The New Orleans Saints continue to streak toward an NFC South crown as the offense catches up to the young defense. The Saints will try to push their winning streak to eight straight on Sunday when they host the slumping Washington Redskins.
New Orleans is tied for fifth in the league in scoring defense (18.3 points) and watched the offense total 77 points in the last two wins as the running back tandem of Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara takes the pressure off quarterback Drew Brees. “We’re actually committing to it, as a coaching staff, everybody’s buying into it as players,” Ingram told reporters of the running game. “The big boys up front did a great job executing and the coaches did a great job of calling the runs.” The Redskins will try to stop that offense with a defense that surrendered at least 33 points in three of the last four games. “We’ve got to get going because we were just so lackadaisical,” cornerback Josh Norman told reporters after last week’s 38-30 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. “We didn’t have (anything) today. After three scores I was just like ‘Wow. What is going on?’ We didn’t have what we were capable of doing every single week in and week out. That’s the most frustrating part about it.”
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Saints -7.5. O/U: 51
ABOUT THE REDSKINS (4-5): Kirk Cousins threw for 327 yards in last week’s loss without tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) and wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, and he could be without the duo again this week. “It’s just a lingering thing,” Reed told reporters said. “The only way for it to heal is to rest it. We don’t have time for that right now. So it can be confusing and tricky to try and get back out there. The way I hurt it, I was decelerating. So it wasn’t really opening up, it was slowing down. Now every time I try to slow down, I can feel it a little bit.” Running back Chris Thompson leads Washington with 494 receiving yards and is tied for the lead in receiving TDs (three) with Josh Doctson.
ABOUT THE SAINTS (9-2): Ingram and Kamara each went over 100 yards and the team totaled six touchdowns on the ground as New Orleans came within 10 rushing yards of a franchise record with 298 in a 47-10 win at Buffalo last week. Ingram (672) and Kamara (417) are already over 1,000 yards combined and Brees is completing 71.7 percent of his passes. “I don’t think we’ve played our best football,” Brees told reporters. “I know that the challenge is only becoming greater as we go along here (in this season). The ultimate goal of this season was not to be 7-2. The ultimate goal is to continue to put ourselves in position to win the division and go to the playoffs and see what happens. I like the track we are on. I think we’re an ascending team.”
1. Saints leading tackler LB A.J. Klein (ankle) did not practice on Thursday and is questionable.
2. The Redskins crushed New Orleans 47-14 at home on the most recent meeting on Nov. 15, 2015.
3. Washington placed RB Rob Kelley (ankle) and LB Will Compton (foot) on injured reserve this week.
PREDICTION: Saints 34, Redskins 17