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NFL: Saints' offense is broken but still elite

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers
Mab Sidam
ANALYST
Modified 02 Jan 2021, 08:40 IST
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Sean Payton's New Orleans Saints magical playbook has not received its just due praise this season.

The New Orleans Saints rushing offense is something special, designed around the ever-elusive Alvin Kamara and Coach Payton's new favorite toy in Taysom Hill, the Saints have fielded a top 5 scoring offense with their future HOF QB Drew Brees missing multiple games. The Saints are heavily reliant on their run unit which is odd for a Head Coach who has overseen five different 5,000-yard passing seasons.

The New Orleans Saints are fielding an elite rushing unit that leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns per game while balancing that with a passing attack that only grades out at best as being above league average. This odd balance has made the Saints an elite team that controls the clock, wears you down and occasionally dices you with passes to well designed routes off play action.

New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles
New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles

The Saints offense makes me reconsider the NFL's offensive play calling hierarchy. Andy Reid is a better passing mind but as an overall playcalling package Sean Payton is more complete. If Mahomes went down I trust coach Reid to keep the Chiefs afloat with a capable back up but I do expect their offense to take a step back, coach Payton just shifted the focus of his offense from pass to run centric and is still posting elite level numbers with a QB many are not sure can even really throw.


Saints Are In Control Of Their Own Destiny

While other teams may rush more none are in a better situation than the New Orleans Saints who lead their division, are second in their conference and aside from the Titans are the only run heavy team in control of their destinies as the last week of the NFL season draws upon us. The Patriots and Vikings are already deep into their offseason plan, the Arizona Cardinals do not control their destiny, the Ravens/Browns are all battling at the bottom of the AFC to secure passage into the post season.

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The Saints Broken Passing Game

The New Orleans Saints passing game has been wishy washy all season. Their leading receiver is their running back Alvin Kamara, then a 33 year old receiver in Emmanuel Sanders, then 33 year old tight end Jared Cook, Star receiver Michael Thomas has been on and off the injury report and hasn't had the opportunity to string together monster games to save this unit as he did in the 2019 season where he won Offensive Player Of The Year.

Sean Payton is a pass guru and this seasons Saints ineffective passing unit must greatly frustrate him. Of course his obsession of turning Taysom Hill into Steve Young with more designed QB runs has had a knock on effect to the Saints passing game and despite the joy he draws from this it is actually holding this team back from it's full potential. Coach Payton needs his own Patrick Mahomes to take this offense to the next level. The Saints are in need of someone who will take all the weapons at his disposal and become an immediate problem for the whole League to deal with.

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In the upcoming draft the New Orleans Saints need to consider a QB with their first rounder, maybe they can take Mac Jones who completes slightly above 75% of his passes(remind you of someone?) or take Trey Lance to take the Taysom Hill project to the next level with a cheaper option or push aggressively in the trade market for a questionable franchise guy like Wentz or Darnold or most obviously groom the other five thousand yard season Quarterback on your bench to come in and air the rock out.

Whatever route coach Payton chooses to take the New Orleans Saints they are a hit away at QB from taking a step ahead of everyone else in the League offensively

Published 02 Jan 2021, 08:40 IST
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