In light of the recent injuries that have hobbled some of their most prominent offensive weapons, a number of New Orleans Saints players must step up and increase their offensive production.
In their most recent outing, the Saints fell to the New York Jets on the road, 26-20. Top wide receiver Marques Colston was inactive due to a knee injury, and explosive all-purpose back Darren Sproles was knocked out of the game in the early going with a concussion.
With star tight end Jimmy Graham battling an ongoing foot injury, New Orleans' top three offensive playmakers are all injured in some fashion.
The Saints' lack of offensive contributors was glaringly evident this past Sunday, as quarterback Drew Brees struggled to find open targets.
With New Orleans' ground game stifled by the fearsome Jets defensive line, the Saints were forced to take to the air early and often, and Brees found the going tough.
Sure, New York defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson and company dominated the line of scrimmage from start to finish. But on the rare occasions when Brees was afforded the time to look down field, his receivers created little to no separation. The Saints were also plagued by an insufferable amount of dropped passes throughout the contest, which further hampered their offensive production.
There were a few bright spots on Sunday, as Graham and wide receivers Lance Moore and Robert Meachem enjoyed solid outings. But the lack of production from other offensive skill players, coupled with poor offensive line play, proved too costly to overcome.
With the status of Colston and Sproles still up in the air, the following players need to improve their play and contribute more to the Saints offense in the coming weeks.