Come Sunday, the Saints are preparing to do something that’s hard: they’re going to try and beat Tom Brady’s Buccaneers for the third time this season.
When Tom Brady first signed on with Tampa Bay this past summer, all eyes were rightfully on the matchup between the two legendary quarterbacks. Drew Brees welcomed the first game of the season as the two faced off.
Not even the most seasoned Saints fan could have imagined the outcome of the teams’ two regular-season meetings, however. In week one, the team came out rolling on all cylinders, cruising to an easy 34-23 victory.
In their second victory, the Bless You Boys showed up without a shred of mercy, shellacking Tom’s Bucs on his Tampa Bay turf in lopsided fashion, 38-3.
No one’s expecting another blowout. But to win three times in a row, against a team as daunting as Tampa Bay?
History tells us that’s not such a bold proposition.
As WhoDatDish’s Terry Kimble points out, beating a team three times in one season wouldn’t be some astounding historical achievement.
In fact, it wouldn’t even be the first time the Saints have done so in recent memory. On top of Mr. Kimble’s contribution, here are some extra statistics that should kickstart the nervous heart of the Saints’ diehard.
Actually, the last team to achieve a three-game sweep was the Saints. The 2017 season saw them beating Cam Newton‘s Panthers three times (recall the antics of one Cam Jordan as a helpful refresher).
Mr. Kimble already pointed out that in the last 50 years, there have been a total of 21 playoff matchups where a team was seeking to achieve a three-game sweep of its opponent. In those games, as he states in his above article, the sweep-seeking team is 14-7.
Now for some fresh, further promising statistics: of those 21 matchups, the sweep-seeking team has played with a home advantage 17 times, with a record of 12-5.
Additionally, the last 25 years has seen an upward trend favoring sweep-seekers. Such teams have fared 9-3 in their third matchup.
Finally: of those aforementioned 14 successful teams, six of them went on to play in the Super Bowl.
While each game matters, it goes without saying that this is a new game with stakes higher than previous matchups.
While it would be wise for Cam Jordan to avoid sending any pregame gifts, and for our young core to keep cool heads, the Saints’ have more than enough reason to enter Sunday’s home-field matchup with a foundation of confidence.
Here’s to seeing if they can get the job done.