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New Orleans Saints are on a rare kind of run

Nine straight wins for the first time since 2009


We could be approaching remember-where-you-were-when territory.

Nine straight victories for the New Orleans Saints (9-1), each increasingly more impressive than the previous one – including Sunday's 48-7 dismantling of Philadelphia on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome – doesn't guarantee that the Saints will have a satisfying end to pair with the spectacular start. But New Orleans has won nine straight regular-season games for the first time since it won the first 13 games of 2009, and most of us remember where we were when that happened.

The Saints aren't just winning; they're running away and hiding, by an average score of 48-19 the last three games. Six times in 10 games, they've scored 40 or more points and five times, they've allowed 19 or less. That's the kind of work that can carry a team a long way.

OFFENSE: Once on Sunday, the Saints reached the red zone and didn't score a touchdown. And Drew Brees completed 73 percent of his passes, four percentage points lower than his season average entering the game. I'm reaching here, for something to complain about; otherwise, the nitpick basket is pretty barren. Brees completed 22 of 30 for 363 yards and four touchdowns – his touchdown-to-interception ratio is now 25:1 (which is almost cartoonish when you think about it), Mark Ingram had 16 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns and Tre'Quan Smith caught 10 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown. All told, the Saints had 546 yards, averaged 7.9 yards per play, went 6 of 11 on third down and hogged the football for 37:34 of the 60-minute game. It was about as clean as a performance can be.

DEFENSE: Speaking of clean, the defense should savor this one. Three sacks (by Alex Okafor, Sheldon Rankins and Craig Robertson), three interceptions (two by Chris Banjo, one by Marshon Lattimore), eight passes defensed, seven tackles for loss, five quarterback hits and one touchdown allowed by a unit that seems to have found its footing. The Saints produced stops seven times on 10 third-down attempts and gave up just 196 yards, including 58 rushing. The unit has taken some heat this season; on Sunday, it applied it against the Eagles. It'll hope to carry that momentum over to the Thanksgiving night matchup against Atlanta.

SPECIAL TEAMS: There has to be some concern from the Saints about what they're seeing from their kick cover team. Philadelphia's Corey Clement popped a 48-yard kickoff return and averaged 28.5 yards on four returns, and Saints kicker Wil Lutz is logging stats that you don't want to see the kicker register (he had a tackle for the second straight game). That area that can use some cleaning up. Otherwise, Thomas Morstead came back from his paid vacation (he didn't punt against the Bengals) to punt twice for a 49.5-yard average, and a 50.5-yard net (one punt was returned for a 2-yard loss), and Lutz made a couple of chip-shot field goals to raise his numbers to 21-for-22 this season. Worth mentioning: Alvin Kamara's 13-yard punt return. He's capable of breaking one.

Check out more of the game action from the New Orleans Saints Week 11 game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Nov. 18.

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