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What We Learned: Saints are in the midst of another special season under Sean Payton

No Drew Brees takeover game? No Problem, as Saints put up 40+ points vs. the Bills without a single TD pass thrown by their star QB.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Specifically, I can hold up Robert Meachem's strip and score -- Robert's Robbery, if you will -- as the time that, finally, it was undeniable that the New Orleans Saints were destined for something special. Because Meachem did something not a single one of us would've expected of him in 10 seasons.

I used the above quote from the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl season to underscore that there are certain moments in a season that let you know a team is destined for something special.

As I watched the Sean Payton-led Saints score on a 10-play drive that consisted of zero passes and 10 runs (11, 11, 11, 9, 9, 15, 10, 7, 6, 5), I felt it in the depths of my soul that this could easily be looked at as the best, most balanced team Sean Payton has ever assembled under his watch.

Then, I watched as the Saints became the first team since 1989 to run the ball 24 consecutive times during the 3rd and 4th quarter, averaging 6.3 yards-per-carry.

Know what else they did?

Broke a franchise record with 6 Rushing TDs in a game. This was also the 2nd time this season they won without Drew Brees throwing a TD pass. To put that in perspective, it’s only happened three times in the entire Payton/Brees era, but the Saints have already done it twice this season.

That’s not all.

They were also the first team to have 6 Rush TDs and 0 Punts in a game since the 1941 Bears.

That’s Special!

All season I’ve hyped up the personality of this team. The killer instinct portion of it was on display, yet again. The Saints have faced weakened teams all season that brought about “trap game” scenarios, and they’ve passed each test.

I’ve now come to the conclusion that there is no such thing to this team. Just look at what Alvin Kamara had to say.

“We came out and wanted to impose our will,” Kamara said. “When we were in the locker room, we said we had to put the pressure on them and break their necks.”

Payton has them prepared to respect but demolish, disparage, discombobulate, demoralize, and then discard any and every team they face. If anything - no team that is reeling, hurt, or suffered a loss the previous week should want to face this Saints team. There’s a good chance they will end up with a second loss or even more issues exposed for them to work on. Just ask the Lions, Bills, Buccaneers, and Packers in recent weeks.

Simply put, this team is petrifyingly dangerous, and they just put the rest of the NFL on notice with their win over the Bills.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • In 2013, the Seahawks beat the Saints on Monday Night Football and in the playoffs because they couldn’t win in the trenches. This team has talent/depth on the o-line and d-line. Want proof? Look at what happened to Dallas without Tyron Smith for one game versus what happened to the Saints without Amstead/Strief for multiple games.
  • Everyone talking down on Sheldon Rankins can finally hush. Ask anyone with intimate knowledge of the Saints, and they will tell you his impact hasn’t shown up in the stats but he’s been a force. Now you’ve got the splash plays for proof.
  • Speaking of Rankins, did you see his ode to Nick Fairley as he imitated his sack dance from last year? La Famillia
  • Saints had two 100-yard runners and one 100-yard receiver. First team to do it since Bills in 2015.
  • My New Nursery Rhyme is - Kamara, Ingram, Thomas, and Brees are all the offense the Saints will need.
  • There were different times during the game where I looked at the coverage and muttered to myself - there is no one for Tyrod Taylor to throw to. He finished with 56 yards, an interception, and a 33.5 Quarterback Rating.
  • Michael Thomas is a beast, and the only reason he doesn’t have more TDs is because Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are punching it in inside the 20 with regularity. With that being said, he’s still on pace for 1,200 yards. Boss!!!
  • Payton said all signs for Daniel Lasco are positive - Update - Lasco has a bulging disk that will end his season, but is not a career threatening injury
  • I am now convinced that the absence of Snead/Fleener is due to an if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it mentality. The guys who have taken over their roles have done admirably. No reason to change a thing. I will no longer ask where they are - They are stashed!
  • I thought it would be a closer game, but FWIW both teams displayed the 1st Half/2nd Half differences, as both scored the majority of their points (Saints - 30 & Bills - 7) in the 2nd Half. It’s just the Saints exploded for nearly double their average (16.5).

Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and Jeff Ireland have spent the last 3 years remodeling this Saints team and the finished product makes Payton a dangerous HC. As Rev has noted on more than one occasion, this is the ‘06 Saints offense with a mixture of the ‘13 and ‘09 defense at its disposal. If I hadn’t made my point clear already this is a special team that will make a deep playoff run and they haven’t even played their best game yet. However, you don’t have to take my word for it - Just have a look at how our starting LT feels about things.

“We’re still growing. If we can stay healthy, keep that balance, we’ll see you guys in January and February,” offensive tackle Terron Armstead said.

Now if only we can get his fellow lineman Ryan Ramczyk to work on his ball spiking before the playoffs. Enjoy your work week Saints Fans - Who Dat!