Go Back   New Orleans Saints Forums - blackandgold.com > Main > Saints

What have Saints missed with Ted Ginn out? A look at key differences, routes, more

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Twitter...

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-21-2018, 01:25 PM   #1
Threaded by jeanpierre
Site Donor 2018
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Thibodaux
Posts: 43,382

Blog Entries: 39
Show Printable Version Email this Page
Rating: (0 votes - average)

Views: 732
Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 01:26 PM   #2
Site Donor 2018
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Thibodaux
Posts: 43,382
Blog Entries: 39
Re: What have Saints missed with Ted Ginn out? A look at key differences, routes, more

BY NICK UNDERHILL | nunderhill@theadvocate.com Dec 21, 2018 - 10:58 am

The assumption was that New Orleans lacked a specific piece of its passing attack and that it would show up in the numbers.

It seemed obvious it would show up in raw route data, that anything with an arrow pointing up would be down this year.

There are key differences in the offense. There are areas where things have been lacking as the team worked to find a consistent downfield presence while Ted Ginn Jr. sat on injured reserve, but the surprising thing is that a breakdown of routes by Sports Info Solutions shows New Orleans has been able to maintain their numbers on most vertical routes.

Now, of course, nuance is needed to make sense of the raw data, but the raw data is still surprising. The reason for that, as is with most everything in the passing offense this season, is Michael Thomas.

The wide receiver has continued to grow during his third season, lifting the averages of many of the routes in the offense by becoming more diversified in the things he's doing, or in some cases just doing more. That doesn't mean everything with the offense is fine. It is obvious some things are lacking. Still, it’s impressive to see how the numbers have come together.

One of the things from the numbers that stands out immediately is that Thomas is producing more on post routes. He caught two last year for 40 yards but has ramped that number up to four for 98 this season. Thomas isn’t quite stretching the field on those routes like Ginn, who caught three posts for 147 yards last season, but he is making plays.

Thomas’ longest post last year was a 22-yard reception against the Buffalo Bills. He caught one for 41 yards through the air this year against the Vikings, but it came on a pass from Taysom Hill. Within the regular flow of the offense, these passes to Thomas almost typically arrive at about 15-18 yards.

Ginn was typically targeted about 30 yards down the field on these routes. One player is running more of an intermediate route, while the other is stressing the deep coverage. When he returns, having Ginn back to do that will help open things up for the rest of the offense.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this season is that the go route has actually been a bigger part of the offense than it was a season ago.

While Ginn did a good amount of his damage on posts, he only caught one go route for 40 yards. The Saints finished last year with three for 104 yards, which was a drop from 2016 when Drew Brees connected on 12 for 395.

This year, the Saints have already connected on nine for 341 yards. Thomas is leading the way with three catches for 125 yards. One of those was a 72-yard touchdown catch-and-run against the Los Angeles Rams. Tre’Quan Smith has caught two for 97 yards, both of which came against the Washington Redskins. Keith Kirkwood’s 30-yard touchdown against the Cowboys also came on a go route.

Thomas hasn’t done much on these patterns during his first two seasons, but it is an area where his role has grown. There have also been a few times when the team used him in this capacity to exploit a mismatch or single coverage. But, again, like posts, no all go routes are created the same.

While these other two routes are either maintaining or thriving, the corner route is the one that has disappeared from the offense. After hitting on 11 for 215 yards last year, New Orleans has only connected on four for 59 yards this season. No player has more than one reception on it, including Thomas, who has zero this year after catching four a year ago for 86 yards.

Outside of corner routes, the biggest difference for the offense this season is that it hasn’t been moving the ball on as many screens. The Saints only have 308 yards on those plays this season after picking up 618 last year.

Getting back Ginn on the field at some point will help open up the offense. He’s a trusted target who can get down the field and give Brees a consistent presence in that area of the field. He will help fix an offense that has been ailing a little bit and is in need of help at receiver.

But when you dive deeper into how the Saints got here, it makes Thomas’ season even more impressive.

It's not that my way is the right way, I just make the right way my way...
jeanpierre is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:05 PM.

Copyright 1997 - 2020 - BlackandGold.com
no new posts