Running Game Analysis with (semi) advanced stats!

Discuss one of the most debated topics of the season with

By now everyone knows the basic stats.

D. Sproles: 12 carries 6.8 YPC

PT: 28 carries with a 5.4 YPC

Ingram: 32 carries 2.8 YPC

Now for some stats that will show the real picture:

Stats: The saints have rushed the ball 75 times this year for 4.3 YPC (4.9 last year). We are running the ball 28% of the time (compared to 40% last year). However, if you subtract the two longest runs of the season (48 by PT on a 1st down, 47 by DS on a third down) we are left with 73 carries at a 3.1 YPC.

Analysis: Bad job on carmichael establishing the run considering the Saints haven't been down by huge amounts in all our games.

Stats: 58 of those 75 times have been on first down. That means 77% of our runs are on first down (compared to 52% from last year).

On First: 58 for 3.6 YPC

Second: 13 for 4.8 YPC

Third: 4 for 12.8 YPC

Analysis: Part of the reason our run isn't doing so well is because the offense is extremely predictable. We can't even surprise our opponent with the run that only happens 28% of the time, because they know we'll do it on first down. The few times we have run on 2nd/3rd down we've done extremely well.

Stats: 23 carries for 5.4 YPC in the first quarter, 14 carries for 5.8 YPC in 4th quarter. 38 carries combined in 2nd/3rd quarter for YPC of 3.1 YPC.

Analysis: Not sure what to make of this...but on further analysis the long runs of 47 and 48 in the 1st/4th quarter might skew with the facts...

Stats: 12% of runs to the left/right sideline as compared to 25% last year.

Analysis: So the opponent already knows that theres almost an 80% chance were going to run on first down. On top of that they know its either going to be right/left or down the middle. They don't even need to worry about guarding outside the numbers. We might as well be telling them our play.

Stats: Sproles has 23 receptions, PT has 11, Ingram has 1

Analysis: Ingram has a low YPC because teams don't have to respect any sort of pass to him, keying up on simply stopping the run.

Look at the end of the day, none of our RBs are doing that well. PT and DS have broken of two long runs, but other than that theyve been bottled up as well. I'm putting the blame squarely on our play calling. It's pretty simple. Run on first, pass on second and third. No RB can do well like that. Just look at the stats from last year, and you'll see it was much more balanced on all downs and the play calling was varied.

This FanPost was written by a reader and member of Canal Street Chronicles. It does not necessarily reflect the views of CSC and its staff or editors.

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