Friday, April 17, 2009

Saints Nation: Are Saints better or worse without Reggie Bush?

There's been talk that maybe the Saints offense actually plays better without Bush in the lineup so I decided to dig deeper. Saints Nation has run the numbers, and here is what we came up with:

Reggie Bush played in 9 games in 2008 and missed 6. 

Team Rushing Yards per game:

With Reggie the Saints average 109.7 yards per game
Without Reggie the average is 101.2 per game

Team Passing Yards per game:

With Reggie, 331.3 per
Without Reggie, 347.8 per

Points per game:

With Reggie, avg 28
Without Reggie, avg 35.2


With Reggie 2 per game
Without Reggie 1.3 per game

So while the Saints as a team do run for more yards when Reggie has been active, they also throw for much more and also score a good deal more (all while turning the ball over less) when he is inactive. It certainly sounds like the Saints offense is better off without Reggie on the field, right?

In the words of Lee Corso, "not so fast my friend". While some of those numbers (especially points vs turnovers)  seem like glaring differences, the Saints average playing the 17.4th rated defense PER GAME when Reggie was active. By comparison, the average defense they played when Reggie was absent was 25th. So yes, the Saints offense performed better against the competition without Reggie in the game, but they did so against weaker competition. Bottom line is results are inconclusive, but throwing Reggie under the bus based on the facts seems unfair.
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