Saints/Buccaneers: Is the Third Time the Charm?

by Wayne Root

Guaranteed to hear this statement this week.
All week, you will hear the self-proclaimed experts tell you it is difficult to beat a team three times in one season. Let’s look at the weekend game that this aspires to:  the NFL’s 
Tampa Bay vs New Orleans game. 
One of the conventional wisdoms about the difficulty of dominating opponents you see on a regular basis doesn’t hold up to actual math, which is good news for people worried about the Saints as they play Tampa Sunday. 
The History of Three-Peats
Since the 1970 NFL Merger, there have been 21 instances where a team swept a team in the regular season and then had a third battle in the playoffs. The sweeping team has gone 14-7 in those games, which favors New Orleans. In the season opener, the Saints beat the Bucs by 11 points, and then the Saints shocked Tampa Bay on the road in the rematch, 38-3. Will Tom Brady be that special quarterback that will be able to break this trend? Wayne Root has a solid personal opinion about this situation after studying these situations for over 34 years.  
Using a Baseball Analysis
Manager Tony La Russa said he didn't like playing doubleheaders because it's hard to beat the same team twice in one day. But football is not two games. The point is that if you beat an opponent twice, you have proven your opponent to be inferior. 
The Tom Brady Effect
We shall see if the Tom Brady effect will apply or the Saints going for the 3-0 sweep. Playing on the road does not help his case completely. The home team going for the sweep is also 12-5, 71%. Yet for some reason, everyone is going to talk about the difficulty of beating a team three times in one year.
The Dallas Effect
NFL teams outside of Dallas have a .706 winning percentage when attempting to beat a team for the third time in one season because the Cowboys are 0-2. So bottom line, pay attention to handicapping professionals for real truths. I guarantee that you will hear how hard beating the same team three times this year more than once. To base a prediction on a game based on something a person believes to be true, even though we now know it is not, shows a lack of research and diminishes one's credibility. And that’s why you stick to Wayne Allyn Root. 

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