Run the ball.
Tackle the other guys.
These are two basic things the Saints have not done well in their losses this season.
However, the New Orleans Saints did these two things very well today (195 total rushing yards and a defense that wrapped up well, preventing the large chunks of yards after contact that have bedeviled the Saints) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and came away with a 27-16 win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome that was a bit closer than it needed to be.
Pierre Thomas rushed 8 times for 66 yards and a TD (and added 25 receiving yards), while Darren Sproles chipped in 42 yards on 4 carries (with another 57 receiving yards and a nice catch and run TD). Drew Breeeeeees!! even got in on the rushing action with a 20-yard run for a first down late in the game.
So, it wasn't pretty through and through (as a late mini-run by the Bucs made it interesting in the 4th quarter), but a win's a win, and the Saints are now 6-3, with a half-game NFC South lead on next week's opponent, the 5-3 Atlanta Falcons, who rode the Colts hard and put them away wet in a 31-7 victory today.
Make the jump to check out the stats and engage in some civil and informed post-game chatter.
And be sure to also listen in to the Chronic Post-Game Podcast at 4:30 CST.