Saints Film Study: Position By Position Breakdown of Week 1

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January 29, 2016; Kahuku, HI, USA; Hawaiian hostesses Chelsea Hardin (far left) and Mahina Garcia (far right) pose with Team Rice defensive end Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints (94) during 2016 Pro Bowl photo day at Turtle Bay Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
January 29, 2016; Kahuku, HI, USA; Hawaiian hostesses Chelsea Hardin (far left) and Mahina Garcia (far right) pose with Team Rice defensive end Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints (94) during 2016 Pro Bowl photo day at Turtle Bay Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 11, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) runs while being chased by a host of Oakland Raiders defenders in the fourth quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Raiders won 35-34. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) runs while being chased by a host of Oakland Raiders defenders in the fourth quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Raiders won 35-34. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

Running Backs

Mark Ingram was the bell-horse, like expected. He did not have a big game, but he made the most of the opportunities that he got. Sean Payton’s gameplan was an aerial attack, and its hard to complain about Ingram’s numbers when the offense was so deadly. I expect this is Ingram’s floor in terms of offensive involvement. He’s still the best pass-protector of this group, and is consistently able to make positive gains out of little space. When the offensive line can start to open up real holes, Ingram should thrive. On Sunday they had their hands full with a deep Raiders front seven.

Tim Hightower was the spell-back for Ingram, and was for the most part an effective stand in. He’s still no Ingram, and I’d like to see Daniel Lasco emerge in this spell-back role. He runs with intensity, and it’d open up a roster spot.

C.J. Spiller was a healthy scratch for the game, and has subsequently been released. That means that the main satellite-back going forward will be Travaris Cadet. Cadet managed to score a touchdown against the Raiders, but squandered quite a few opportunities to make plays. Payton clearly likes his ability to line up in the slot and matchup against LBs. But if Cadet is going to be the receiving back he needs to work on his hands. He dropped a couple of routes in the flat that could have turned into big yards. He was heavily involved but left too much on the table.

Finally, Marcus Murphy has gotten some flack for the lack of production in the return game. If anything, he should take that as a compliment: the Saints haven’t made plays in the return game since Darren Sproles left, and the only reason they expect any kind of success in that vein is because Murphy has had success. Yes, he didn’t make a big play when the Saints needed it most in the fourth quarter. But you can’t expect him to save the team whenever he’s called on. He did his part, and to his credit never fumbled the ball. I’d like to see more production, and possibly even some time in the satellite-back role, but he played a solid game.

Next: They Came To Play...

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