Breaking down how the New Orleans Saints’ offense performed against the Bucs
The New Orleans Saints’ offense got loose for 27 points against the Bucs. How did they do it and how might they have done it better?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers run defense has been very good this season; its pass defense has been very porous. This is why I was surprised that New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton called runs about as frequent as passes on first down.
Another mistake that I think Payton, and also Brees, made was to not check out of runs when they had an unfavorable matchup in the box. There were multiple occasions when the Bucs had an extra man in the box and thus were better positioned to stop the run.
I would have liked to see the Saints switch to a pass play as they would have had a more favorable matchup in the passing game. I think the most likely reason Payton called runs on first down was to stay balanced. Even though it’s important to not drop back and pass every play, I think they could have used the quick passing game as an extension of the run game more frequently.
Something that I think Payton and Brees did successfully was to understand that the Bucs have an aggressive but undisciplined defense, and the best way to beat a defense like this is to use a lot of motion, a lot of quick passes, and a lot of runs to the outside.
While re-watching every single offensive play from the game, I saw that the Saints used motion and/or shifts on pretty much every single play. Another thing I noticed was the effectiveness of outside zones and toss runs.
These were almost always run with Kamara and I think the box score confirms my point that these runs were more effective: Kamara had 5.8 yards a carry while Murray only had 2.7.
Of course, Kamara is a better back than Murray, but the difference in their averages is mostly due to the fact that the O-line was much more effective at creating holes on zone runs compared to gap runs (which were used on almost every Murray run).