Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

05 Dec 2013

ESPN Upset Watch: Panthers over Saints

Shocking as it may sound, it is in fact possible for New Orleans to lose a game at home. But the Panthers will need to switch up their offensive philosophy and go counter-intuitive: pass on first down, run on second and third. Cover Watch looks at St. Louis and Arizona.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 05 Dec 2013

7 comments, Last at 23 Jan 2014, 6:51am by Cheap Kids Hats

Comments

1
by Ryan D. :: Thu, 12/05/2013 - 3:30pm

I'm a Panthers fan, but I just can't imagine them winning this game in the SuperDome. I would love to be wrong. This feels like a 28-17 kind of game to me. The Saints are going to be out to prove something following the ass-kicking they just received in Seattle.

4
by Ryan D. :: Mon, 12/09/2013 - 9:48am

Yeah, that sucked.

2
by NateTG (not verified) :: Fri, 12/06/2013 - 3:26pm

Though much is made of it, New Orleans doesn't really seem to have an unusually big home field advantage in the historical data. New Orleans is alos a bit weaker than their record suggests since they're 4-2 in close games.

With close wins against San Francisco, Miami, and New England, Carolina might not be the sleeper team they were four weeks ago, but they may still have people underestimating them.

Quite frankly, I think the game is a toss-up, and I wouldn't see a Carolina win as much of an upset.

3
by Insancipitory :: Fri, 12/06/2013 - 4:05pm

FWIW Advanced NFL Stats puts a Panthers win at around 29% if I'm not mistaken. Going off record, we'd expect a pick'em so 57% for the Saints. Using an estimated wins thing sorta based off of Football Perspective, I might also expect a closer game around 53% for New Orleans. But I get the impression the 'at large' perception is more inline with Advanced NFL Stats.

I also don't think the Panthers are going to get it done like the Seahawks did it. The Seahawks got their pressure, and I would expect Carolina to do better, but that didn't really stop Brees from getting off accurate passes that challenged the Seahawks deep. Those huge plays were largely, and just barely, broken up on the backend. In many ways I think Brees presents a particularly challenging matchup for what I might call "pressure" defenses. Even as I expect the teams to be closer than the narrative suggests, I don't think the matchup is to the Panthers' particular advantage.

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