Will Pierre Thomas Break Out in 2010?
Pierre Thomas combined for a modest 1095 total yards (793 rushing) and 8 TDs (6 rushing) last year. He entered the season with high expectations, but the start of the season was derailed because of a knee injury. He came back with a vengeance piling up 126 yards and 2 TDs against Buffalo. He followed that game up with 132 total yards and a scored against the jets. From there it was a mixed bag, alternating between solid and subpar performances. He only got 12 carries in the final three weeks and 31 in the final five with just 1 TD.
Along the way Mike Bell vultured 654 yards and 5 TDs and Reggie Bush added 725 total yards (390 rushing) and 8 TDs (5 rushing). He had over 15 carries just once during the year (Week 4 vs. Jets). He seemed to pick it up a bit in the playoffs though rushing for 143 yards and a TD on 36 carries with 12 catches for 111 yards and 2 TDs.
He again enters the season with optimism thanks to Mike Bell’s departure to Philadelphia. PT is going on average with the 27th pick (16th RB). I personally have him higher (click to see my RB ratings). He is a perfect RB for the Saints’ system and picks up yards in chunks. Last year he averaged 5.4 yards per carry. Despite Reggie Bush’s presence, he still managed to catch 39 passes last year.
In the nine games last year in which he had 10+ carries he averaged 93.7 total yards with 7 TDs. In six double-figure carries games in 2008 he averaged 112.8 total yards with 9 TDs. He doesn’t need 20+ carries to do serious damage. As long as he gets about 15-18 touches he is capable of putting up RB1 numbers.
Without Mike Bell stealing his carries, PT is almost guaranteed to have that kind of usage. That, of course, is provided he stays healthy.
Prediction: 1300 total yards (1000 rushing), 8 TDs (7 rushing), 35 receptions
What do you expect from Pierre Thomas?
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