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Saints find their ground game, and reason for the NFC to worry

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Maybe it wouldn't have made a bit of difference. Maybe even if Cowboys linebacker and leading tackler Sean Lee hadn't pulled a hamstring early in the second quarter, or defensive tackle and sack leader Jason Hatcher hadn't sat out with ...

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Old 11-13-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
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Maybe it wouldn't have made a bit of difference. Maybe even if Cowboys linebacker and leading tackler Sean Lee hadn't pulled a hamstring early in the second quarter, or defensive tackle and sack leader Jason Hatcher hadn't sat out with a stinger, the results would have been exactly the same.
Maybe the absence of Dallas safety J.J. Wilcox (knee) and nickel cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring) meant nothing in the grand scheme of things Sunday night at the Superdome, where the Saints ran roughshod over the Cowboys 49-17. Maybe it was just one of those games where New Orleans was going to make its opponents pay, and pay dearly.
After all, we've seen it plenty of times before. When the Saints truly get their surgical-precision offense going, it really doesn't matter who's playing defense against them. It could be the '85 Bears, and New Orleans would get its share of points and roll up some yards.
The banged up NFC East-leading Cowboys (5-5) were just the unlucky team in the way on this night, with the Saints determined to make up for last week's surprising 26-20 loss to the New York Jets and maybe send a full-throated Superdome-style message to the rest of the NFC: Don't forget about us. Seattle may be a conference-best 9-1 and coming off a dominant showing at Atlanta on Sunday. And Carolina (6-3) may be the flavor of the month, with five straight wins and a statement-game victory at defending NFC champion San Francisco in Week 10.

But the Saints still think they've got their 2009 mojo and blueprint to victory back in place, and this was their latest primetime opportunity to showcase it and, dare we say, even add to their winning formula. Did you happen to notice the running game that gouged holes in the depleted Dallas defense throughout the course of the blowout win? Led by Mark Ingram's career-best 145 yards on the ground -- his first 100-yard game in his three NFL seasons -- the Saints ran for 242 yards, the franchise's highest single-game output since November 1990, against Cincinnati.
If the Saints can replicate and rely on anything close to that kind of running game in the season's second half and into the playoffs, maybe they can play the physical brand of ball that will put them in position to trade punches with the defensive-led Seahawks, Panthers and 49ers.
"We've been putting so much emphasis on the run game and we just wanted to come out here on a national stage and prove to everybody that we can play smash-mouth football and run the ball," said Ingram, the first Saints 100-yard rusher since Week 2 of last season, snapping an NFL-high 22-game drought in that department.
"When we go on the road and in the playoffs, you have to be able to run the ball. Everybody just thinks we're pass, pass and just run sometimes. But it was just important for us to show the world that we can come out and line up and hit you in the mouth and be efficient running the ball, and make big plays running the ball, and be explosive running the ball. As an offensive unit we wanted to prove that."
Pretty sure the rest of the NFC got the message, because against Dallas the Saints set an NFL record with 40 first downs in the game (15 of which came via the ground game) and piled up a franchise regular-season record 625 yards of offense, the most by any team in a non-overtime regular season game since San Diego gained 661 yards against Cincinnati in a December 1982 Monday Night Football classic. According to Pro Football Reference, the Saints are the first team since at least 1960 to amass at least 230 yards rushing and 380 yards passing in the same game.
"Yeah, I think people got the point,'' said Ingram, grinning. "But there's still much more we can improve on. We plan on playing a lot bigger games than this one."


Read More: Saints find ground game against Dallas - NFL - Don Banks - SI.com

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Old 11-13-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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Re: Saints find their ground game, and reason for the NFC to worry

Originally Posted by SmashMouth View Post
"Yeah, I think people got the point,'' said Ingram, grinning. "But there's still much more we can improve on. We plan on playing a lot bigger games than this one."
Funny, this feels like the first time I have even read a quote from Ingram this year in the Forum.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:25 PM   #3
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Re: Saints find their ground game, and reason for the NFC to worry

If we can do the same to San Fran and Carolina the way we beat Dallas running the ball then and only then will the NFC be worried. I loved what we did to Dallas, we looked like a team that played lights out and I have wondered when our O was going to step up and look like we use to but 1 great game is to me all we have played on the O all season. We beat the 2 best D's in the league in fashion we could be what every team wants to be in not just the NFC but the entire league.
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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Re: Saints find their ground game, and reason for the NFC to worry

We have to be able to beat the good defenses at home & on the road.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:00 AM   #5
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Re: Saints find their ground game, and reason for the NFC to worry

I think of that game sorta like my 2012 Challenger R/T...it's an automatic with MDS (shuts down 4 cyl when cruising)...when you really feel like some power you can open her up (full 8 cyl and all HP). Otherwise you cruise around at half power (sorta).

Step on the peddle and keep 'er down!
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