Fantasy owners looking for some semblance of a rushing attack in New Orleans received the exact opposite as the Saints ran the ball a not so grand total of ten times in their Week One loss to Washington. Playing from behind from the get go, the Saints were down 20-7 in the first half, New Orleans all but abandoned the run game. RB Mark Ingram carried six times for 15 yards, while RB Pierre Thomas had four rushes for 17 yards.
RB Darren Sproles caught a late fourth quarter touchdown pass to salvage what had been a very quiet day up until that point. The Saints lightning bug had a Week One stat line that shows five catches for 35 yards and an eight yard TD pass to go with zero rushing attempts. As a team, New Orleans had the lowest rushing attempts on Sunday as the Carolina Panthers registered 13 carries and the Green Bay Packers ran the ball 14 times. Earlier in the year we discussed that New Orleans would be in shootouts almost every week this season and that was certainly the case in the Saints 40-32 loss to Washington.
Saints QB Drew Brees had 52 pass attempts on Sunday – the most since he threw 56 passes in a 30-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week Seven back in 2010. With an offensive line that is better known for pass protecting, we don't see the Saints rushing attack overwhelming anyone this season. While the run game may get somewhat healthy in Week Two against the Panthers (130 rush yards allowed to Tampa Bay) other than Sproles, fantasy owners may want to look beyond the Bayou Boys when activating running backs moving forward.