Saints making most out of shotgun formation

Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

The New Orleans Saints aren’t using the shotgun formation very often this season, but they’re the league’s most productive team when they do.

Thanks to ESPN’s Stats & Information, we’ve got a very thorough breakdown of what teams have done out of the shotgun formation.

The Saints are averaging a league-best 8.5 yards per play out of a formation that they’re using only 24.72 percent of the time (or 58 plays), the sixth lowest figure in the league. Quarterback Drew Brees is leading all NFL quarterbacks with a 127.1 passer rating out of the formation.

Carolina’s Jake Delhomme ranks second in the division out of the shotgun with a 102.7 rating. The Panthers have used the formation 28 times.

Atlanta’s Matt Ryan has a 94.1 rating and the Falcons have used the shotgun 54 times. One other interesting stat here: Ryan hasn’t been sacked when the Falcons use the shotgun.

The Bucs have used the formation far more than the rest of the NFC South, but it hasn’t produced great results. Byron Leftwich had a 63.7 rating out of the shotgun before losing his job to Josh Johnson, who has a 39.8 rating. Leftwich has taken 78 snaps out of the formation and Johnson has taken 58.

The Bucs have run 51.94 percent of their 310 offensive plays out of the shotgun. That’s second to New England, which has used the formation on 53.56 percent of its plays.