A surprising stat that shows how bad the Saints’ run game was last season

The run game was surprisingly a weakness for the New Orleans Saints last season, and there’s a stat that shows just how bad things were.
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints had a disappointing 9-8 season last year, and one of the most surprising things about the underwhelming season was that New Orleans couldn’t run the ball well. Despite having Alvin Kamara, one of the league’s most talented running backs, Jamaal Williams, who led the NFL in rushing touchdowns a season prior, and Taysom Hill, who always finds a way to make plays with his legs, the Saints just couldn’t consistently move the ball on the ground.

They finished the year averaging 102.5 rushing yards a game. That was 21st in the NFL— a spot behind the dismal Carolina Panthers. Alvin Kamara had the worst season of his career, playing in 13 games, recording just 694 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns on 180 carries. That breaks down to 3.9 yards a carry for Kamara.

While those stats are bad, they aren’t the stat that tells the story of just how disheartening the run game was for New Orleans last season. Warren Sharp recently pointed out that the Saints were the only team last season that didn’t have a running back break off a 20+ yard run. That’s pathetic.

Saints must restore their run game in 2024

A lot of this had to do with the offense and the offensive line. Watching New Orleans play, and it’s very clear that Alvin Kamara is still an elite talent. If he gets help from the offensive line and the offensive coordinator, Kamara and company should bring back a strong rushing attack in New Orleans.

That's why many people consider the addition of Klint Kubiak as offensive coordinator the best offseason acquisition for the Saints. Kubiak comes to New Orleans from the San Francisco 49ers, where he got to work with Christian McCaffrey, the best running back in the NFL. If he can implement some of the things that worked in San Francisco, and New Orleans can improve its offensive line, Alvin Kamara should have production that reflects his talent, and the Saints should have a run game that will help them win games.