The Instigator
CDSaints427
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
Demosthenes
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

The New Orleans Saints beat the Redskins recently with heart and skill, not luck

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
Demosthenes
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2009 Category: Sports
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,016 times Debate No: 10418
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (3)
Votes (7)

 

CDSaints427

Pro

This will be my first debate, so I would like to open by inviting whoever takes up the Con position to politely correct my protocol if necessary.

First, I submit the following limiting parameter for the debate:

The referees called the game in a completely impartial manner. No calls were made which were blatantly incorrect, therefore the outcome of any particular reviewed play is not admissible as evidence to attempt to disprove my position. Furthermore, it is assumed that any penalties committed were called. Thus, we will avoid the pitfall of debating "what ifs", which is immaterial. It is undeniable fact that the New Orleans Saints won. I am taking the position that they won by outplaying the Redskins and not through blind luck.

To support my position I submit the following key statistics from the game, available from nfl.com ( http://www.nfl.com... ) :

The Saints out-gained the redskins by 8 yards (463-455)

The Saints Had possession of the ball for longer (35:06 - 31:23)

The Saints were +2 in takeaways in this game: Saints lost 1 fumble and 1 int while taking 1 int and 3 fumbles from the Redskins.

The Saints managed to win the game despite having 102 yards in penalties called as opposed to the Redskins' 15.

In anticipation that my opponent will bring up the missed field goal by the Redskins as evidence that the Saints were allowed to "stay in the game" due to circumstances beyond their control, I will address this situation as follows:

I will argue that a professional kicker should be able to make such an easy field goal most of the time, BUT could be expected to miss if he feels overly hurried by the opposing teams defense. If the Saints special teams unit had not been doing their job so well, it is highly likely that the Redskins' kicker would have made the shot easily. Furthermore, there is no evidence that if the field goal had been made the games outcome would have been determined either way. On the possession following the field goal the saints scored very quickly. They also had the last possession in regulation time with 28 seconds on the clock. While this isn't a lot of time to score, it is certainly possible, especially for the NFL's top rated offense. The Saints had touchdowns on 3 plays of over 30 yards, thus it had been proven that the Saints' receivers were capable of outplaying the Redskins' secondary if necessary.

Finally I will point out that the Saints lost the coin toss going into overtime, which put them at a sever disadvantage due to the "sudden death" nature of NFL overtime rules. The Saints' defense stepped up and forced a fumble from the Redskins' offense, which set up the game winning field goal.

The particular sequence of events during this game made for an exciting and close game, which many people feel the Redskins could have or even SHOULD have won. At the end of the day, the game was extremely close but it was the Saints who made the big plays when necessary and walked away with the "W".
Demosthenes

Con

First off, I just want to say that I am NOT a Redskins fan and have no ties to either division, so any attempt to show me as "biased" towards either team should be read as desperation or out and out lies.

Also, good luck to my opponent and best of luck to the Saints in their quest for an undefeated regular season.

On the question of the referees, I wholeheartedly agree. The refs did a fine job of officiating and did not make any calls that significantly changed the outcome of the game. But I am taking the position that the Redskins DID, in fact, outplay the Saints and that they should have won the contest, it was simply a few bad breaks that went against them that sealed their fate.

Now, my opponent has brought up the total yardage stats. I think that is a skewed statistic, as the Saints also benefited from, as mentioned earlier, the superior end of the turnover margin. However, they also punted 3 times, twice more than the Redskins, which did give them two more drives in which to accumulate what I will from now on refer to as "garbage yards": yards that resulted in nothing more than statistical gain for the players. The reason I believe this is that in Week 2, the Oakland Raiders were out-gained by the Kansas City Chiefs more than 2 to 1, with a total gain of under 200 yards while the Chiefs broke the 400 yard margin.

