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Patient Mark Ingram knows wealth will spread offensively for New Orleans Saints

Back-to-back 100-yard rushing games give him 15 in his career

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Saints 48- Eagles 7 (W) New Orleans Saints 2018 Season Michael C. Hebert

Mark Ingram has been a part of the New Orleans Saints offense since 2011, so he knows the drill.

The ball is going to be spread around. Everybody eats. And sometimes, there's a groove where the feeding comes a little faster and more often.

That's where he has been the last two games.

In the Saints' last two games – blowout victories over Cincinnati (51-14) and Philadelphia (48-7) that pushed New Orleans' record to 9-1 and stretched its winning streak to nine games – Ingram posted the 14th and 15th 100-yard rushing games of his NFL career. He had 13 carries for 104 yards (and a receiving touchdown) against the Bengals, and 16 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles.

"I'm always prepared to carry a load for our team, for our offense," Ingram said. "I know that we have lots of weapons, there's only one ball to get around. So I just try to remain patient and I try to stay on point and be ready for when my number is called. And when my play arises, my chance to make a play, I try to capitalize on it.

"We have lots of play-makers; I'm always prepared to carry the load. Of course I want to touch the ball, I want to be on the field, but I just try to remain patient and just play the game how it comes to me."

It has come at a steady pace since his return from a league-issued, four-game suspension to open the season.

In Ingram's six games, he's averaging 13.2 carries for 64.6 yards per game – right in the neighborhood of his career averages of 12.6 carries and 57 yards per game entering the season – and he has scored five touchdowns.

With 5,750 career rushing yards and 48 rushing touchdowns, Ingram is 347 yards and two touchdowns from replacing Deuce McAllister as the franchise all-time leader in both categories.

As was the case last season, the 1-2 combination of Ingram and Alvin Kamara has kept the Saints' running game fresh, and lethal.

Minus Ingram, in four games, Kamara ran 14 times per game for 68.8 yards and five touchdowns, and caught nine passes a game for another 84 yards. In the six games with Ingram, Kamara has run 13.3 times for 57 yards per game, and caught 3.5 passes for 29 yards. His scoring remained steady, at 1.5 touchdowns per game with and without Ingram.

"I'm just working my butt off, trying to get better every day," Ingram said. "I missed the first four and all that, but I'm just trying to keep my body right, keep my mind right and do everything I can to help us win games. That's all I've been doing."

Ingram literally hit the ground running when he rejoined the team against Washington, with 16 carries for 53 yards and two scores. Add in his 120 receiving yards this season, and he's on pace for his fifth consecutive season of more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage.

This is the second nine-game winning streak that Ingram has experienced as a Saint – as a rookie in '11, the team won its final eight regular-season games and its Wild Card playoff game. But this year has produced a different level of fun.

"It's been amazing," Ingram said. "I love our team, I love how the city is behind us, I love the confidence we're playing with, I love the swagger we're playing with. We just believe in each other. We all care about each other, we're a selfless group.

"We all want everyone to do well, we all want everyone to have success. And I think when you have a team that's all confident and everybody wants the best for their teammate and everybody wants to win, everybody is confident, I think you have something special. We have a special group of guys.

"When you do that, it's fun. It's fun being out there with the guys, it's fun being out there with the coaches, it's fun winning. That's why we put in the work that we do, to be able to enjoy that time, enjoy that feeling and keep it going."

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