Some are calling this a match-up for the ages as a future (soon to be) Hall of Fame quarterback is facing off against a future (in due time) Hall of Fame quarterback. Similar in so many ways except for the real experience in the playoffs and especially in way of Super Bowls played in. Throwing styles that compare in some ways because the phrase “how’d he do that” is often heard when watching both of them play. They both have led their teams to the NFC Championship game that without them, might not have been possible are there are any real differences between Brett Favre and Drew Brees?
Well, one of them just turned 31 while the other turned 40 a couple months ago.
The Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints are prepared to do battle in the Louisiana Superdome on Sunday, January 24, 2010 for the NFC crown and a trip to Super Bowl XLIV. Both teams are coming off of huge victories in the Divisional Round as the Vikes crushed Dallas and the Saints destroyed the Cardinals. Two high-powered offenses and two well-rested and strong defenses are going to collide for ultimate supremacy in the NFC and hopes of a big ring come February.
Drew Brees and Brett Favre may have many similarities, but there are ten other starters on the field for their offenses and eleven starters on the field for each of their defenses. It’s time to compare and contrast how both teams stack up at each position. with their starters. What do the stats show? Who has the upper hand? Which team has the more productive linebacker or wide receiver? They may only be stats, but there is a lot to be learned from them so let’s check them out.
All numbers are for the 2009 season. Numbers are taken from those two or three that are most productive at their positions so all numbers may not equal out to other positions associated with them.
- Brett Favre Vs. Drew Brees
Brett Favre: 531 attempts, 363 completions, 4202 yards, 33 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 107.2 QB rating
Drew Brees: 514 attempts, 363 completions, 4388 yards, 34 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 109.6 QB rating
- Running Backs
- Adrian Peterson & Chester Taylor Vs. Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, & Reggie Bush
Vikings: 408 attempts, 1,721 yards, 4.2 yards per carry, 19 touchdowns, 8 fumbles, 5 lost
Saints: 389 attempts, 1,837 yards, 4.7 yards per carry, 16 touchdowns, 5 fumbles, 4 lost
- Wide Receivers
- Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, & Bernard Berrian Vs. Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, & Robert Meachem
Vikings: 198 receptions, 2,720 yards, 13.7 yards per catch, 18 touchdowns, 2 fumbles, 1 lost
Saints: 166 receptions, 2,600 yards, 15.7 yards per catch, 20 touchdowns, 4 fumbles, 3 lost
- Tight Ends
- Visanthe Shiancoe & Jimmy Kleinsasser Vs. Jeremy Shockey & David Thomas
Vikings: 66 receptions, 636 yards, 9.6 yards per catch, 11 touchdowns, 0 fumbles, 0 lost
Saints: 83 receptions, 925 yards, 11.1 yards per catch, 4 touchdowns, 0 fumbles, 0 lost
- Offensive Lines
- Bryant McKinnie, Steve Hutchinson, John Sullivan, Anthony Herrera, Phil Loadholt Vs. Jermon Bushrod, Carl Nicks, Jonathan Goodwin, Jahri Evans & Jonathan Stinchcomb
Vikings: 34 sacks allowed for a loss of 247 yards
Saints: 20 sacks allowed for a loss of 135 yards
- Defensive Lines
- Ray Edwards, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, & Jared Allen Vs. Bobby McCray, Sedrick Ellis, Remi Ayodele, & Will Smith
Vikings: 162 tackles, 31 sacks, 9 forced fumbles
Saints: 125 tackles, 18 sacks, 3 forced fumbles
There are a number of players on both teams that brought about big stats in reserve roles or are now injured, but these numbers are for the four prospective starters.
- Ben Leber, Jasper Brinkley, & Chad Greenway Vs. Scott Shanle, Jonathan Vilma, & Scott Fujita
Vikings: 176 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions
Saints: 237 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 5 interceptions
- Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin, Karl Paymah, & Benny Sapp Vs. Jabari Greer, Tracy Porter, Malcolm Jenkins, & Randall Gay
Vikings: 203 tackles, 1 sack, 7 forced fumbles, 5 interceptions, 19 passes defended
Saints: 193 tackles, 1 sack, 4 forced fumbles, 8 interceptions, 34 passes defended
- Tyrell Johnson & Madieu Williams Vs. Darren Sharper & Roman Harper
Vikings: 130 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 forced fumbles, 1 interception, 11 passes defended
Saints: 173 tackles, sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 9 interceptions, 15 passes defended
- Ryan Longwell Vs. Garrett Hartley
Ryan Longwell: 26/28 field goals with a long of 52 yards, 54/55 extra points, 132 points
Garrett Hartley: 9/11 field goals with a long of 38 yards, 10/11 extra points, 37 points
- Chris Kluwe Vs. Thomas Morstead
Chris Kluwe: 74 punts for a 43.9 yard average, 9 touchbacks, 20 downed inside the 20
Thomas Morstead: 58 punts for 43.6 yard average, 4 touchbacks, 18 downed inside the 20
- Punt Returners
- Jaymar Johnson Vs. Reggie Bush
Jaymar Johnson: 16 returns for 134 yards, 0 touchdowns
Reggie Bush: 27 returns for 130 yards, 0 touchdowns
- Kick Returners
- Percy Harvin Vs. Courtney Roby
Percy Harvin: 42 returns for 1,156 yards, 2 touchdowns
Courtney Roby: 42 returns for 1,154 yards, 1 touchdown
Wow. So many similarities and then also some big differences in certain areas as well. It appears as if both teams have their strengths and weaknesses but they’ll have to make sure everything is running in high gear come Sunday evening. Stats can be quite deceiving though because some players have only recently filled in for injured players or not even been at their full potential until now.
Look at the Vikes’ Pat Williams for instance. The guy is listed as third on the depth chart yet he is one of the leading tacklers on that defensive front. Then take a look at Reggie Bush’s punt return stats. On Saturday against the Cardinals, Bush had a touchdown punt return of 83 yards. That is more then half the yardage he had on returns all season.
Stats are really fun to look at and great to compare, but it’s going to come down to execution and bringing the intensity. I sincerely hope that with enthusiasm, intensity, and talent…the Saints “Bring The Wood.”
Sometime tomorrow, my last article will be up dealing with the Saints Vs. Vikings. I’m going to be giving my final thoughts on how it will all go down. Be sure to check out my other pieces leading up to Saints/Vikes as well:
- Dissecting the Saints’ ‘Five Things’
- Vikings/Saints Preview Q&A
- Dissecting the Cardinals’ ‘Five Things’
- Championship Round Set; Predictions
- Saints Vs. Playoff Teams: A History
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