of total offense, 186 of those yards were passing.

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Big plays from the defense, such as a Kenny Vaccaro fumble recovery for a touchdown, gave the Saints the ability to score on defense, allowing the offense to stay off the field. Only the points per game statistic, and rushing yards total were exceeded in this game. Due to big defensive plays, field goals, and a great ground game, the passing attack was not needed as much. This lack of passing is what drove the total offensive yardage down.