Now, to the time of possession statistic. It is a long-standing belief that TOP (time of possession) is usually one of the factors that determine who wins, as it can often show how long a defense was on the field and also it can show that one team held the scoring chances of the other to a smaller amount than their own because their offense (the principal scoring side of the ball) was on the field for less time. However, such a belief is flawed, as a big play can accomplish a very large amount of forward progress in a very short time, as did occur in this game several times. First, two of Washington's receivers had gains of over 40 yards. Secondly, NONE of Washington's drives that resulted in scoring lasted longer than 5 minutes. THIRDLY, they scored touchdowns on 2 drives that lasted 4 minutes OR LESS. This is an indicator both of poor defensive play on the part of the Saints AND the ability of Washington to move the ball quickly and easily down the field thanks to effective play calling and execution. Time of possession was in truth NOT a factor in this game.

My opponent mentioned the turnover margin, ANOTHER statistic that is believed to have a large impact on the outcome of professional football games, and in this case it was one turnover in particular, Mike Sellers' fumble in overtime, that cost the Redskins the game. Here's the problem with applying that rule in this game - The Redskins were in a position to win the game DESPITE being on the wrong end of the turnover margin. It was only a bad break, a missed field goal near the end of regulation, that led to said fumble which led to the winning field goal by New Orleans. We can clearly see that turnovers were in fact NOT the determining factor in this game.

Also my opponent mentions penalties and how the yardage and total amount of penalties favored the Redskins, which is true. But in the same argument, he claims that the calling was unbiased and fair. Winning despite committing penalties means almost nothing, especially considering that the Saints gave up over 400 yards and 30 points while scoring 33 themselves and attaining over 400 total yards. Penalties were not a factor in this game. That's the simple truth.

Next, he mentions the kicker and how he should have made that 23 yard field goal that for all intensive purposes would've iced the game and made it virtually impossible for the Saints to mount a successful comeback. This is true. But the reality is that kicking is NOT a 100% art, and that more often than not a kicker has very little to do with where the ball ends up. A bad hold by the holder, a poor snap by the long snapper, wind speed and direction, dozens of variables can affect a kick. However, it should be noted that Shaun Suisham, the man who missed the kick, has a career average of 80% made, and is ESPECIALLY accurate at the distance in question, the 20-29 yard range, where he has made 29 of 30 field goals in his professional career. Guess what his only miss is? That's right ladies and gentlemen, his ONLY miss came last weekend from 23 yards out to seal the Saints' fate. Did he crack under pressure? I doubt it. He's an accurate kicker with a strong leg and a good eye. Also, the Saints at no point touched the ball, so we can CLEARLY see that Suisham was neither hurried nor was he in any danger of having the kick blocked. We cannot know why the kick was missed. Suisham's career average shows he is quite literally automatic at that range, so really we can't say with certainty that his miss was not simply a bad break for the Redskins. The Saints didn't block the kick, they didn't influence it at all. Bad luck was the probable cause for Suisham's miss.

Lastly my opponent mentioned the overtime period, which I believe only strengthens my argument that it was a bad break that caused the Redskins to be defeated. If everyone here were to watch that hit from McAlister a dozen times, you can CLEARLY tell he wasn't attempting to cause a turnover. He was simple applying the correct tackle with which to bring down someone bigger and stronger than he was, going low. The fact that the receiver fumbled is blind luck. Players take dozens of those hits every week, and 99 times out of a hundred they won't cough it up. The plain truth is that the Saints got (forgive the pun) ungodly lucky and came away with the turnover. This led to an 8 play 36 yard drive followed by the winning field goal, which if the Saints had missed we would be saying "How unfortunate, they were given a chance to win the game and it just didn't come out the way they wanted."

That's what happened to the Redskins this weekend, God, luck, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, maybe even The Great Pumpkin itself intervened on the Saints' behalf and they dodged the upset. However, it should be noted that the Redskins DID outplay the Saints for the entirety of that game, and that it was only a few significant breaks that went the Saints' way that led to their victory.
Debate Round No. 1
CDSaints427

Pro

I would like to begin my second round by first extending a thanks to my opponent for taking up the Con position of this debate. As previously mentioned, this is my first debate on this website and I am enjoying it immensely. Thank you.

