Found November 14, 2013 on
In beating the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night the New Orleans Saints discovered something that has been missing all season—a running game. Mark Ingram hopped in the Delorean and looked like the Heisman Trophy version of himself with 145 yard and a touchdown on 14 carries (over 10 yards a carry!). Meanwhile Pierre Thomas averaged 5.1 yards a carry on 17 carries totaling 87 yards a carry. Though this running game was a breath of fresh air, it is important that we temper expectations. The Dallas Cowboys defense is not very good and were decimated by injuries before the game. And then during the game, they lost the heart of their defense in Sean Lee and Demarcus Ware, as well as their starting safety to add to the loss of their starting nose tackle Jason Hatcher.  In addition, the Saints were able to go up by a large amount by halftime, so killing the clock became a larger priority of the game plan. However, not to put a complete wet blanket on the Saints success there were some positive takeaways. Sean Payton made a better commitment to running the ball early. The only reason he really strayed away from it was because Lee was injured which left the middle of the Cowboys defense completely overmatched, a weakness too juicy to resist. So it seems Payton has learned his lesson from the Jets game. In addition, he has simplified the attack by giving the lion share of the load to just two backs. Before, it got to the point where he was trying to feed Darren Sproles, Thomas, Khiry Robinson, and whoever else, not allowing any of them to get in a rhythm. Now it seems Sproles will be used more exclusively as a receiver with him running very rarely. Also, there was a lot more variety in the running plays used instead of just straight dive plays. We saw some stretches and off tackles as well. This, in combination with runs out of passing personnel groups, made the runs a bit more unpredictable. Finally, there is question about Ingram. Has he turned the corner? Hard to say. It has only been one game and it was against the one of the worst defenses. What I can say from watching him is that he looks legitimately healthy for the first time since he has been drafted. He looks a little leaner, and is running with more energy and emotion (and maybe fear of losing his job). Also, his vision seems to have gotten better as he made a couple backside cuts and wasn’t constantly running into his own lineman. So the answer is unclear, but if he has in fact learned something from sitting on the bench, this offense has become that much scarier. So what should Saints fans expect going forward? The Saints play 3 of the best  run defenses in the next 4 games with San Francisco, Seattle, and Carolina; so it will be hard to expect great output against any of those teams. However, what matters is, not so much the production, but the amount of attempts. The Saints will always be a passing team, but the Saints lose when Drew Brees throws it over 40 times. If the Saints can run it well enough so Brees is only throwing it 30-40 times, the offense will be alright. More than anything, the offense just has to stay patient with the run game, even if it isn’t producing, because in the big picture, balance is the key to wins, and believe me, the next few are going to be tough to pick up.

Saints rule out Kenny Vaccaro, Ben Watson

The New Orleans Saints have ruled out safety Kenny Vaccaro and tight end Ben Watson for this week’s game against the 49ers after suffering concussions last Sunday. #Saints officially rule out S Kenny Vaccaro and TE Benjamin Watson for this week's game against #49ers. Everyone else is listed as Probable. — Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) November 15, 2013 Need NFL Tickets?...

The worst controversies from a year in sports talk radio

The last week or so much of the sports media world has been focused on the incendiary comments of KNBR sports talk host Damon Bruce, whose awful rant about women not being welcome in sports went viral.  The controversy has now died down and most people have already moved on in this 24/7 news cycle.  Bruce was suspended for two days but he has his normal timeslot back and is talking...

16 Drew Brees fun facts

Drew Brees is an interesting guy. Many people know most facts about him, such as the fact that he is shorter than the prototypical NFL Quarterback. Or that he owns a Jimmy Johns. Or that he thinks the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are treated super well.But those are the big facts. I like to know a man more personally, in a way you can’t gather from just a few articles and twitter...

