In honor of Thanksgiving and our gracious sponsor Applebees™ (where you're likely to find Mike Smith and Matt Ryan this Thanksgiving), I present to you the idea of Sean Payton as the master chef and the Saints as his grand feast this holiday. Obviously Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham rank among the main ingredients in Payton's masterpiece, but I think the recent reliance on Pierre Thomas in the Saints' attack over the past month has been the missing ingredient for long-term success.
While not considered among the league's top running backs, Pierre Thomas has been invaluable to the Saints not just this season, but his entire career. When the Saints run their devastating screens, who's better than Pierre Thomas? When the Saints positively, absolutely need those tough yards, those first downs, it's Thomas that Coach Payton calls upon. When he's in the game, I'm sure most of you, like myself, are confident Pierre will fight to the very end to make the most out of every single play.
Since the Jets debacle to start the month (where PT was only given 6 carries for 24 yards), Pierre has been incorporated more into the offense, and the Saints are much better for it. Here are Thomas' stats in the past 3 games of November:
|vs DAL / 11.10.13||Rushing||Receiving|
|vs SFX / 11.17.13||Rushing||Receiving|
|vs ATL / 11.21.13||Rushing||Receiving|
Even these numbers don't tell the whole story when it comes to the lift PT gives the Saints when he's in the game.
While others like Reggie Bush and Mark Ingram grabbed all of the headlines and attention for various reasons, Pierre Thomas plugged away with heart and resolve that match any of his peers in the NFL. He will ultimately be regarded as one of the all-time great Saints, and deservedly so. The more we see of him and his vast array of talents, the better. He will be very valuable in upcoming matchups against Seattle and Carolina down the stretch.
There are numerous reasons to be thankful for Saints football this Thanksgiving, but the most underrated one of all is Pierre Thomas. Thanks PT Cruiser, and thanks to Coach Payton to adding an extra dash of this ingredient into the mix. My compliments to the chef.
Happy Thanksgiving, Who Dat Nation!