Saints crush Bills for seventh straight win
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints marched through the Buffalo Bills defense on their way to their seventh straight win.
Mark Ingram II rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns to power the Saints to a 47-10 victory over the Bills on Sunday at New Era Field.
Rookie Alvin Kamara ran for a career-high 106 yards and a touchdown, rookie Trey Edmunds had a 41-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter and quarterback Drew Brees even scrambled for a score as the Saints racked up 298 rushing yards, the third-highest total in franchise history.
The Saints (7-2) set a team record with six rushing touchdowns and are the first team in 60 years to rush for at least 298 rushing yards and six touchdowns in the same game, according to pro-football-reference.com. The Cleveland Browns were the last team to accomplish the feat, in a 45-31 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 24, 1957.
“We came out and we wanted to impose our will,” Kamara said. “We were in the locker room and we said, ‘We’ve got to put pressure on them to break their neck.’”
It was also the first time Buffalo allowed six rushing touchdowns. It was the team’s worst home loss since a 56-10 defeat against the New England Patriots on Nov. 18, 2007, and the worst defensive performance under new head coach Sean McDermott.
“It starts up front,” McDermott said. “We’ve got to win the line of scrimmage. That’s where this game is won.”
The Bills (5-4) were trying to improve to 6-3 for the first time since 1999, which was the last year the team made the playoffs. Instead, the Bills have lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
“Horrible game,” Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor said. “Our offense didn’t get anything going and that starts with me.”
Taylor was 9 of 18 for 56 yards and an interception before being replaced by rookie Nathan Peterman late in the fourth quarter, which drew cheers from the few remaining fans.
“Tyrod’s our starter,” McDermott affirmed afterward.
LeSean McCoy had a 36-yard run on the Bills’ opening drive, but finished with 49 yards on eight carries. Taylor rushed three times for 27 yards.
The Saints haven’t lost since dropping the first two games of the regular season and have already matched their win total from each of the past three seasons. They also equaled their longest winning streak since going 8-0 to close out the 2011 season.
Ingram’s three rushing touchdowns were a career high. He scored on a 1-yard run on the Saints’ first series, a 3-yard run in the second quarter and a 3-yard run in the third quarter.
Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins intercepted a pass that bounced off the chest of Bills tight end Charles Clay and returned it to the Bills 3-yard line to set up Ingram’s third touchdown.
Kamara found the end zone on a 5-yard run on the Saints’ opening drive of the second half that made it 24-3.
Brees’ 7-yard rushing touchdown came at the end of a 94-yard drive in the third quarter on which the Saints ran the ball on all 10 plays. Brees was 18-of-25 passing for 184 yards. Buffalo remains the only NFL city in which Brees has not thrown a touchdown pass. He has played there three times.
“Listen, don’t underestimate Drew,” Ingram said. “This man is the greatest. But when we can run the ball effectively and efficiently and have success running the ball, he’s 8,000 times better. Everybody benefits from it. The defense gets to rest. Drew gets to drop back, (run) play-action and have success hitting guys downfield.”
Wil Lutz kicked field goals from 53 and 23 yards for the Saints.
Stephen Hauschka’s 37-yard field goal gave the Bills a 3-0 lead four minutes into the game. Peterman threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Nick O’Leary with 1:54 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Saints running back Daniel Lasco was taken off the field by ambulance and transported to a local hospital after sustaining a spinal cord injury while making a special teams tackle in the second quarter. Lasco had movement in his extremities, the team announced.
“I think all the signs are positive, his movement and everything,” Saints head coach Sean Payton said. “That’s encouraging.”
NOTES: Saints LB A.J. Klein (hamstring) and Bills DE Jerry Hughes (shin) left in the first half and did not return. ... Saints LT Terron Armstead (shoulder) and RG Larry Warford (abdomen) started after being listed as questionable. S Kenny Vaccaro (groin) did not play. ... Bills TE Charles Clay (knee) returned after missing three games. ... Buffalo was without LT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), CB E.J. Gaines (hamstring) and WR Zay Jones (ankle). ... WR Kelvin Benjamin made his Bills debut after being acquired from Carolina at the trade deadline. He was targeted three times on the Bills’ opening drive and finished with three receptions for 42 yards.