Saints have become runaway train

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints are a runaway train, and they just steamrolled through one of the NFL’s other surprise contenders with a 47-10 rout at Buffalo.

The Saints’ seventh straight win was by far their most impressive one yet, as they demoralized the Bills with a total of 298 rushing yards and a franchise-record six rushing touchdowns. The dynamic running back duo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara each surpassed 100 rushing yards and 130 yards from scrimmage.

And according to ESPN Stats & Information, the Saints became the first NFL team since 1941 with six rushing TDs and zero punts in a game.

Only the Philadelphia Eagles (who have also won seven straight) are preventing the Saints from standing alone as the “hottest team in the NFL.” But right now the two teams appear to be on a collision course for NFC supremacy.

And if the Saints (7-2) do wind up traveling to Philly in January, they have the kind of team that’s built for it.

New Orleans’ run game and defense have been the driving forces behind the team’s longest win streak since 2011.

The Saints’ defense held Buffalo to a total of 198 yards Sunday, not allowing a touchdown until the final two minutes of the game. And the D nearly scored a TD of its own, with defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins intercepting a pass and rumbling 27 yards on the return to Buffalo’s 3-yard line in the third quarter.

Saints receiver Michael Thomas also had his best game of the season, with season-highs of nine catches and 117 yards.

But the story of this day was New Orleans’ run game, from start to finish.

Ingram had three rushing touchdowns in a game for the first time in his career, finishing with 21 carries for 131 yards. Kamara, who came into the game leading the NFL with 6.0 yards per carry, improved that number with 106 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries. Kamara also caught five passes for 32 yards.

It was just the third time in Saints history where they had two running backs with more than 100 yards and a touchdown in the same game (Reggie Bush/Deuce McAllister in 2006 and Reuben Mayes/Craig Heyward in 1990).

The Saints’ 298 rushing yards rank third in franchise history. It was the second time this year that the Saints ran for more yards than they passed for (194). Before this season, the Saints hadn’t done that for eight years. The last time they did it with Drew Brees playing quarterback was the last time they came to Buffalo in 2009.

As a result of all this rushing dominance, Brees has still never thrown a TD pass in Buffalo in three career trips — the only NFL team he’s never thrown a road TD pass against.

But he still got in on the fun when he scrambled for a rare 7-yard rushing TD in the third quarter.

A runaway train, indeed.

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