Found October 05, 2012 on The Saints Nation:
Nfl_preseason_003d
I was perusing the PFF grades through the first four weeks of the season today and I came across some interesting numbers. Of all the guards in the NFL, Jahri Evans is currently ranked 5th, Ben Grubbs is currently 8th and Carl Nicks is currently ranked 16th. All things being equal, would I prefer to have kept Nicks? Of course. But his loss, at least so far, isn't as pronounced and some would have you believe. Not that PFF is the ultimate measure of performance or a decisive way to theorize how Nicks would have done in a different environment, but it confirms my suspicion that guard play isn't the problem with some the Saints' offensive struggles. Granted, Carl Nicks' run blocking rating come in much higher than Evans/Grubbs, but overall the two Saints' guards grade higher. There is no question Nicks would be a boost to the Saints' running game. The Saints currently average 4.3 yards per carry (vs. 4.9 last season with Nicks in the lineup). By comparison the Bucs averaged 4.2 yards per carry last year and average 3.6 this year through 4 games. Nicks is just one player so obviously he doesn't deserve blame for a huge dropoff in Tampa just as much as he doesn't deserve sole credit for a drop off for the Saints the year after he left. Still, it's hard to conclude based on all that small sample size evidence that not having Carl Nicks is having a dramatic effect on the Saints offense. It's not.

The dramatic drop in performance is the receiver position, pure, plain and simple. Lance Moore has done what Lance Moore does, maybe with a few more drops than usual... but otherwise, Marques Colston has played on one leg, Robert Meachem is gone, Devery Henderson looks old, slow and has been concussed, Adrian Arrington and Nick Toon have both been placed on IR (Arrington since waived), and Joe Morgan hasn't been able to come close to offering the Saints what Meachem did. So, to me, you can look no further than the atrocious play at receiver being primarily responsible for the offensive woes. Granted, Colston is on the mend so that should hopefully repair a lot of problems... but Lance Moore looks to be unavailable Sunday night so there will still be some shoes to fill. Can anyone say Greg Camarillo?

The Saints are currently averaging 7.1 yards per passing attempt. Last year they averaged 8.3 yards per. Brees' current completion % is 57.6% compared to 71.2% last year. That's due to receivers dropping passes and struggling to get open. Lastly, receivers accounted for 53.4% of the Saints' passing yards last year. This year, it's down to 36%. If you take away that one Joe Morgan 80 yarder, it would be down to under 32%. That means Brees is having to settle for dump off to Graham/Sproles because the receivers aren't getting separation.

So while defense is the principle reason the Saints are 0-4 right now, and any suggestion otherwise is comical, the notion that Carl Nicks' departure is affecting the Saints' offense is misguided. Would I love to have him? Sure. Would the Saints be better than 0-4 right now with him? Pretty doubtful. If you want an explanation as to why the Saints' offense has slowed down, it's not Sean Payton being gone as much as the injuries and lack of performance at the receiver position.

[follow]
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Saints’ Curtis Lofton made a huge mistake

New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton left the Atlanta Falcons during the 2012 offseason to sign a 5 year deal worth 33.5 million. However with the Falcons 4-0 and the Saints 0-4, did Lofton make a mistake signing with the Saints? The whole reason Lofton signed with the Saints was either because of money or finding a championship, because the Saints have had more success...

San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints – Week 5 Pre-game

I can’t account for the past four or five weeks in my life, but I have strange memories of being surrounded my little green men and red headed woman on what could have been the interior of a space ship of some kind…I also think that I must have been locked inside some sort of a time continuum, because as I have returned to normal life again I have come to understand that the...

Saints rule out Lance Moore

The New Orleans Saints have officially ruled out wide receiver Lance Moore for Sunday’s game against the Chargers. The Saints will also be without a couple of other key players in David Hawthorne and Roman Harper. #Saints injuries: WR Lance Moore ruled OUT. Also OUT: T. McBride, D. Hawthorne, T. Cadet. … R. Harper, J. Casillas, J. Morgan questionable — Mike Triplett (@TripTP...

Lance Moore Ruled Out For Week 5

According to beat writer Mike Triplett, Saints wideout Lance Moore (hamstring) missed Friday's practice, his third straight, and will not play on Sunday.Fantasy Spin:Moore, always a Drew Brees favorite in key situations, has become a valuable fantasy asset with Robert Meachem in San Diego. He's second on the team in targets with 37, behind Jimmy Graham and had caught 19 balls...

Fantasy Football Update: Marques Colston…

Fantasy Football Update: Marques Colston A ’Must-Start’ In Week 5 - According to team sources, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore has been ruled out for the team’s week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers. Last week, wide receiver Marques Colston exploded on the field as he led the team in receiving yards. With Moore missing the game, this makes Colston almost...

Report: Payton to attend Saints game

Suspended New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton plans to attend Sunday night's game against the San Diego Chargers, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Payton, who is serving a season-long suspension, is forbidden from having contact with the team, but a league spokesman said that a postgame meeting is being arranged between Payton and quarterback Drew Brees, who requested...

San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints: Three Bold Predictions

After a tough Week 4 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the New Orleans Saints find themselves with a dismal 0-4 record.The San Diego Chargers, however, are on the upside of things; leading the AFC West division at 3-1.The two teams are set to do battle in a Week 5 showdown in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday. The Saints remain win-less, which leaves them with a 0-2 record in...

TE Graham says Gates' success paved way for him

Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham wonders if he would even be in the NFL if not for the success Drew Brees had with Antonio Gates in San Diego more than a half decade ago. Graham, who played only one season of college football at Miami after four years of basketball, says he knows Gates paved the way for him. Brees says Gates was ''an experiment'' when he joined the...

San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints NFL Week 5 Preview

Follow @Dan Vasta   http://www.businessinsider.com/are-injured-qb-drew-brees-and-the-saints-breaking-nfl-rules-2010-11 Drew Brees is climbing up the record books these days as he is a TD away against the Chargers from breaking Johnny Unitas’ record for consecutive games with at least one TD pass (48 would be record). Brees has spun it 191 times this season while completing 110...

Saints Nation: Scouting the Chargers

The Saints are 0-4 and the only thing we have to really root for at this point is Brees getting the consecutive games with a passing touchdown record. He's currently tied with Johnny Unitas and one touchdown pass in this game will give him what he needs to eclipse it. So who will be the man to catch that touchdown pass? I'm going with Jimmy Graham. Of course while the Saints...

Mark Sanchez Benching, Drew Brees' Pursuit of Joe DiMaggio Among Top NFL Week 5 Prop Bets (Photos)

Two NFL quarterbacks could make news this weekend for very different reasons. Sunday night marks the New Orleans Saints' return to primetime, where they will take on the San Diego Chargers in search of their first win of the season. It will also be a chance for quarterback Drew Brees to rewrite the record books. The New Orleans quarterback is looking to throw at least one touchdown...
NFL Forum Discussions
Can't wait SPLASH MESSAGE! 2 days!
4 replies, 1 day ago
1st win 2013!
2 replies, 1 day ago
Thank you kinmosa and watamote!
4 replies, 1 day ago
Rodgers out 3-6 weeks?
4 replies, 1 day ago
Thank you Vikes!
4 replies, 1 day ago
Thank you 5 years!!!!!
2 replies, 1 day ago
Home Sweet Home!
2 replies, 1 day ago
NFL on NHK next week
2 replies, 1 day ago
Pro Bowl draft
2 replies, 1 day ago
We are NFC EAST Champion!!!!!!!!!!
2 replies, 1 day ago
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.