When you look at the stat lines of Drew Brees and Michael Thomas from Sunday’s win at the New York Giants, you’d be justified in believing the game was a low-scoring affair. The future Hall of Fame QB through 18-32 for only 217 yards and no touchdowns while the superstar wide receiver hauled in only 4 catches for 47 yards. The same could be said about the 21-18 Browns win when you look at the stats of 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year RB Alvin Kamara in which he only ran for 46 yards and had 53 yards receiving with no touchdowns.
In that contest, the Saints proved that even when they can’t get the ground game moving, they’ve got enough weapons elsewhere to compete. They inched that win out mostly based on the lack of ability that came with the Browns former placekicker (and special teams pressure off the edge), but Michael Thomas went along his merry way bringing in 2 touchdowns of his own on 12 catches for 89 yards. Putting points on the board, one way or another, couldn’t be halted by holding one element of the Saints offense at bay.
During Sunday’s contest, they proved the same sentiment true but the opposite way around. Though Brees didn’t through a touchdown and Michael Thomas didn’t catch at least 10 passes for the first time this season, the Saints found another way to win. Alvin Kamara, who actually lead the Saints in reception with 5, churned out 134 yards on 19 carries and scored all three of the team’s touchdowns. That Drew Brees didn’t throw a touchdown and only completed 56.3% of his passes (the first time he wasn’t hovering around 80% this year) would reasonably enough to suspect a loss in recent Saints systems. However, since the addition of Alvin Kamara and the continued re-improvement of the defense this Saints offense is not what it once was. It’s more. We’ve talked several times on this site and via the @AllSaintsBlog twitter that Sean Payton and Drew Brees have too many weapons to account for and it’s on full display this year. The crazy thing is that it’s only going to get more dynamic.
During next week’s Monday night game against Washington, Mark Ingram returns to the offense. He will provide another gear on his personality alone, but once he’s on the field and gets to churning and running down defenders, the entire landscape of Saints offensive gameplan could kick into a gear we’re yet to see. Having to account for both Ingram and Kamara is already a lot, but things get even more complicated for defenses when they have to plan for Michael Thomas and now 3rd-string QB/ATH Taysom Hill who’s lined up in the backfield, as an H-back, TE, WR, and QB already this season. Not to mention still to-be-oriented talents like Cameron Meredith and Tre’Quan Smith who missed a couple of playmaking chances against the Giants he will be determined to never miss again. The Tight Ends and Ted Ginn, Jr. deserve some mentions here as well, but there’s a core coming along that’s unmatchable from the defensive side of the ball.
If you thought this offense has been fun to watch, just wait until Mark Ingram is back on the field and the offensive possessions get longer and longer and trickier and trickier. Plus, there’s still a rested and still-improving defense on the way. With the collection of Kamara, Thomas, Hill, Meredith, and Smith all waiting in the chamber, adding Ingram provides Brees and Payton with a six-shooter of an offense that will only get more accurate and lethal throughout the season.