New Orleans Saints: An Offense in Perspective
In light of the Seattle Seahawks dominance over the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, New Orleans Saints fans should be a bit more optimistic about their team's offense in 2014. As Dave Cariello of Canal Street Chronicles points out, the Saints fared much better against the Seahawks defense than the record-setting Bronco's offense did.
What makes it even more impressive is that while the Saints played in the windy, cold, hostile environment of CenturyLink Field, the Broncos had clear weather in a neutral stadium. Yes, the Saints were handed an embarrassing loss by Seattle when they first met earlier in the season, but in the game that really counted they showed up and put in a much more respectable effort. They ran the ball very effectively against a physical Seattle defense that completely shut down the Bronco's offense.
While the Broncos managed just 27 yards on 13 carries (excluding Peyton Manning's one run) for a meager 2.1 YPC, the Saints put up 108 yards on 26 carries, good for 4.2 YPC. Through the air, the Broncos netted 280 yards on 49 attempts (5.7 YPA), but the Saints recorded 309 yards on 43 attempts (7.2 YPA).
I'm not trying to say that the Saints will have a better offense than the Broncos in 2014, but that is definitely within the realm of possibility. The Saints run game showed significant improvement in their two playoff games, and Saints' fans should be very excited about the development of Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson. If they can continue to run the ball effectively it will make them a much more formidable opponent, especially on the road in outdoor stadiums where they have struggled in the past.