LB Parys Haralson says no 'hard feelings' towards 49ers: 'I'm a New Orleans Saint and I want to go out and help the Saints win'

New Orleans Saints LB Parys Haralson was traded from the 49ers to the Saints in August and had only good things to say about San Francisco, where he spent his first seven seasons. However, despite the good feelings, he wants to help put a 'L' in the loss column for his former team.

New Orleans Saints: 2013 Week 11 NFL Power Rankings (#3)

Last week: 3 (+0) Record: 7-2 After the Saints’ absolute trouncing of the Cowboys, in which they won by 32, despite muffing a punt, missing a field goal, and not recovering an opponent’s onside kick, they now lead the NFL in rate of moving the chains differential. They are moving the chains at an 82% rate, as opposed to 70% for opponents. This makes sense, as the Saints not only...

Ex-49er Haralson helping Saints' surging defense

While Saints outside linebacker Parys Haralson was pleased to be moving closer to family, he didn't otherwise know what to expect when he was traded from the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers to a New Orleans team emerging from the bounty scandal and a 7-9 record. After all, he was leaving one of the NFL's best defenses to join a unit that in 2012 went down as one...

Drew Brees compares Johnny Manziel to Russell Wilson

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel is a dynamic playmaker that have many scratching their heads as to whether or not he will be a successful QB. Drew Brees seems believes that for Manziel the transition will be a smooth one, even going as far as to compare him to Russell Wilson. “He’s got all the playmaking ability to be a great player. [There are] guys like [Manziel] in this league...

NFL Game of the Week: Saints

The last time the 49ers were in the Big Easy, they were this close to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Alas, that endeavor fell short, as San Fran departed for the West Coast empty-handed after a 34-31 Super Bowl loss. Despite this failure, the 2013 forecast was bright for the Niners, as the team believed it had found a franchise player in Colin Kaepernick, and with most of the integral...

2013 New Orleans Saints: Players Win, Coaches Coach

That game was lost by coaching. This is a statement used on Monday mornings just about as frequently as "play Freebird" is at just about any rock show.Is this notion a truth or better yet, is it fair? Is coaching really relevant in an era where athletes are as naturally gifted and are in mythological Greek god like physical condition?New Orleans Saints fans unfortunately...

Saints trying out kickers

With Garrett Hartley in a bit of a slump, the Saints have brought in some kickers this week for a workout. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the team tried out several kickers, including Shayne Graham, Neil Rackers and Derek Dimke. With Garrett Hartley struggling, Saints worked out a group of kickers that included Derek Dimke, Shayne Graham and Neil Rackers. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter...

16 Drew Brees Fun Facts

Many people know most facts about him, but these are the lesser known ones.

49ers-Saints, Panthers-Patriots, Broncos-Chiefs Making Football Fans Horny For Week 11

Two of the NFC’s best will meet on Sunday afternoon in New Orleans. The Saints lead the NFC South with a 7-2 record while the 49ers are in the postseason hunt with a 6-3 mark.

Drew Brees calls Johnny Manziel "a heckuva player," believes he'll be a starting QB in NFL.

Johnny Manziel doing Johnny Manziel things. Texas A&M starting quarterback has a big name in his corner when it comes to supporting his chances to be an NFL starting QB. New Orleans Saints starting QB Drew Brees said the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is " is a heckuva player" during an interview with FOX “He’s got all the playmaking ability...

Drew Brees says Johnny Manziel 'can do it all,' can be NFL starter

Ever since Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel exploded on the scene in 2012, NFL scouts have been enamored with his playmaking ability yet wary of his 6-1, 200-pound frame. Manziel's 2013 campaign has put much of that concern to rest, as Manziel has moved up to No. 5 overall on the prospect rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft. Former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees...

Football Gameplan’s 2013 NFL Week 11 Preview – 49ers vs Saints (Video)

Our friends at Football Gameplan previewed this Sunday’s game between the 49ers and Saints. Need NFL Tickets? Loading... ZergNet The post Football Gameplan’s 2013 NFL Week 11 Preview – 49ers vs Saints (Video) appeared first on Pro Football Zone.
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