The New Orleans Saints' victory train powered its way to a ninth consecutive win Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a 48-7 dismantling of the Philadelphia Eagles, the defending Super Bowl champions.
The Saints are 9-1 and in firm control of the NFC South thanks to losses Sunday by the Carolina Panthers (6-4), Atlanta Falcons (4-6) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7). They remain tied for the NFC's best record with the Los Angeles Rams pending Monday night's game between the Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs.
There won't be much time for the players – or fans- to revel in the victory as New Orleans faces a short week before hosting the Falcons in the Superdome on Thanksgiving night and then a stretch of three consecutive road games (at Dallas, Tampa and Carolina).
Sunday, none of that mattered as Drew Brees, playing in his 200th game as a Saint, was ruthlessly efficient leading the Saints to scores on their first three possessions and six of their first seven overall as they surpassed the 500-yard mark for the second consecutive game. Brees was 22 of 30 for 363 yards and four touchdown passes, strengthening his case for winning the league MVP award for the first time in his career.
New Orleans' defense was equally efficient, forcing three-and-outs on the first two Eagles possessions and then a Carson Wentz interception on the third (by Marshon Lattimore).
Ingram, playing in his 100th game as a Saint, scored two touchdowns and finished with 102 yards on 14 carries,
Ingram's backfield mate Alvin Kamara also made an impact, running the ball 13 times for 71 yards, and catching a 37-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. That catch moved Kamara over the 500-yard mark for the season and he became just the fourth player in NFL history to have 500 yards rushing and receiving in each of the first two years of a career.
Receiver Michael Thomas added another line in the franchise record books he's been re-writing this season as he passed the 1,000-yard mark for the third consecutive season. He is the first Saint to do it in the first three seasons of their career. Thomas caught four passes for 92 yards and a touchdown.
But it was another receiver who really burned the Eagles' defense, as Tre'Quan Smith had his best game as a Saint with 10 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown. Smith made a spectacular diving catch of 38 yards at the end of the third quarter.
Seldom-used punter Thomas Morstead did make a cameo in the first half, booming a punt 50 yards for no return. He added another punt late in the fourth quarter.
Kicker Wil Lutz made his 18th and 19th consecutive field goals and all six extra-point attempts.
Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins made his sixth sack of the season, defensive end Alex Okafor had one, linebacker Craig Robertson had another and defensive end Cameron Jordan was his usual disruptive self as the Saints defense throttled Wentz and the Eagles offense. Safety Chris Banjo added two interceptions late in the fourth quarter, the final with 31 seconds to play.
The Eagles dropped to 4-6.