Now that the New Orleans Saints have played out half of their games this season we are starting to get a clearer picture of just what kind of a team they are trying to be. Having such a potent passing attack obviously they are a throw first kind of team, but is that sustainable for the long term?
After losing to the New York Jets 26-17 and falling to 6-2 on the season, the Saints need to make some adjustments to be able to run the ball better and more effectively. Whether is has to do with their personnel or the schemes they are running, something has to give. It is probably a combination of both, however. Former New Orleans running back Chris Ivory lit up the Saints’ run defense, tallying one touchdown and 139 yards on 18 carries.
The inability to move the chains on the ground is hurting New Orleans and is starting to make them one-dimensional.
This was painfully obvious in the fourth quarter with just under eight minutes left to play. In New York territory and facing a third-and-inches, Sean Payton called for a drop back from quarterback Drew Brees. He passed short to fullback Jed Collins who dropped what should have been an easy, routine catch. Sloppy play was the theme of the day for New Orleans, but what happened next was just terrible all around.
With a fourth-and-inches in Jets territory and time running out the Saints elected to run a reverse for Josh Hill. This play was quickly realized by Jets defensive end Quinton Coples, and Hill was dropped for a loss as New Orleans turned the ball over on downs.
This should have been a simple straight ahead push and smash to gain what looked like no more than two inches. These kinds of short yardage situations are troubling the Saints much more than they should. New Orleans should be able to pick up these kinds of first downs and be able to get more than 40, 50 or 60 yards of rushing every single game. Ivory alone had more rushing yards on his 50-yard carry than the entire New Orleans team did.
I am all for the potent passing attack that Payton and Brees bring to the game, but they cannot remain so one-dimensional. The running game needs some attention, and it needs it now.