This off-season running back Mark Ingram made a mistake that cost him a four game suspension and put the Saints in a bind. The team had Alvin Kamara, the reigning offensive rookie of the year, but he’s not necessarily built for between the tackles running Ingram is. He is a change of pace guy not the workhorse 25 plus touch guy, or so we thought. Kamara proved he can do pretty much whatever he wants to in a given game and is a major reason the Saints sit at 3 and 1 and in first place in the NFC South. Kamara is part Marshall Faulk, Gayle Sayers, and at the goal line Marcus Allen.
Another benefit was the experimentation of the “Stormin’ Mormon” package with Taysom Hill. This guy can do it all, and has, including a fake punt where he took the snap and completed a pass to Justin Hardee for a key early first down. Hill has blinding speed but he is a smart, tough football player. He had a great lead block on a running play and is a more than adequate in the return game. Between Brandon Tate and Ted Ginn Jr they should leave it to Hill it’s much less stressful for Whodat nation.
Drew Brees has had to be,well, Drew Brees lately and has been his normal surgeon self on the field. Age has not been a factor in any way as his spin move off two Falcons for a touchdown will attest. He has thrown 8 touchdowns and zero interceptions averaging 323 yards per game with an astounding 75 percent completion rate. He has been leaning heavily on Mike Thomas and Alvin Kamara but is starting to trust Cam Meredith and rookie TreQuan Smith more each game. Number 9 will soon have another receiving weapon when Ingram returns, he has become a very reliable pass catcher and is not given his just due there.
One last phase of the team that should helped is the defense, though Sunday they looked like a pretty solid unit. When they have Thunder and Lightning they can have longer more sustained drives. With the full complement of weapons they can dominate time of possession and maintain leads in the fourth quarter. A great running game can demoralize a team like the Saints did to the Bills in 2017. The team did more than tread water in Ingram’s absence and now Coach Payton has another piece in his toolbox to keep opposing defensive coordinators up late at night.