Originally written January 13, 2013 on The Football Fan Spot:
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How valuable is Head Coach Sean Payton? Well, if you look just at records, you could say he’s worth 6 wins, as the Saints went from 13-3 in 2011 to 7-9 in 2012. However, Payton’s absence wasn’t the only reason for the decline. Drew Brees’ numbers were still great without Payton, not as good as they were in 2011, but it’s unrealistic to expect him to produce like that every year. He still completed 63.0% of his passes for an average of 7.7 YPA, 43 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions. Everyone remembers his 5 interception loss to the Falcons, but everyone is entitled to one bad game, especially on a short week against an opportunistic defense. This was still the NFL’s 3rd ranking scoring offense, scoring 28.8 points per game, only behind the Patriots and Broncos. The issue was more the coaching on the other side of the field and you can’t really blame Payton’s absence for that. The reason the Saints went 7-9 despite their great offense was that their defense allowed almost exactly the sa...
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