Its official, Pierre Thomas will not play against the Cardinals in Arizona. That means it will fall on Ladell Betts and Chris Ivory to carry the rushing load for the Saints for the second consecutive week. I’d be worried, except those two have been by far the most successful in animating the running game for far this season. Does that mean I think Betts and Ivory are more productive than Thomas and Bush? Of course not. But it does mean I think they can shoulder the load in their absence.
Here’s what the Saints have accomplished on the ground through 4 games:
Week 1 vs. Vikings: 79 yards on 25 carries (3.2 yard average) with Thomas and Bush as primary runners
Week 2 @ 49ers: 50 yards on 24 carries (2.1 yard average) with Thomas and Bush as primary runners
Week 3 vs. Falcons: 43 yards on 16 carries (2.7 yard average) with Thomas and Ivory as primary runners
Week 4 vs. Panthers: 121 yards on 29 carries (4.2 yard average) with Betts and Ivory as primary runners
So while Ladell Betts and Chris Ivory isn’t my idea of a two pronged attack that strikes fear into anyone that steps in their way, there’s something to be said for sticking with the hot hand. Despite facing a strong run defense, they combined for a very strong showing last week against Carolina. There is no denying the impressive success they combined to have in that game. They’ll have to do it again this week against Arizona, and we’ll have to hope for an equally dominant performance from the Saints’ offensive line.