Perhaps it’s too early to say definitively that the Saints are changing to more of a 50/50 offense. But the evidence is there, at least for the last two games.
The New Orleans Saints are 2-1 this preseason: FACT
The New Orleans Saints have shutout the last two opponents on defense: FACT
The Saints have run the ball more than pass the last two games. WHAT?
That third one is hard to believe. But the evidence is there. The box score from the Chargers game shows the Saints rushing attempts at 33 vs. 27 passing attempts. The game against the Houston Texans shows the Saints passing slightly more, with 33 passes against 30 rushing attempts.
Adding those games together gives the Saints a slight edge towards running the ball. That’s another FACT. Once again, that’s only two games right? Let’s look a little deeper.
Putting the preseason aside for a second, take a look at these statistics for the last three years. This chart shows what percentages each NFL team passes the ball.
More from Who Dat Dish
- Are the Saints playoff contenders or pretenders in 2022?
- 3 takeaways from Saints unofficial depth chart ahead of preseason opener
- Saints 2022 Training Camp: Top 5 takeaways from Day 13
- 3 things to know about new Saints QB K.J. Costello
- Kirk Merritt could be a difficult player for the Saints to cut
It’s no surprise that New Orleans is ranked #11 in the last three years. Furthermore, take a look at just the 2016 season. By the same token the Saints are ranked very high. The Saints are ranked #5 for 2016 with a passing percentage of 63.44%.
Ironically, the teams that were near the bottom in 2016 as far as passing vs. running plays were the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, and New England Patriots. Dallas was at the bottom at 51.30%. No team is exactly 50/50, but there is a huge difference when you crunch the numbers for the whole season at 60/40.
Surely, the preseason stats would show a different numeric analysis. Take a look at the 2016 preseason stats from the New Orleans Saints. From all four preseason games in 2016, the Saints passed the ball approximately 57% of the time vs. only 43% run.
In conclusion, there is enough evidence the Saints HAVE been running the ball more this year so far. Could it be that the new studs in the backfield are bringing a new dimension to the field this year? This possible change could help the young defense as well. Giving them rest and time to dissect plays gives the Black and Gold a huge confidence lift on the defensive end.
Also, the scores that the Saints are winning with is incredible as well. All these results have an indirect correlation to running the ball more. Not all of it, but it’s something to keep an eye on for the rest of the season.