Originally written on The Saints Nation  |  Last updated 11/20/14

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 08: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy during Super Bowl Champion Coach Press Conference at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center on February 8, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Pete Carmichael Jr. took over for Sean Payton this season as the offensive play caller and while the players on the field are carrying out the plays, I wanted to look out how this offense has compared in 2012 to all the other seasons when Sean Payton was either calling all the plays or at least overseeing the team. Some observations: The Saints are averaging 26.8 points per game offensively this season. In 7 seasons with Sean Payton (counting this one), this would have ranked 4th best. Payton in 6 seasons running the offense combined has averaged 28.1 points per game. The Saints are completing 61.9% of their passes this season. The worst it's been in any season Sean Payton coached was 64.1%. The Saints are averaging 4.2 yards per carry, which is better than all but two seasons (2011 and 2009) in the Sean Payton era. Despite this they are only running less than 35% of the time. Sean Payton in 6 years has never had a ratio that skewed. Even in 2007 and 2008, his ratios were 37.5% and 38.5% runs. Those were the least balanced teams under Payton. In the Saints most successful years, 2006, 2009 and 2011, the ran the ball 44.9% of the time, 49.2% and 47.7% respectively. So despite averaging more yards per carry than 4 of the 6 Sean Payton era teams, Pete Carmichael had a higher passing ratio than Sean Payton ever has in 6 seasons as a playcaller.  Drew Brees is getting sacked 4.3% of the time he drops back for a pass. That is by far the highest rate in the Sean Payton era in seven seasons. No season even comes close. Surely the offensive line is partly to blame for that, but maybe the defenses know all too well the pass is coming? Mark Ingram leads the team in carries despite a 3.6 yards per carry average. Pierre Thomas averages 4.8, Chris Ivory averages 5.4 and Darren Sproles averages 4.5. That's right, they all average more than a FULL YARD more per carry than Ingram except Sporles (who averages 0.9 yards more per), yet Ingram is the primary runner. The Saints average 7.5 yards per pass. That is 3rd worst in the 7 years under Sean Payton. So while there's plenty of blame to go around with the defense, the offensive line, Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham's drops - I think it's fare to say the drop off from Sean Payton to Pete Carmichael Jr. has been significant. First of all, he passes way too much. a 65-35 pass to run ratio is borderline insane, and it's the biggest disparity in New Orleans Saints history. It's led to a less efficient passing game (lowest completion percentage in Sean Payton era, highest sack percentage in Sean Payton era, 3rd lowest yards per pass) despite the fact that the run game has been decent (3rd best in yards per carry). And the run game has been decent despite the fact that the worst performer is getting the bulk of the carries. Is Pete Carmichael a horrible play caller? Of course not. Is he worse than all six years Sean Payton was the Saints' play caller individually? Yes. It's a high standard of course, but one that he didn't meet despite the same weapons. Some could argue the weapons are in fact much more pronounced than they were in the early Sean Payton years, and Drew Brees is certainly more developed. I'm not sure expecting anything else would have been realistic, but at the end of the day I'm inclined to say that Carmichael overall has failed in his duties this season. Picking up Sean Payton's slack wasn't going to be an enviable task for anyone, but Carmichael didn't meet it. When you consider Pete Carmichael inherited the greastest offense in NFL history a year ago, looking at these numbers I'm more convinced of two things: 1. The Saints miss Sean Payton every single bit as much as we think they do and should pay him the most money in NFL history for a coach immediately. 2. Pete Carmichael isn't a good enough play caller (yet) to get a team to the playoffs. Imagine if he hadn't been handed the keys to the best offense in NFL history. Imagine if he was calling plays for the Bills offense! Yes, the defense has been horrible all year. The worst ever. Hopefully they can use these last four games to avoid that distinction permanently. But let's not allow that to cloud our judgment that Carmichael has been largely mediocre too. When you look at it that way, Carmichael and Spagnuolo were the ones supposed to pick up the most slack with Sean Payton gone. In fact, neither was made head coach so they could "focus" entirely on their duties as play callers. Safe to say they both kind of blew it.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Check out these leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Aqib Talib’s aggravated assault investigation suspended by Dallas PD

Ohio State expects 80,000 at its spring game this Saturday

Bryant strikes out three times in debut; Cubs fans heckle him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBA rookies who disappointed in 2014-15 season

Report: Urban Meyer reassured Belichick about Hernandez

Cuban: Harden is MVP, Rockets are not very good

J.R. Smith: 'I don’t think anyone can beat us'

SCOTUS asked to overturn baseball's antitrust exemption

Is Chip Kelly expecting too much from Josh Huff?

Ubaldo Jimenez hit Pablo Sandoval with pitch, was ejected

NBA to track and post referees’ calls beginning in playoffs

MLB payrolls continue to rise

NBA playoffs: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

There are only two contenders ... in the West?

Woman stripped of marathon win, didn't actually run in race

Matt Barnes' son betrays him for Steph Curry

WATCH: Padres fan saved from falling by alert cameraman

Kemp hosts Seattle party over OKC missing playoffs

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the burden of legacy

Kris Bryant and floor versus ceiling

Top 10 storylines of the NBA Playoffs

A-Rod being taken to court over unpaid legal fees

Could Wilson really be a two-sport star?

Five players who must step up in the NBA playoffs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.