Scout's Notebook: Why The Saints Are Running (1 Viewer)

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Jimmy Graham vs. Rob Gronkowski; why the Saints are running - NFL.com

Since Week 8, the Saints have led the NFL in rushing yards per game (185.5) behind the re-emergence of Tim Hightower and Mark Ingram as dependable workhorse ball-carriers. Hightower in particular has taken his game up a notch since being promoted to a bigger role in the backfield. Over the past two games, he has amassed 189 rushing yards on 49 attempts with a score. Most importantly, he has given the Saints' running game the kind of "thump" that had been missing since the beginning of the season.
Poring over Next Gen Stats, I noticed that the Saints have changed their personnel and formation packages with Hightower on the field. After averaging only 1.7 and 0.3 rushing attempts, respectively, from single-back and I-formations during the team's first seven games this season, he has posted averages of 17.0 and 4.5 rushing attempts from those formations during Weeks 8-9. Hightower's success out of the single-back is particularly impressive, due to his 4.3 yards-per-carry mark from that formation.
From I-formations, Ingram has averaged 4.7 yards per carry on an average of 3.0 rushing attempts over the past two games. Interestingly, Ingram hasn't logged a single carry from a shotgun formation after averaging 4.6 shotgun runs during the first seven games of 2016. Although he successfully pounded the ball between the tackles to the tune of 4.7 yards per rush out of the gun, Ingram and the offense work best when the RB1 aligns at the "dot" position.
After using six-man offensive lines on 31.9 percent of the team's offensive snaps during Weeks 1-7, the Saints have featured their "heavy" package on 46.8 percent of their snaps the past two games. They have averaged 3.5 yards per play in the package during that span, which suggests the offense is able to stay on schedule when playing "big-boy football" at the line of scrimmage.
 

mdharper

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Except for being benched after fumbling, it is all dependent on the opponent. The game plan is different every week.

It's always a mistake to read too much into the stats.
 

Usmfan84

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Except for being benched after fumbling, it is all dependent on the opponent. The game plan is different every week.

It's always a mistake to read too much into the stats.
True but the two most successful seasons we had under SP was when the running game was top 10 in the NFL. He knows how important it is to establish the run against every opponent.

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MGC

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A good running game will eat clock and limit time defense is on the field. Our D needs all the help they can get.
 

Slaw

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Our offense is going to be legendary. Singleback sets with an extra OL and Josh Hill at TE is starting to look like our bread and butter.

Don't get me wrong, I realize any give week we could decide to spread a team out for the majority of the game. But to have this as an option is priceless. We can go with that gameplan against teams with stronger passing defenses. Then spread it out against teams with stout front 7's.

Going to be deadly if we continue to do what we are doing. Which is being the best IMO at both gameplans.
 

crosswatt

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A good running game will eat clock and limit time defense is on the field. Our D needs all the help they can get.
The Saints do that regardless of the run. They have been a top ten time of possession squad throughout Payton's tenure.

What it does is keep the safeties occupied with the backfield activities, and opens up some passing lanes for the receivers from the heavy set.
 

Saintshizzle

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The Saints do that regardless of the run. They have been a top ten time of possession squad throughout Payton's tenure.

What it does is keep the safeties occupied with the backfield activities, and opens up some passing lanes for the receivers from the heavy set.
Yeah, but running the ball and good defense is the only way we will ever see the post season again. Kudos to CSP for actually putting that on the field.
 

TheIronSheik

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A good running game will eat clock and limit time defense is on the field. Our D needs all the help they can get.
But it will also limit the number of times your offence has the ball. Last 4 weeks the Saints scored 41 vs Carolina and 49ers when they had 13 possessions compare to average of 23 vs seattle and KC when they had an average of 9.5 possesions.
 

crosswatt

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Yeah, but running the ball and good defense is the only way we will ever see the post season again. Kudos to CSP for actually putting that on the field.
Well, you know me. I'm all in on 80 passes a game.

:hihi:

So I would disagree with the "only" part of the post, but I also have no issue with Payton doing what is working, and running Tim Hightower frequently, with Ingram mixing in on 3rd down and certain down and distance situations looks like a really awesome formula right now.
 

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I can only imagine the work Denver is putting in to come up with a gameplan that now has to account for a new found rushing attack. As if planning for Brees wasn't hard enough. They have their hands full, as good as they are.
 

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