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The loss of Reggie Bush will hurt New Orleans' offense less than losing Ryan Grant will hurt Green Bay's offense, due primarily to the fact that New Orleans has depth at the running back position. Pierre Thomas is a proven rusher, and will be able to pick up most of the rushing slack resulting from the loss of Bush. However, not having a second rushing weapon as talented as Bush will hurt the Saints' rushing attack, and the loss of Bush as one more receiving target for Brees will certainly have a negative effect on the Saints' passing attack. On top of that, while Ryan Grant has no role in Green Bay's special teams, Reggie Bush does return punts for New Orleans, and is very effective at such a role.

Hence, while Bush's loss won't have the same negative impact on the Saints' offense as losing Ryan Grant will have on the Packers' offense, the likely resulting downgrade in the Saints' special teams play means that overall Bush's absence will hurt New Orleans to the same magnitude as Grant's offense will hurt Green Bay (again, I estimate that losing Bush will downgrade New Orleans' team performance about 1.5 points per game (half a field goal). It is worth noting that since Reggie Bush is a high profile player, the public is likely to overestimate the negative effect that losing him will have on the New Orleans Saints. Judging by the change in the line in the New Orleans/Atlanta game after Bush's injury, it appears that the public is estimating that the loss of Bush will cost the Saints an average of 2 to 2.5 points per game.

Posted: Friday, 24 September 2010 07:39 AM

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