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New Orleans Saints 2016 season recap: Mark Ingram

2016 was the best season of Ingram's career

A look at Saints running back Mark Ingram throughout the 2016 season.

The best season of Mark Ingram's career likely was spurred by one of the most humbling games of his life.

Ingram was benched after a first-quarter fumble that was returned for a touchdown against Seattle in the seventh game of the season, the second consecutive game he had fumbled and cost the New Orleans Saints points (he fumbled in the red zone against Kansas City).

But he insisted that he only would come back stronger, his teammates emphasized their continued support and Coach Sean Payton calmly stated that the former first-round pick still would receive meaningful game snaps.

The next game, against San Francisco, Ingram ran 15 times for 158 yards and a touchdown. In the final nine games of the season he totaled 704 yards and five touchdowns on 116 carries (6.1 yards per carry), and posted his first 1,000-yard season – a career-high 1,043 yards and six touchdowns on 205 carries. Toss in another 319 yards and four touchdowns on 46 catches, and Ingram also had a career high in yards from scrimmage (1,362) and touchdowns (10).

BEST GAME: The aforementioned 15-carry, 158-yard, one-touchdown game against San Francisco. The score was a 75-yard sprint, the longest run of Ingram's career.

BEST QUOTE: "He ran physical, ran with good pad level. I know his yards after contact were really high. I'm proud of him and excited to see him have a season like that because I know how he works extremely hard at it." – Coach Sean Payton.

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