Article Ross Jackson

Up Close and Personnel: Saints Personnel Grouping Analysis from Week 12

I usually do this every week on the Locked on Saints podcast, but given the holiday I won’t have another episode before the Thanksgiving night game vs. the Atlanta Falcons. With that, there were still some interesting finds from Sunday’s match up that might tell us something about what the Saints will want to do in Atlanta to secure a second-straight year of turkey leg celebration.

First, let’s take a look at the personnel grouping breakdown from last week. Remember, the two-digit code indicates the number or running backs (first digit) and tight ends (second digit) are on the field in each package.

Special thanks to The Saints Wire’s John Sigler for the chart guidance, by the way. In this game, the Saints ran a total of eight different personnel groups. In my last personnel article ahead of the Week 12 matchup, I mentioned that keeping the Saints offense as diverse as possible while limiting Carolina’s would be of great benefit to the team. Though Carolina maintained a balanced run/pass split of 43%/57%, they only marched out four different personnel groupings. The Saints doubled that.

While the Saints did show a very diverse set of packages throughout the game, including almost loading up a goal line look featuring Nose Tackle Malcom Brown. Showing this many looks help to keep a team unpredictable. For the Saints, that is a very important element to their success.

In all by one of the Saints’ wins so far this season, they’ve run at least three different groupings with a share of at least 10%. In both of their losses they failed to get to 10% on a third personnel group. The difference between the two losses and one win? Run/pass balance, of course.

The Saints are at their best when they are balanced in the run and pass game while being diverse in what they show the opposing defense. With Drew Brees under center withAlvin Kamara and Latavius Murray in the backfield, this isn’t a tall task. Look for the Saints to work toward achieving this type of balance and unpredictability throughout their Thanksgiving game visiting the rival Atlanta Falcons.