In his first seven games of the 2013 season, New Orleans Saints No. 1 wide receiver Marques Colston had just 27 receptions, including just six catches from weeks five to eight. Most of us were wondering what was up with Colston, and there were some people who were even going as far to predict Colston’s decline or call his season a lost year. Others saw that the Saints offense was incorporating many different targets and using Colston less as a result, but it was still a bit unsettling to see that he wasn’t getting the kind of numbers he put up in his previous three seasons (80+ receptions in each year).
Colston finished the 2013 season with 75 catches for 943 yards and five touchdowns, and those are solid numbers. However, they were also his worst numbers since the 2008 season. I wouldn’t go around calling Colston’s 2013 season a disappointment at all, because he made use of all the targets he was given, showed that he is the most consistent WR in the NFL, and he really bounced back from a disappointing first eight weeks.
The Saints decided to rest Colston in Week 9 against the New York Jets (the Saints lost that game, by the way, though missing Colston wasn’t the reason why), as Colston was fighting through a nagging knee injury. It looks like the rest had a huge effect on Colston’s season, because the versatile wideout was excellent from Week 10 on.
From Week 10 to Week 17, Marques Colston never had less than four receptions in a single game, averaging a stout 75.1 receiving yards per game in that time span. That’s quite the turn-around, and those stats just show how consistent Colston was during the home stretch of the Saints season; they are also right on-par with WR1 numbers.
Colston is definitely a No. 1 receiver, and he did everything he could yesterday and once again showed why he is easily Brees’s No. 1 target. He’s such a savvy, smooth route-runner that he’s almost always open, and he has such good hands that he rarely drops a pass. The Seattle Seahawks were focused on taking Jimmy Graham and the screen game away from Brees and the Saints, and it’s safe to say that they executed that to perfection and really hampered the Saints offense by doing that.
It was clear that Colston was easily the best player on the Saints yesterday, and he was the guy carrying Brees and the offense afloat. A whopping 16 targets went his way due to the other receivers getting suffocated by the amazing Seahawks defense, and Colston got 11 of those 16 passes thrown at him for 144 yards in a hyper-efficient day. He simply got open at will in the middle of the field, and it was a remarkable performance from Colston that deserves plenty of praise. The consistent 70-catch wideout has never averaged less yards per game in a season in his career than he did this year, but that’s because of his hobbled, slow start to he season; he was simply magnificent and a crucial, ever-reliable part of the team in the second half of the year.