I usually talk about schemes and game plans in my post game columns here at the NFP, but watching the Saints roll over the Cardinals, it was hard not to notice the play of Reggie Bush.
This past week I wrote that Bush would have to be an “X-factor” for the Saints if they were going to make a push to Miami, and whenever you talk about a player like that you are referring to what he can do when he is used creatively in the game plan.
That was Bush today in New Orleans. He didn’t have a ton of touches in the game—12 total—but it was the production that will have all of us talking about him throughout the week as the Saints prepare to host the NFC Championship game.
Bush became that dynamic weapon we all want to see. He was explosive with the ball in his hands, he finished runs, and when he is back deep on kicks in the punt return game—he can make plays.
The run, the one run that I can’t stop replaying, that highlighted Bush’s day was his 46-yard TD when he changed direction so effortlessly, made a hard cut, got up field and then out ran the Arizona defense to the end zone. Not much different than his punt return. Catch the ball, set up the defense, make one cut—and go.
Reminded me of his USC days to be honest.
However, I was more impressed with the way he started the game, finishing runs and running with a sense of power. Not something we usually see from Bush, right? Not really, but as it usually works in the NFL, the biggest of stages usually bring out the best from players in their individual efforts.
This was the best from Bush. He doesn’t have to carry the football 20 times to have an impact. Instead he is used in a variety of ways where we get to see his unique talents in Sean Payton’s offense. 84-yards rushing, 24-yards receiving, 190-yards in the return game and two big plays—and those win games in January.
Gregg Williams’ defense was great, Darren Sharper looked like the safety we saw in Week Eight, and Drew Bress was near perfect again throwing for 247-yards and 3 TDs. But I am focusing on Bush’s performance from this game.
Why? Because it is an added bonus to an already loaded offense and, really, an already loaded football team.
That is now one win away from Miami.
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