New Orleans Saints 2015 midseason offensive grades
Oct 4, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) carries the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Like the rest of the offense, the New Orleans Saints’ running game was pretty much nonexistent to begin the year. But that can be blamed on the offensive line, which is finally coming around. The actual running backs on the other hand, are playing well.
Mark Ingram: A
Mark Ingram is currently on pace for his first career 1,000-yard season as a top-ten rusher in the NFL. He’s also on pace for ten trips into the end zone. Ingram has been nothing short of great, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Oh, and he’s also a factor in the passing game this year with 33 catches for 274 yards. He’s on pace for over 1600 total yards from scrimmage. As the offense continues to find its way, he should only get better.
Khiry Robinson: C+
Unfortunately, Robinson’s year was cut short after a season-ending leg injury (fractured tibia) he suffered Sunday against the Giants. Until then, he turned in a nice little outing as a change-of-pace option behind Mark Ingram. He began 2015 with a bang, but slowed down a little as the season progressed. Still, he’s developed into a solid No. 2, and with the proper rest and rehab, he should pick right back up where he left off next year.
C.J. Spiller: C
Spiller is being underutilized, plain and simple. The free agent acquisition has yet to live up to his hype, and that can be blamed on play calling. However, piece by piece, the offense is finding its way. And while Ingram continues to run hard and the receivers continue their emergence, things should be left alone. Don’t worry though. If Spiller is what you wanted, then Spiller is likely what you’ll get with Robinson done for the year. Expect Spiller’s role to tremendously expand in the second half of the season. Saints fans are missing the ‘Darren Sproles role.’
Overall Position Grade: B
The Saints’ ground attack seems to get better and better each game. Ingram will continue to carry the load, while Spiller’s role increases. We may even get a glimpse at rookie Marcus Murphy, who has been the No. 1 return man but could finally see some work out of the backfield with Robinson out in the second half. The same goes for Tim Hightower, who New Orleans re-signed to fill Robinson’s vacancy.