The Pass Game: Plays to Run
This is a game that thankfully plays right into the strength of our wide receivers and more importantly quarterback. With the Saints playing a lot of deep zone that means the quick underneath routes are usually wide open. One play that I kept seeing over and over that we love to run is the quick screen to Demaryius Thomas. Plenty of teams had great success with running the screen game that I think we could see Thomas bust one for 40 or more yards in this one. Really the goal every week should be just get the ball in our playmakers hands and let them go make a play. This type of play again goes to the idea of trying to make one player miss and seeing what happens.
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Another area to attack would be with the drop off passes to our running backs. The Saints have given up the third most receiving yards to running backs this season. This is where the aggression of the Saints can work against them of hitting that running back screen play right over the blitzing players. Beyond just an actual screen though running backs coming out of the backfield have had success just running a route as many times the linebacking group for the Saints can get confused on who has coverage towards the sideline.
Now since the Saints play a lot of zone defense there are quite a few options to throw at them with our receiving core. One great option that teams have used is to flood a certain part of the zone with 2-3 receiving options making that one player have to decide which player to follow. The quick curl routes also work well in sitting down between two defenders. I am guessing we will a lot of the quick routes where most everything is completed within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Again the idea of letting our playmakers go make some plays and this helps in keeping better down and distances on drives so we don’t see as many 3-and-outs.
One final area that I would be willing to bet we see a ton of in this game is the play action/boot leg type plays. Again when you have a linebacking core that is thin and hasn’t played a lot together you can get them to bite on the play action and see if something opens up over the middle. I am really hoping this is the game where we see our tight ends really have a big game.
The opportunities are there we just need to finally execute to see this offense come alive. Beyond just attacking over the linebackers though the play action has also opened up some chances over the top against this defense. Yes they try to play a scheme that doesn’t allow teams to get over the top but if you can get the corners or safeties to take a bad step they can give up a big play over the top. The Saints have given up the 6th most big plays through the air in the NFL. We need our offense to add to that total for us to have a chance this weekend to get things back on track.