Brees threw the ball 49 times, versus handing it off to a runningback only twenty times throughout the game. Ingram had 13 carries, Thomas had five carries, and Sproles only two. It’s hard for any running back to establish any sort of rhythm with that few carries.
These type of numbers are not what we are suppose to be seeing from the Saints “balanced” offense and new rushing attack. In fact the amount of rushing attempts during the Packers game ranks them towards the bottom of the league after week one at number 22.
New Orleans (3rd passing offense, 20th rushing offense) is hosting the Chicago Bears (11th passing offense, 17th rushing offense) this Sunday.
A win for the New Orleans is critical considering the Bears beat the Falcons, and if the Saints win Sunday it could have meaning later in the season not only for the determining the NFC South winner, but for play-off seeding heading into the post season.
Chicago is ranked 22nd against the run after giving up over 100 yards to the Falcons. The Saints have a better group of runningbacks than Atlanta, so it seems obvious that running the ball more against the Bears, and resting Brees arm a bit, is the logical play.
Sean Payton needs to get his runningbacks to work early and often, but more importantly stick with them when things get tough and yards come at a premium.