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John DeShazier: Mark Ingram thinks Saints running attack can get even better

Posted Oct 19, 2017

Ingram: 'We left a couple of yards out there'

The greed inside Mark Ingram is an acceptable one, especially in the aftermath of success.

The New Orleans Saints ran for 193 yards on 37 carries in Sunday’s victory over Detroit, and Ingram led the way with 114 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, all season highs. But he saw instances where there could have, and perhaps should have, been more.

“A couple of plays here and there, we might have a breakdown, whether it be one guy going the wrong way or us not making the right read,” he said. “Just small things like that. It was a great performance overall but we can do better.

“We left a couple of yards out there, so instead of having maybe (193) rushing, we could have more than 200. It’s just small details like that that make the good teams be great, and make the great teams win championships. That’s what we’re striving for.”

Loftier goals appear more realistic these days for the Saints (3-2), winners of three straight and seeking their first four-game winning streak since 2013. While the defense significantly has altered its course during the three-game streak – 13 sacks, seven interceptions, nine forced turnovers and just four touchdowns allowed – the running game also substantially has been more productive.

New Orleans ran for 141 yards in its first two games; since, it has had games of 149, 86 and 193 rushing yards. That has helped feed the hunger entering Sunday’s game in Green Bay against the Packers, who are allowing 119.8 rushing yards per game.

“That’s what we’re all about,” Ingram said. “Me, A.K. (Alvin Kamara), all the other running backs, the line, the tight ends, the receivers – we want to keep putting up those numbers. We want to keep improving and keep getting better.

“If we run the ball effectively, that usually translates into a successful game for us because we’re able to open up the passing game, open up the receivers on play action, get the tight ends the ball, running backs catching the ball out of the backfield. When we can improve on that and continue to strive to be the best at that, I think everybody benefits from it.”

Too, it appears all parties involved have benefited from the trade of Adrian Peterson to Arizona last week. The logjam at running back with Ingram, Peterson and Kamara made parceling touches more difficult, but the transaction allowed Peterson to play more with Arizona and Ingram and Kamara to settle into their roles.

“We had three great guys that were trying to get involved in the offense and that can be a challenge at times, not only for the coaches but for the players as well, just trying to stay in a groove, get into a rhythm through the game,” Ingram said. “With A.D. going to AZ, having a chance to prove what he has to do, it was just a chance for me and A.K. to step up and prove that we can carry this run game and be explosive play-makers for this team.”