Reggie Bush is gradually working his way back into the Saints’ offense – and again showing his big playability.
It’s happening again. As was the case during the 2009 season, the New Orleans Saints’ offense is again virtually unstoppable. Yesterday’s 31-13 drubbing of the resurgent St. Louis Rams was New Orleans’ sixth consecutive victory and, after the conclusion of the Sunday games, the Saints are third in the NFL in offensive yards and passing yards, and rank seventh in points per game with 25.4.
New Orleans WR Marques Colston hauled in two touchdown passes from Saints QB and Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees yesterday, while Lance Moore, another potent NO wide receiver, added a third receiving touchdown.
And, with little fanfare, Reggie Bush is quietly becoming more and more of a factor within the Saints’ offensive gameplan. In fact, Bush actually had the Saints’ second-longest play from scrimmage Sunday. On first and 10 from the New Orleans 33 yard line with 10:03 remaining in the second quarter, the multi-purpose player ran off left guard for a 13-yard gain. The Saints got another 15 yards on the play thanks to a personal foul courtesy of Rams free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe.
The rest of Bush’s day was solid. No. 25 started off with a seven-yard reception on the game’s opening drive, which ended with Brees’ five-yard touchdown pass to Colston.
On the Saints’ second offensive drive, Bush contributed a four-yard reception and a three-yard rush, both of which led to Brees’ second touchdown pass of the quarter to Colston. The TD put the Saints up 14-0 in the first quarter.
In all, Bush totaled 39 yards rushing on nine attempts, good for a strong 4.3 yards per attempt average. Sunday’s rushing total pushed him past the 2,000-yard plateau for his career; he has now rushed for 2,024 yards since entering the NFL in 2006. Yesterday, Bush also caught all five passes thrown his way, for a total of 22 yards. He also returned two punts for 16 total yards.
Although Bush’s output against the Rams may be considered modest, it comes just three games after returning to action. He missed eight games this season with a broken right leg he suffered during the Saints’ Week 2 victory against the San Francisco 49ers.
With RB Chris Ivory and WR Robert Meachem, as well as Brees, Colston and Moore, all having strong seasons, the prudent approach regarding Bush appears to be the one the Saints are employing: to slowly integrate him into the offense and the return game as appropriate and without upsetting the chemistry the Saints developed during his absence due to injury.
The Saints next play the Ravens in Baltimore on December 19, in what could prove to be a preview of the February Super Bowl.
For Bush, Sunday’s game will be another opportunity to work himself back into a system that allows his diverse skills to flourish.
But unlike the 2009 season, where the Saints started the season 13-0 and limped into the playoffs with three straight losses, New Orleans appears to be hitting its stride just in time for another postseason push.
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