This Saints offense is in panic mode. We’ve heard Dennis Allen allude to potential changes to the offense if they can’t find their footing soon. He hasn’t said what those changes would be, but I think we all have some guesses...
But, either way, it seems like nothing is going to change before Sunday, so let’s talk about how the Saints offense matches up with the Colts defense.
Let’s start upfront. The Colts have totaled 20 sacks in their first seven games which ranks 10th in the league. We all know the Saints are very prone to allowing pressures and sacks, and with multiple linemen injured and potentially missing Sunday’s game, it feels like we’re going to watch Derek Carr be under fire all day.
The offensive line hasn’t just struggled in pass protection, it’s also struggled pretty heavily in the run game as well. The Saints haven’t gotten much of anything going on the ground this season despite having a very talented trio of runners (I know they’ve only played one game where all of them are healthy, but still). The Saints 98.1 rushing yards per game ranks 22nd in the league, and it’s one of the reasons their offense has struggled. Derek Carr has been throwing the ball way too much and it allows defenses to only defend the pass. The Colts have one of the weaker run defenses in the league, so if there’s any week where Pete Carmichael wants to try to establish the run, it’s this week.
Indy’s pass defense statistically is a little bit better than their run defense. Their 232 yards allowed through the air ranks 19th in the NFL while the Saints 227 pass yards per game ranks 12th in the NFL. It’s going to be a battle of two very average offenses and defenses this week, so once again the key to a successful Saints offense will be scoring touchdowns in the red zone.
Luckily for the Saints, the Colts allow their opponents to score touchdowns on just under 62% of their red zone drives. This has obviously been the worst area of the Saints offense as they rank 28th in red zone touchdown % ahead of only Tennessee and New York teams.
Pete Carmichael is going to have to figure out a way to make this offense more creative, and he’s going to have to do it fast. It seems he’s on a short leash with Dennis Allen and rightfully so. I feel like a broken record, but this offense has way too many pieces to perform as poorly as it has been this year. Every position group needs to get better and that starts with coaching. If Carmichael leaves and the offense is still bad, then it might be time to just cut ties and start over with some young pieces.
Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel. Follow my personal page @clukehubbard for more!