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Mouton: Saints one win away from all their regular season goals

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Two games at home and they need just one win and they'd be the number one seed in the playoffs, just like back in '09.

By Doug Mouton

The Saints got a huge win in Carolina, and, as they have for the past six weeks, the Saints defense was the difference.

Since the Eli Apple trade, the defense has elevated. I though the difference-maker in Carolina was Vonn Bell, who might have had his best game as a Saints player.

ALSO: Even on their worst days, Saints find ways to win

He was tremendous but Demario Davis, Cam Jordan, Eli Apple – it was a terrific effort from the defense across the board. Carolina had 247 of total offense.

The Saints offense sputtered. The passing game wasn’t great. You can see some issues continuing to come up, like with finding that second option (at receiver), which for now seems to be Keith Kirkwood. But what the Saints did on offense was they ran it effectively enough, they had 155 yards. They possessed the ball for 35 minutes, and, when they needed it, they got two big fourth quarter drives. The first one was an 11-play beauty that led to the Alvin Kamara that put the Saints ahead. Then they had a 14-play drive that helped kill the clock. Obviously Tommylee Lewis fumbled on the goal line, which was terrible. But, when they had to turn it on in the fourth quarter, they did. ...

Saints working out offensive linemen, including Nick Becton, after injuries pile up

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( Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints are working out a handful of offensive linemen on Tuesday, according to a league source, after two starters from Monday’s win against the Carolina Panthers exited with injuries.

Among the players working out is offensive tackle Nick Becton, who was with the Saints briefly in 2014 and the 2015 offseason.

Center Max Unger left in the third quarter after suffering a concussion, and left tackle Jermon Bushrod exited in the fourth quarter after suffering what the team called a hamstring injury, though he’s supposed to undergo more tests on Tuesday. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Saints could be home for awhile

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By Mike Florio | PFT

There’s no place like home for the holidays. And beyond.

The Saints have concluded a run of three straight road games, and they now head back to the Superdome for the last two regular season games of the year. With their magic number for clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs at one, the Saints could be looking at four straight home games wrapped around a bye, leading to a berth in the Super Bowl.

The Saints lost at home to start the season (against the Buccaneers, of all teams), but since then the Saints have become very hard to beat in their own building. And whether it’s the Cowboys, Seahawks, Vikings, Bears, Eagles, or Rams, anyone that comes to New Orleans will have a very hard time advancing.

So at a time when the AFC seems to be wide open and the NFC’s power structure (beyond the Saints) is a bit unsettled, the Saints could be on the verge of spending well over a month in their own beds before embarking on a short trip to Atlanta for a shot at their second Super Bowl win. ...

Full Story - Yahoo Sports

5 Saints selected for 2019 Pro Bowl, but 9 more alternates

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints saw five of their own players voted into the 2019 Pro Bowl: quarterback Drew Brees, left tackle Terron Armstead, center Max Unger, wide receiver Michael Thomas, and defensive end Cameron Jordan. ...


Nine more Saints were listed as alternates, though their identities were not revealed. But even having five players on the initial NFC roster feels like a snub for players like running back Alvin Kamara, linebacker Demario Davis, and kicker Wil Lutz. ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Eli Apple peaking as Saints' cornerbacks approach toughest test yet

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By Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Eli Apple made the biggest play of the night on Monday, intercepting Cam Newton in the end zone just before halftime of the New Orleans Saints' 12-9 victory against the Carolina Panthers.

Apple also had a key tackle in the final minute of the second half to help the Saints ice the game.

And, really, the third-year cornerback has been playing lights-out for the past two weeks now -- easily his best stretch since joining the Saints in an October trade with the New York Giants.

"My teammates, they're bringing out the best in me. They push me every day, especially Coach AG [secondary coach Aaron Glenn] and the whole defensive staff," said Apple, who was traded for a 2019 third-round draft pick and a seventh-rounder in 2020. "Every week, it's just understanding the defense, understanding how my teammates play and just playing with more confidence." ...

Full Story - ESPN.com

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