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Mark Ingram could see that the New Orleans Saints' offense was doing fine without him
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laiyongcai92 Offline
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Mark Ingram could see that the New Orleans Saints' offense was doing fine without him

while he was at home in Florida Cheap Vonn Bell Jersey , watching on television like any other fan during his four-game suspension.The veteran running back also would like to think New Orleans could be even better with him in the game plan, particularly in light of how fresh and motivated he feels after spending a month away from the club."I've had a lot of stuff pent up and built up and I'm ready to go. I'm hungry and ready to play ball and just help our team," said Ingram, whose suspension stemmed from his use of a banned substance. "They've been playing well, so I'm just trying to make us stronger and make us more explosive."Ingram joins a unit that has averaged 418.3 yards and 34.3 points per game. Alvin Kamara, the 2017 offensive rookie of the year, has gotten more work in Ingram's absence and has responded by devastating defenses with his dynamism on a variety of runs and receptions.Kamara leads the NFL with 611 yards from scrimmage (275 rushing, 336 passing) and is tied with several players for the NFL lead in TDs with six."He's been a monster, man, just being able to carry the load and what he's doing is special," Ingram said.Now the Saints will see if Ingram and Kamara 鈥?a tandem called "Boom and Zoom" by many fans 鈥?can again co-exist in the same backfield as well as they did last season."I'm not worried about it," Ingram said. "I'm going to just do me. I'm not Alvin. Alvin's not me so I'm just going to do what I do, do what I've been doing to get to this point in my career."Saints coach Sean Payton said he will have to "figure out the balance" of snaps between the two Pro Bowl running backs starting with Monday night's game against the Washington Redskins."Of course, you have a little bit more versatility with someone with Mark's experience and I know it will be good for us offensively to have him back," Payton said.Although the Saints have been among the NFL's top offenses through the first four weeks, Payton said Ingram's return is "significant in a number of ways Cheap Austin Carr Jersey ," ranging from his aptitude in pass protection to the way his presence allows the Saints to reduce the physical toll on Kamara."We talked all offseason about how this first month was going to be without Mark," Payton recalled. "The idea was for us to kind of keep those touches (for Kamara) in a similar area (to last season), the playing time in a similar area 鈥?and of course we weren't able to do that. In other words, his numbers did increase, and yet there's a wear and tear that takes place with that. When you're looking at a 16-week season, we look at it as having two outstanding running backs and I think they complement each other extremely well."Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Ingram's return "changes a lot" because of how much harder it is for defenses to anticipate where the ball will go when both Ingram and Kamara are on the field together."Those two guys being in the game together, it's a tough deal," Gruden said. "You know in-between-the-tackle runs will be more prevalent now. The power running game is back up and running. The things that they haven't it done without Ingram, they might do this week."Saints players often refer to Ingram as the consummate teammate 鈥?someone whose energy, unselfishness and work ethic are contagious.Ingram's affection for his teammates was apparent last Sunday night when he drove out to the airport to meet the team after New Orleans' victory over the New York Giants."I was excited that they won, so I just wanted to experience that a little bit," Ingram said.Left tackle Terron Armstead described the scene at the airport as "just joy," adding, "Mark is a guy loved by the entire locker room and organization. It's just his energy that he brings. His positivity he brings to the team.""Mark is a huge addition," Armstead added. "I feel like our offense works best when 鈥?not just the offense, our entire team works best when the run game is going. When we can impose our will on opposing defenses."Ingram spent the past month in Florida Cheap Sheldon Rankins Jersey , staying in shape with former NFL receiver Anquan Bolden 鈥?a long-time workout partner."He's retired, but he goes to work out every single day," Ingram said. "It was good to have a buddy to be able to work with and not just be out there putting in the work by myself."Saints players and Payton said Ingram looks ready."I mean, he wasn't gone for a year-and-a-half, or been a castaway on an island," Payton said. "It was four weeks. He's in good shape." Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints still have one of the league's top-scoring offenses, but lately it's the defense that's been carrying the NFL's most complete team.On a night when Brees and the offense couldn't get much going and made some uncharacteristic mistakes, New Orleans put the clamps on Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in a 12-9 victory on Monday night, moving the Saints into position to lock up home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs."I believe in us, game in and game out, first quarter to fourth quarter," defensive end Cam Jordan said. "If it comes down to a crucial play, I believe in us."The Saints (12-2) held an opponent to 17 points or fewer for a sixth straight game. They limited Newton to 131 yards passing, sacked him four times and forced two turnovers. Carolina (6-8), which lost its sixth straight, had just 247 yards and 13 first downs. The Panthers' only scores came on a trick play on fourth down and an interception return on a 2-point conversion attempt."So proud of the defense Cheap Alvin Kamara Jersey ," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "I thought they were outstanding. It's tough to win a division game on the road and we were able to do that."Alvin Kamara had 103 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, and Brees had 203 yards passing for the Saints, who took a one-game lead in the NFC over the Rams. The Saints close the season at home against Pittsburgh and Carolina; the Rams visit Arizona and host San Francisco.Newton struggled throwing the ball more than 10 yards downfield because of a lingering sore right shoulder. He said after the game he's unsure what the injury is, but he mentioned his labrum and rotator cuff as possible issues. He has been limited in practice for weeks and doesn't have the zip on the ball he normally has.So much for his boast that the Panthers were bringing a cup to steal the "juice" from the Saints."(Newton) said something along the lines of they brought their own cup, a juice box or something, I don't know what it was," Jordan said. "But I do know that he's got to go back to the refrigerator and pull out a bigger cup."The Saints swept three games from the Panthers last season and knocked them out of the playoffs, prompting Jordan to send Newton a bottle of red wine in the offseason, while some other teammates gave him a broom. This loss likely ended Carolina's playoff hopes again.Newton said his shoulder simply isn't getting better 鈥?or worse 鈥?and he refused to blame the injury, saying, "I have to be better.""Our defense played a hell of a game and we have to reward them," Newton said. "We had two turnovers in the red zone and that comes down to execution."TRICK PLAYSThe Panthers struck first after offensive coordinator Norv Turner dug into his bag of tricks.On a fourth-and-2 from midfield, Christian McCaffrey got a handoff, took a step toward the line, then stepped back and lofted a perfect pass over the middle to tight end Chris Manhertz, who was 15 yards behind the defense. Manhertz trotted into the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. It was McCaffrey's first career pass attempt Terron Armstead Jersey , although he threw two TD passes while at Stanford. He became the first non-QB to throw a TD pass in Panthers history.APPLE'S PICKEli Apple intercepted Newton in the end zone with 10 seconds left in the first half."I knew they were going to take a shot," Apple said. "They ran a fade route. I just tried to get my head around and make a play on the ball."COSTLY TURNOVERSThe Panthers held the Saints in check for most of the third quarter, but the game changed when Panthers receiver D.J. Moore fumbled on an inside handoff. The Saints pounced, capping an 84-yard drive with a 16-yard TD run by Kamara to make it 12-7 early in the fourth quarter. The Saints went for 2, but Brees' toss was intercepted by Donte Jackson, who took it back nearly 100 yards.That wasn't the only time the Saints cost themselves a scoring opportunity. New Orleans was on the verge of taking the lead late in the second quarter, but James Bradberry intercepted Brees' tipped pass and returned it to Saints territory.And New Orleans whiffed on a potential game-sealing touchdown when Tommylee Lewis fumbled near the goal line, leading to a touchback that gave Carolina one last chance to tie the game with 1:44 remaining. But the Panthers couldn't move the ball and turned it over on downs.McCAFFREY SETS MARKMcCaffrey broke DeAngelo Williams' single-season franchise record of 1,636 yards from scrimmage with a rush in the first quarter. He finished with 110 yards rushing and receiving.DUBIOUS STREAKThe loss extended the Panthers' streak of never having posted back-to-back winning seasons since joining the NFL in 1995.OLSEN UPDATEPanthers tight end Greg Olsen had surgery on his right foot Monday, his second procedure on the foot in the last 16 months. "Surgery went well and I am on my way towards a full recovery," Olsen wrote on Instagram.INJURIESSaints center Max Unger left the game in the first half after being evaluated for a concussion and did not return. He was replaced by Cameron Tom.UP NEXTSaints: Host the Steelers on Sunday.Panthers: Host the Falcons on Sunday.
12-27-2018 03:59 AM
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