Orchard Park, N.Y. – Any superlative you can think of applies.
The New Orleans Saints (7-2) won their seventh straight game in such a way – 47-10 over Buffalo at New Era Field – that they're legitimacy was solidified via a record-setting power display. New Orleans bullied Buffalo on offense en route to 482 yards, 32 first downs and a whopping 41:23 time of possession. And it battered the Bills as it held Buffalo, which had been undefeated in its previous four home games, to 198 yards, 2 of 11 on third down and 69 rushing yards. It was, in two words, pure dominance.
OFFENSE:A collective group earns this one, because the offensive line unit simply owned the day and ruled with an iron fist. Left tackle Terron Armstead, left guard Andrus Peat, center Max Unger, right guard Larry Warfordand right tackle Ryan Ramczykroad graded the Bills' defense up front, clearing the path for almost all of the 48 carries, for 298 yards, and a franchise-record SIX rushing touchdowns, against Buffalo. The tone was set on the Saints' first offensive possession – Coach Sean Paytonwent for it on fourth-and-1 from the Buffalo 30-yard line, and the unit created a hole that allowed Mark Ingramto run 25 yards, to the 5. There were more moments like that than not, where the Bills likely had an idea what was coming, but were helpless to stop it. We have to give a shout-out to Ingram for his work (21 carries for 131 yards and three touchdowns), and Alvin Kamara(12 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown) wasn't far behind. But the line starred Sunday, in a way that perhaps no Saints line ever has shone.
DEFENSE:Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankinshadn't stacked up many numbers, until Sunday. The second-year pro came away with his first career interception (he returned it 27 yards, and almost scored) and collected his first sack of the season. Rankins anchored a defense that kept the Bills away from the end zone until the game was out of reach, a unit that allowed a 36-yard run to LeSean McCoy, and held him to 13 yards on his other seven carries. The Saints defense continues to shut down opponents in a way that hasn't been seen in New Orleans for awhile, a way that allows the offense the luxury of not having to score 27-plus points in order for the team to have a chance to win.
SPECIAL TEAMS:Best wishes to running back Daniel Lasco, who injured his spine on a tackle during kickoff coverage in the second quarter. It was a frightening sight, to see him lying motionless on the field for what appeared to be several minutes. The good news was that by halftime, the Saints reported that Lasco had feeling in his extremities and that he was being attended to by a team doctor at a Buffalo hospital. As much as it meant for the team to win its seventh straight game, Lasco's health preceded all of that.