The statistics I asserted were not intended to display how the Saints were able to win the game by dominating in any one area, but rather to display that the Saints won because they came out ahead (albeit slightly) in essentially all of the vital statistics usually considered the cornerstones of victory on a football field.

My opponent has dismissed the Saints total accumulated yardage as "garbage yards", implying that the Redskins took the strategic position to allow the Saints to drive down the field in order to run time down. I completely disagree with that assertion. The game was extremely close at all times, thus both teams played defense with the intention of minimizing yardage and (most importantly) scoring. I concede that on occasion in the NFL, teams do amass yardage which could be considered "garbage". This normally occurs when one team is ahead by a comfortable margin and the other is attempting to mount a come back. The team which is ahead will field what is known as a "prevent" defense. This particular defensive scheme makes short gains easy while protecting effectively against large (potentially score generating) plays. What occurs is the team trying to come back will move across the field in a seemingly efficient manner, all the while wasting precious time. At no time were the Redskins allowing any kind of yardage at the expense of long plays. The game was way too close to attempt such a strategy. Thus it must be logically concluded that both teams earned every single inch recorded. In this case, the Saints were able to record 8 more than the Redskins, thus outplaying them offensively and defensively (with strict regards to yardage).

I concede the point that the time of possession was not an overwhelming determining factor in the outcome of the game. In truth, the TOP of both teams were very close. I will, however, assert that it is the goal of any team to keep possession of the ball for longer than the other team. My opponent has outlined very well the reason that such a strategy is desirable. In this regard, the Saints were able to outplay the Redskins by keeping possession of the ball for a longer period of time, thus successfully completing one of the prime goals to winning a football game.

I concede the point I made regarding penalty yards. Admittedly I was attempting to show that the Saints played in more "adverse conditions" than the Redskins due to the grossly skewed penalty yardage. The truth of the matter is this proves nothing but a bit of sloppiness on the Saints team. That being said, they were able to battle forth and win despite their acute lack of poise.

I do not agree with the assertion that the Saints had nothing to do with causing Suisham to miss. Obviously this point would be extremely hard to prove either way, thus I will concede that the Saints MIGHT have not been able to influence the outcome of that particular kick. What I do not concede is the assertion that this kick would have sealed the game. My opponent made no attempt to prove how it would have, thus I cannot make an attempt to refute any such claims, although I made a brief commentary on this particular scenario in my opening argument.

My opening position was that the Saints outplayed their opponents. The kicking phase is not an exception to this assertion. Prior to overtime, the Redskins and Saints had attempted and made the same number of field goals. The 'Skins missed one from quite close and the Saints missed one from 50+ yards ( i do not recall the exact distance). In overtime, the Saints were able to attempt one more and made it. This is the very definition of outplaying your opponent. Whether you come away with more points because you had more opportunities, or because you were better able to take advantage of those opportunities afforded to you (ie not missing field goals), it makes no difference.

Finally, my opponent seems to have contradicted himself in his argument regarding turn overs. In one sentence he states:

".. it was one turnover in particular, Mike Sellers' fumble in overtime, that cost the Redskins the game."

Then later goes on to state:

"We can clearly see that turnovers were in fact NOT the determining factor in this game."

So in one breath we are told that the entire game was determined by a turnover, then in the next we are expected to accept that turnovers did not play a deciding factor in the outcome of this game.

I completely disagree with the assertion that turnovers were not a deciding factor in the outcome of the game. I will examine two of the turnovers in particular to illustrate why I feel this way. The first is when Saints wide receiver, Robert Meachem, stripped the ball from an opponent and ran it back for a touchdown. Directly prior to this happening, Drew Brees had been intercepted and the Saints hope of scoring on that particular drive were finished. Instead, New Orleans was able to turn a potentially game costing play into a score. Without Meachem's turnover (and subsequent touchdown) the Saints may have very well lost the game. What is key to note here, is that this turnover was NOT caused by some blind luck. Robert Meachem made an amazing play, period.

