Revealing the Saints’ secret recipe for their next Super Bowl run


The New Orleans Saints are heading nowhere but down at the moment.  However, a new secret recipe could be their answer for another Super Bowl run.

I have spent many sleepless nights the last month digging for answers for the New Orleans Saints. I’m sure I’m not the only one. The frustration this year may be more agonizing, since it felt like they had a plan to succeed with a lot of new names. I can only speak for myself, but I felt really good going into the season. I thought that at least we would see a different product on the field that would showcase some young talent and bring more wins.

Unfortunately, the Saints are 12 games in and looking like a team that has been beat down. Sure, we can all say the team played the Carolina Panthers respectfully (excluding the defense) Sunday and were close to a win that would have thwarted an undefeated season for a division rival. Don’t get me wrong — it would’ve been nice, but is this where the Who Dat Nation is now?

In other words, is it enough to just try and get that one signature win versus another losing season? At this point, the answer is without question a yes. The Saints don’t have much of a choice for the final four games.  I think if we step back a second, the fans all want something more. I want something more. I would imagine and hope that head coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees want something more. So, today, I deliver hope for all. There is a blueprint that has already been written for the New Orleans Saints’ success in the near future. This secret recipe involves one statistic and a team that has done it before. That Super Bowl-winning team resembles exactly what this current Saints team will need going forward.

As a person who loves studying statistics, I found something. Even before I found a trend, I had to think back a few years to try and think of another team that maybe somewhat resembled what the Saints are going through. I’ll get to them in a minute. So as I was digging, I wanted to just look at the obvious. I went back and studied the 2006 and 2009 seasons, which were no doubt the greatest years and the Saints’ best playoff runs.

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There was a statistic that jumped out at me, one that did show a difference in those years. The statistic was passing attempts per game. Now, at first I didn’t think much of it until I did a little further digging. The other team that I found with an aging quarterback that had success in later years was the Denver Broncos and John Elway.

In the years from 1996-98, Elway also had lower passing attempts per game at around 27-30. Drew Brees in the last six years has averaged 40 plus attempts. However, in the years of 2006 and 2009 he averaged six attempts lower as well — right around 34 attempts per game.  Elway’s average dropped significantly in the year 1998 to 27 attempts per game, which was also about six attempts lower than his normal average of about 32-33.  So what does this statistical data tell us. The easy answer would be to draft a guy like Terrell Davis just like Denver did in 1995.

Perhaps there is a 2016 version of him, or later (hint: Leonard Fournette). I’m sure Fournette is not the only one out there because if you remember Terrell Davis was drafted in the sixth round. Plus, Fournette will not be available until 2017. The point I’m trying to make is that the New Orleans Saints’ offensive domination that they have had in the last decade needs to end. They simply do not have the personnel and need to totally commit to a strong run game.

If you look back at the 1996-1998 Broncos, Davis alone ran for 350-400 rushing attempts per season. Those are big boy numbers. This means that the Saints have to have a running back who will run the rock about 25 times a game. I’m not sure if Mark Ingram is that back. If not, New Orleans needs to find a back that is willing to punish the defense on every play. They can’t afford to have him run out of bounds. They need someone who will instill fear, and also a guy that can take punishment for four quarters 16+ times a year. The New Orleans Saints need a 2016 version of Terrell Davis.

The fact is the Saints have no choice if Drew Brees will stay here going forward.  They simply won’t have the money to get the defense overhauled in a year or two. The defensive coordinator for the Broncos from 1995-2000 was a guy named Greg Robinson. His main theory was not so much what kind of defense they ran, but he simply called his defense by his personnel and situation. If you think of Denver’s defense during that period, there wasn’t a huge rebuild. Robinson had success in building the defense around his personnel.  He took a defense that was ranked near the bottom and turned it into a department what was consistently in the top ten in those years from 1995-1999.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy to pull this off, but driving down the same road with potholes galore is not pleasant. The New Orleans Saints must change their mindset going into next season. They need an offense that will run first then pass. They need to make changes quick since Drew Brees is not getting any younger. The best way is to change the philosophy since the salary cap is not going to open up much for free agency. What does this team have to lose?