Defending Sean Payton: Lack of running vs. Baltimore was right call
The Saints lost Sunday, so the balance police have been patrolling the airwaves all week.
You know their beat. They are the guys who attribute almost every New Orleans loss to coach Sean Payton’s abandonment of the running game. Their tired refrain grew even louder when Payton admitted his plan going into Baltimore was pass heavy, giving them all the ammunition they needed.
One problem. They’re dead wrong.
The Saints lost 30-24 to the Ravens because their tackling was atrocious. Far, far down the list of issues was Payton’s unwillingness to run against one of the NFL’s best rushing defenses.
Actually, that goes under the category of being smart.
New Orleans passed 46 times and ran only 14 times for a variety of reasons, none of them involving Payton losing his mind.
1) The Saints fell behind 21-7 in the first half and were in catch-up mode the rest of the way.
They trailed for their final seven possessions and felt compelled to throw. Sometimes the run-pass totals have the appearance of balance because a team throws for three quarters to establish a healthy lead, then runs repeatedly in the fourth to bleed the clock. New Orleans never was in that position.
2) The Saints’ only running back with a 100-yard game this year, rookie Chris Ivory (who has two), was unavailable with a hamstring injury.
With a healthy Ivory, you can bet Payton would have called more running plays. He is a physical back who matches up well with Baltimore’s aggressive defense.
Instead, Payton was left with Pierre Thomas, who still was trying to get in the flow after missing nine games with an ankle problem, and Reggie Bush, who rarely has been an effective runner in the NFL. For proof, note Bush’s average per carry of 3.8 or less in four of his five seasons. Or check out his four attempts for minus-4 yards against the Ravens...
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Reggie Bush has been pretty poor lately, i don't agree with the trade calls but man.. running backwards is going to bite us in the rear in big clutch games..
He hasn't yet learned how to be consistent with gaining yards.
The dancing also give defenses time to calculate where he's about to run and either smash him or run him off the field..
Im a big fan of Reggie and don't want him to go but he need to give up some of his pay next season or we need to figure out how else we're going to use this "over-priced" back as we continue a future with a back that only has only given us a few flashes of his greatness, perhaps Sean don't know how to properly use him or forgot how to use him?
Sean on the other hand said earlier he was going in the air i don't see how people are now attacking what he said. we didn't have our running game healthy enough to do much on the ground against Baltimore, the smart thing was to deal with them in the air, our atrocious O-line prevented us from once again converting and scoring, Drew Brees looked like a cracked up chicken running around with his head cut off, the line just easily collapsed on the command of the defense..
Then the Defense poor tackling had finally caught up with them, i know Gregg's D is designed to strip the ball rather than wrap up and tackle, but dude! the season is over and we don't have that Turn Over percentage anymore.. TRY AGAIN NEXT YEAR! give up on that and move into a more aggressive "TACKLING" D.. it may be too late to retrain the minds of these players now but that should have been rectified early, we went on a winning streak against pretty bad teams, as soon as we met up with a good team we get easily exploited..
I do see flashes of the once great 2009 Offense and Defense but the sporadic play out of them is giving me a heart attack and then last week finally broke hearts..
Fortunately i feel very good about the up coming game and i believe we're going to spank ATL in their home and give Matty his first loss in their home, we own that Dome and i believe Saints intend to keep that ownage.
Below is reason enough to spank the Falclowns at their house....
If The Playoffs Started Today: In; No. 5 seed
Remaining Schedule (Projected Results): at Atlanta (W); vs. Tampa Bay (W)
Final Projected Record, Playoff Seeding: 12-4; No. 5 seed
Extra Point: A Saints' loss Monday, coupled with a Bucs win, would set up a huge Week 17 showdown. If New Orleans and Tampa Bay finished tied at 10-6, the Bucs would win the tiebreaker based on common games.
Read more: NFL playoff predictions, projections, scenarios for Week 16 - Dom Bonvissuto - SI.com
We didn't have a running game to put on the field. PT is still rusty and
Reggie hasn't gotten back in form yet. It would have been good to have Ivory......but it is what it is.
this article is complete BS
the defense stunk but there are issues on offense that need to be addressed......none of which are personel problems
first off......nothing gets established in the NFL when you only do it 14 times****edit**** and one of those runs was a backwards swing PASS
secondly, we were behind, but it was not a blowout.....we were down 2 scores for only a fraction of the game.....the rest of the game was a close battle
on top of that, it was 2 negative carries from reggie that amounted to -8 yards that skewed the solid ypc average we actually had.....but 2 runs out of a small sample size like 14 can screw up a lot of minds
if you look back at '08....didnt run the ball.....didnt get turnovers
'09.....ran the ball more, got a lot of turnovers
'10.......didnt run the ball, didnt get turnovers
now these are the 2 biggest differences from '09 and all the other seasons.......1 of these things we can fix....the other has a sprinkle of luck that goes along with it
we can run the ball, we just choose not to. balance means everything in the NFL and naming 2 examples of teams that won with terrible rush offenses doesnt mean its a good rule to live by
oh and that colts team that made it there last year.....got beat by the 6th ranked rush team in the league.....so i guess it matters a little bit
Well, those behind the line passes were insane. But even when they run, they never give it enough time to work. Bush seems to do better when they toss him short ones over the middle. I'm just not sure he's gotten that thought of his leg snapping out of his head yet, on which I can sympathize. But over the middle and he's far away from running toward the sidelines, and we see him at his best, zip, zing, here and there, showing his quickness.
Plus, had they ran, maybe it wouldn't have gotten to 21-7 so quickly.
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