The next very important turn over is the one in overtime which my opponent already discussed. The Saints were on the extremely disadvantageous defensive side of the ball during overtime and this turnover lead directly to the game winning field goal. Up to that point, both teams displayed very little ability to stop the other defensively, thus the ability to regain possession of the ball greatly increased the Saints chances of winning. Again, the turnover was not the result of blind luck. The Redskins played sloppy with regards to ball control while the Saints were able to hustle and make turnovers. As with the other key stats I mentioned, turnovers are extremely important to winning a football game. In this case, we can see that the Saints clearly outplayed their opponents in that regard. They were able to turn the ball over more times, and capitalize on the opportunities afforded by those possessions. Without any one of them, and certainly the two in particular I mentioned, the Redskins would almost certainly have won. In the end, I believe it was the turnovers, more than any other key statistic, which gave the Saints their victory.

Last, I would like to once again extend my most sincere thanks to my opponent. I have enjoyed this debate very much, and I look forward to seeing how the votes turn out.
Demosthenes

Con

I too wish to extend thanks to my opponent, this was a rare break from politics to something where I am more comfortable.

I will only address two main sections of my opponent's response, as I believe them to be the central factors in this debate.

Firstly, the kick by Shaun Suisham which (fittingly) is what this debate seems to have centered around. The fact of the matter is that the Saints did not put any pressure on Suisham OR the holder on the kick in question.

I will provide video evidence of my claim. I apologize for the crude language it contains but I could not find another video.

As we can see, Suisham's kick is clearly in the air before the closest Saints defender even rounded the edge of the Redskins blocking formation. Also, the blocking in the center held the Saints' special teams well within acceptable limits, and that simply put, for no visible reason, the field goal was not made.

Secondly, my opponent made the rather absurd claim that the field goal would not have iced the game. Now, there are many things I am prepared to accept. We're talking about the NFL, and insane things are part of the history of the league. But a two possession lead with less than 2 minutes remaining is something VERY few teams are able to come back from. Here's what would have had to happen for the Saints to actually mount a successful comeback if that field goal was MADE. Firstly, they would have to go probably something around 75 yards depending on the kick return. Now the way both defenses were playing, this is not ridiculous. But they would have to do it WITH NO TIME OUTS. They would have had to score some form of points. They would then have to recovery the onside kick, which is one of the more difficult things to do in pro football. The conversion rate is something like 10%. I wish I had a source, but I'm watching Sportscenter and Rick Reilly just gave me the statistic so I'm running with it. Then, they would have to have gone ANOTHER 60 or so yards AGAIN with no timeouts when the Redskins would SURELY be doing everything in their power to defend. The odds are so stacked against the Saints winning a 2 possession game with 1:52 seconds left that it's pretty much ridiculous to say that they would've had a shot to win.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fact of the matter is that the Redskins DID outplay the Saints, and it was only through a missed field goal and a turnover that 99/100 will not happen again did the Saints come out on top. The Redskins made the plays, but the Saints got the breaks and that's the truth of the matter.

I've enjoyed this debate immensely, and I sincerely believe everyone who watched the game knows the Saints were badly outplayed and apart from a few very bad breaks that went against Washington, it wasn't even close.
Debate Round No. 2
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by CDSaints427 4 years ago
CDSaints427
I think i may have cast my vote three times on accident. The "cast vote" button remained and I thought it didn't cast so I pressed it again....sorry....
Posted by CDSaints427 4 years ago
CDSaints427
I'm liking this already! I have to travel today, will rebut when I get home.
Posted by Demosthenes 4 years ago
Demosthenes
Alright I'm a football guy, I'll take this one.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by grantman 4 years ago
grantman
CDSaints427DemosthenesTied
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Vote Placed by CDSaints427 4 years ago
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