Balance on Offense
Oct 16, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) carries the ball against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints won 41-38. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
This goes beyond just the obvious ‘balance’ when it comes to offense, of running the football.
There’s little doubt that if the Saints are going to win this game, Mark Ingram will need to be a big part of that success.
Ingram will be a crucial part in slowing down the Chiefs ferocious pass rush.
This is a game where the Saints desperately need Terron Armstead to be back healthy. However, if they are forced to go with Andrus Peat at left tackle, or Tony Hills out of desperation, running the ball will be absolutely essential.
Oct 2, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe (92) and outside linebacker Dee Ford (55) sack Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Chiefs front seven may be even more talented than the Panthers, especially along the defensive line. If Drew Brees has to drop back 40 plus times, he is going to be sacked –more than once.
Le’Veon Bell rushed for 188 yards on 18 attempts. I don’t expect that type of success, but there is no better time than now for Ingram to have his first 100 yard game of the year.
When it comes to the passing attack, Drew Brees will also need to spread the ball around, as he has been doing lately.
Ben Roethlisberger completed passes to nine different receivers and five touchdowns in the Steelers win.
Combined with a strong running game, this type of balance completely takes the edge out of a defense, and forces them to react instead of asserting their will on an offense.
Against an instinctual team like the Chiefs, keeping them guessing defensively will be critical. Much easier said than done, especially against a battle-tested head coach like Andy Reid.
The next step is the hardest, but arguably the most important.