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SmashMouth 11-29-2012 09:49 AM

Saints run offense, defense key against Falcons
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In their first meeting this season just 17 days ago, the New Orleans Saints did to the Atlanta Falcons what most NFL coaches go into every game hoping to do.

The Saints ran the ball with some authority, even though they went into the game ranked 30th in rushing, and stopped the run in a 31-27 victory over the previously undefeated Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

It was textbook football for the Saints, who can only hope to get similar results when the NFC South rivals meet again Thursday night in the Georgia Dome.

The Saints, who had only two 100-yard games to that point in the season and were averaging just 81.0 yards per game, pounded the Falcons for 148 yards. In doing so, they averaged 5.1 yards on 29 carries, with Chris Ivory setting the tone with a 56-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

On the other side of the ball, the Saints’ 32nd-ranked run defense held the Falcons’ once-vaunted rushing game to 46 yards — the only time they’ve given up fewer than 100 yards all season — and allowed 2.6 yards per attempt.

The results on both sides of the ball have given them confidence and a little bit of swagger, which, interim coach Joe Vitt said, came from the proper preparation.

“Every week, every game takes on a life of its own and a challenge of its own,” Vitt said. “We played them on a short week (after playing on a Monday night) and had to come back from a night game.

“These guys are professional players. We’ve got the right people in this locker room, and they prepare properly. There are always challenges, but those challenges are never going to be an excuse for failure.”

The challenge this week is to try to duplicate that improbable success against a Falcons’ team that has turned to the passing game more than ever this season and ranks 28th in rushing — one spot lower than the Saints — and 22nd against the run.

“What we took away from that first game is we put up some good points, we controlled the ball, and we had good ball security,” Saints fullback Jed Collins said. “That’s the kind of simple things we have to take into this week’s game.”

The Saints also threw for 298 yards, with quarterback Drew Brees tossing three touchdowns after an early interception, which helped open running lanes for Ivory, Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram.

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TheOak 11-29-2012 09:59 AM

Re: Saints run offense, defense key against Falcons

SmashMouth 11-29-2012 10:08 AM

Re: Saints run offense, defense key against Falcons

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