Analytically Speaking, The Saints' Offense Is Unprecedentedly Efficient In Doing What They Damn Please
Typically, the intricacies of analytics aren't something I concern myself with. I totally understand their usefulness, but I studied more than enough graphs throughout my education to feel inclined to keep a separation between school and sports. That said, what we have above is only as much of a percentage-driven chart as it is the closest possible thing to a connect-the-dots style drawing of the lead lion looking authoritatively down over the rest of his kingdom. Of a multigenerational era in which offenses has been increasingly unstoppable, statistically speaking, that of the 2018 New Orleans Saints stands alone atop the mountainside like Mufasa.
You don't exactly need to be a mathematician to add up the outliers of those axises, and what they equal is a unit that's unparalleled in both holding onto the ball and doing with it what they will. The strongest of flames aren't supposed to produce the slowest of burns, and yet a sinister Sean Payton, a puppeteer of a passer in Drew Brees, an indomitable offensive line, and a top-heavy list of weapons that's increasing in length each and every week are somehow incinerating their opponents in way that's record-breakingly slow but sure. 'Bully ball' is probably an overused cliche, but there might not be a better way to describe the style of a group that, by my math, is more liable to both beat you up and beat you down than literally any of their contemporaries. They aren't just keeping the ball from their competition. They are doing so in a way that compares favorably to placing your outstretched arm on the forehead of a child while he or she hopelessly tries to hit you in the torso.
To be honest, as awestruck as I have been watching this Saints' offense, the visual above aided in that shock. I mean, how could one not be surprised that they are operating with a level of effectiveness and efficiency that has two teams that combined for over 100+ points a week and a half ago squinting up at them as they shine markedly brighter than what many considered the brightest? The answer is that they can't, because as someone who has watched this machine operate so damn smoothly for over a decade now, I can barely comprehend that the peak of their production could have still been so far above and beyond. 2009? 2011? You name it. They are all in that cluster somewhere, which means that they comparatively fall back to the pack when put up against the black & gold boatracing we've seen orchestrated this season. Increasingly forgiving rules have helped, but so have peerless seasons from just about every aspect of an offense that...::checks calculator::...will bludgeon you to death, one stone's throw at a time.