Nov 30, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) carries the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Saints won 35-32. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
In a New Orleans Saints season that has been riddled with much disgust, there actually exists a bright spot.
Running back Mark Ingram has a strong chance to do something that has not been done in the Saints’ franchise since 2006, and that’s become a one thousand yard rusher.
Deuce McAllister was the last Saints player to go over the mark in 2006, when he finished the season with 1,057 yards on 244 attempts. McAllister is the Saints all-time leading rusher with 6,096 career rushing yards. As great as McAllister was for the Saints, it’s worth pointing out that he does not own the team’s franchise single season rushing record. That honor is held by George Rogers from his 1981 performance of 1,674 rushing yards.
Currently, Ingram sits at 810 rushing yards with three games remaining, and for the mathematically challenged, he’d need just 190 rushing yards to eclipse one thousand for the first time in his professional career. Ingram, who is averaging 4.5 yards per carry, missed games against the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Dallas Cowboys earlier this season.
The Saints play three very poor rush defenses in their final few games, each of which are ranked towards the bottom half of the league. The Bears, who are next up on the Saints’ agenda, just surrendered a 179 yard rushing performance to Dallas’ DeMarco Murray.
Chicago Bears, 16th, 112.3 yards/game allowed
Atlanta Falcons, 21st, 122.9 yards/game allowed
Tampa Bay, 20th, 115.8 yards/game allowed
I believe I speak for any fan of the New Orleans Saints when I say that it would be very fitting and satisfying for Ingram to break the barrier when the Saints host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16.
Ingram, who turns 25 on December 21st, is expected to test Free Agency during the offseason, and could cash in on a large contract from his successful season.