The New Orleans Saints won their seventh game in a row with a 47-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills in week 10. Playing on the road in cold weather, New Orleans pulled off their most lopsided win of the season while dominating in every facet of the game. Buffalo kicked a field goal on their first drive, and didn’t score again until late in the fourth quarter, while the Saints scored a franchise-record six rushing touchdowns and didn’t punt once.
New Orleans is now 7-2 on the season, and they’re in good position to challenge the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles for the top NFC playoff seed.
Week 10 New Orleans Saints Takeaways
One of the Best Rushing Performances in Team History
Aside from setting a team record for touchdown runs, the Saints offense ran for 298 yards against Buffalo, falling just nine yards short of the franchise record set in 1981. Running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara both ran for over 100 yards, the first time two Saints to have done so in a single game since 2006. The two backs combined for four touchdowns, and 237 yards on 33 carries.
In the second half New Orleans called 24 straight running plays, including a ten-play, 94-yard drive in the third quarter that was all runs. Even quarterback Drew Brees and third-string running back Trey Edmunds got in on the action. Brees scrambled for a seven-yard touchdown to cap off the aforementioned drive, and Edmunds ran 41 yards for a touchdown after playing zero snaps on offense in the Saints first eight games.
Saints starting offensive linemen Terron Armstead and Larry Warford were limited in practice last week, but both played on Sunday despite being listed as questionable heading into the game. New Orleans clearly benefited from their presence as their offensive line as a whole was outstanding in this historic rushing performance.
Buffalo’s Offense Outmatched by Saints Defense
The Bills have a run-first offense, and entered week ten ranked sixth in rushing attempts. Running back LeSean McCoy broke loose for a 36-yard run on Buffalo’s first drive, but only picked up 13 yards on six carries the rest of the game The Bills were forced out of their offensive gameplan as they fell behind 17-3 early in the second quarter, and were forced to put the game on quarterback Tyrod Taylor‘s shoulders.
Buffalo’s receivers struggled to find space downfield against the Saints rising secondary, and Taylor finished with only 3.1 yards per pass attempt and a 33.6 passer rating. New Orleans also minimized the Bills lateral passing game with three tipped passes by defensive linemen on outside throws. Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins had his best game of the season, recording a sack and two tackles for losses, along with an interception off a bobbled Bills pass which he returned for 27 yards.
A Statement Victory for New Orleans
The Saints receive more national media attention with each consecutive win, however they were still ranked only ninth in ESPN’s power rankings last week, which are voted on by “a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities.” Heading into the Bills game, the story-line that the “Saints struggle in cold weather” resurfaced as it often does this time of year. The Saints responded with their largest margin of victory on the road since 1987. Perhaps this win will force national media outlets to start considering the New Orleans Saints a Super Bowl contender.