The New Orleans Saints are back to .500 after an explosive performance against the Indianapolis Colts on the road. Derek Carr and the offense were finally firing on all cylinders and picked up a much-needed win against backup Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew.
As head coach Dennis Allen told his team after the win, “We can’t be satisfied with getting one… Let’s go get another one.” The Saints have a great opportunity to get another one against a struggling Bears squad.
Here are three statistics you need to know heading into Week 9.
What does this mean: Total rushing yards earned by the Saints against the Colts
Why should I care:
This is what the Saints rushing offense is supposed to look like. The team has four excellent rushers with Kamara, Williams, Miller, and Hill. Each player brings a different skill set to the table. It seemed to finally click against the Indianapolis Colts. 161 yards might not be insanely high, but it accounted for three touchdowns and opened up the passing game for Derek Carr, who finished with 310 yards. If the run game continues with this level of versatility and efficiency, then the Saints may finally establish some consistency on offense. It appears they are already on that path, as Sunday marked the third straight game where the team gained over 400 yards. That has not happened since 2018. Hopefully, we see a similar running game against the Bears who are surprisingly ranked third best in rush yards allowed per game (76.3).
Taysom Hill - 9 carries, 63 yards, 2TDs— Chris Rosvoglou (@RosvoglouReport) October 29, 2023
Alvin Kamara - 17 carries, 59 yards, 1 TD
Jamaal Williams - 6 carries, 30 yards
Kendre Miller - 3 carries, 10 yards
Love to see it. pic.twitter.com/2WOIFedGxO
26 Points Per Game
What does this mean: Points allowed by the Saints’ defense over the past three games
Why should I care:
The offensive success was a great distraction from the defensive woes against the Colts (oh, how the tables have turned). The Saints have clearly struggled over the past three games to control their opponents. Over the past three games, they have allowed 26 points per game compared to 15.2 over the first five games. There are several possible causes, but it could likely be caused by a failure to create sacks and tackles for loss. It should certainly be concerning that New Orleans is dead last in the NFL in tackles for loss (28). Simply put, the defense needs to improve. The Bears could be without Justin Fields on Sunday; however, Colts backup Gardner Minshew threw two touchdowns against New Orleans.
Justin Herbert so far:— Barstool Gambling (@stoolgambling) October 30, 2023
2 TDs pic.twitter.com/WfbE4dY437
What does this mean: Sacks made by the Bears’ defense thus far
Why should I care:
The Bears have been terrible at getting to the quarterback this season. They only have ten sacks on the year (1.3 per game), which is last in the NFL. This failure to pressure the quarterback has yielded Beas’ opponents 27.3 yards per game this year, 5th most in the league. This is especially beneficial to the Saints, who have struggled to form a consistent and healthy offensive line all season. The o-line must take advantage of this mismatch and give Derek Carr time in the pocket. To be fair, the offensive line has improved over the past few weeks but can still stand to improve. Pete Carmichael and Derek Carr have an opportunity to continue the team’s recent offensive success, and it would be a shame to allow an abysmal pass-rushing team to have more than two sacks. Don’t be surprised to see another 50-pass attempt day from Carr.
Bonus Stat: The Saints are now 17-1 when Taysom Hill has seven or more carries in a game. Coincidence? I think not.