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Saints defense optimistic it can hold up without Rankins

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Photo - Fox Sports

By AP | Fox Sports

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints third-year defensive tackle David Onyemata plans to spend Tuesday — the players’ usual day off — performing some extra conditioning work at club headquarters.

He is among a trio of defensive linemen likely headed for more snaps against one of the best offenses in the NFL with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

Sheldon Rankins, the Saints’ most productive interior defensive lineman, won’t play in the NFC title game against the Los Angeles Rams — or any other game this season — after tearing his Achilles in the first quarter of Sunday’s playoff victory over Philadelphia ...

Snap counts: Here are a few things that stood out for Saints in win over Eagles

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Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD

By Nick Underhill | The Advocate

Here are a few things that stood out about how the Saints approached the Eagles during Sunday's win:

- Drew Brees came off the field for a snap. Taysom Hill played quarterback during the play.

- Kurt Coleman didn't play on defense.

- Hill was back in the mix at 25 percent of the snaps.

- Keith Kirkwood played more snaps than Ted Ginn.

- Garrett Griffin was called up and played 19 percent of snaps.

- David Oneymata saw a huge uptick after Sheldon Rankins' injury.

- Cam Jordan doesn't get tired.

- Tyeler Davison held a big edge at NT.

- Ken Crawley logged one...

MRI confirms Saints DT Sheldon Rankins tore Achilles vs. Eagles, to have surgery this week

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New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) and teammates comfort defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (98) after he was injured in the first half of the divisional round of the NFC playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

Advocate Staff Report

The Saints will be without a big piece of their defense after an MRI confirmed the team's fears on Sheldon Rankins' injury.

The star defensive tackle suffered a torn Achilles during the team's playoff victory over the Eagles and is scheduled for surgery this week.

The third-year player -- who notched...

Saints' Ben Watson hopeful for 2-week extension on NFL career

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

By Luke Johnson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

When Ben Watson took the field in Sunday’s divisional playoff game against the Eagles, he did so with a heightened sense of things. All the emotions he typically feels on game day were maxed out — the anxiousness, the excitement, and yes, the fear.

The New Orleans Saints tight end, now in his 15th and final season, felt all of that in the run up to the game, and he admitted to feeling a little more acutely when the Saints fell behind 14-0.

“It’s exciting, it’s nerve-wracking at the same time,” Watson said. “I swear, the two weeks...

Saints hunt another Super Bowl after ending Eagles long run

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Photo by John Davi Merver - USA Today

(Reuters) - Comeback kings the New Orleans Saints are hoping a return to the National Football Conference (NFC) title game next weekend will be a lucky charm.

The Saints, who overcame the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles for a 20-14 divisional victory on Sunday, took home the league trophy themselves the last time they made the conference championship in the 2009 season playoffs.

Drew Brees and company, the NFC...

Saints kicker Wil Lutz ‘caught a little bit of the ground’ on missed 52-yard field goal

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Saints kicker Wil Lutz kicks a field goal before halftime. (David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

By Christopher Dabe - NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Missed field goals have been so infrequent for Wil Lutz that when they occur, they draw notice.

In this case, his 52-yard field-goal attempt that would have put the New Orleans Saints ahead by nine points with less than 3 minutes to play in an NFC divisional game against the Philadelphia Eagles sailed wide to the right.

The Eagles held hope for another playoff comeback with Nick Foles at quarterback before Marshon Lattimore sealed the victory with his second interception Sunday...

Saints' Sean Payton, Taysom Hill at it again with game-changing fake punt

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Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

NEW ORLEANS -- And, oh by the way, the New Orleans Saints converted a fake punt with third-string quarterback Taysom Hill from their own 30-yard line in the second quarter when they were trailing 14-0.

It wasn't exactly an afterthought in the Saints' 20-14 playoff win against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. But it was also far more routine for this team than it would be for most.

Hill has repeatedly been a game-changer for the Saints this season in just about every situation coach Sean Payton could dream up: read-option quarterback, running back, receiver, tight end and special-teams animal. This was actually...

Saints left guard Andrus Peat had hand surgery during bye week

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

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

Andrus Peat didn’t make any excuses on Sunday.

In the New Orleans Saints win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round, Peat struggled at times as a hand injury impacted his performance. He had four penalties, two holdings and two false starts, but after the game, his teammates were impressed by his gutty performance.

“He’s a fighter,” left tackle Terron Armstead said of Peat. “A lot of guys on our team, that’s just what we do. That’s how we’re made. He’s not somebody that’s going to speak on it or look for sympathy...

Risk-taking Saints advance to host Rams for NFC title

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By Brett Martel - AP | ABC News

Coach Sean Payton the New Orleans Saints are anything but risk averse.

After all, Payton's Saints won a Super Bowl with the help of a surprise onside kick nine years ago, and now New Orleans is one home victory away from its first Super Bowl since then — thanks to a pair of aggressive and pivotal fourth-down play calls when the Saints were trying to come back from a two-touchdown deficit.

"We needed to shift momentum and we were able to, fortunately, and take advantage of it," said Payton, who's bound to carry that approach into the NFC title game against the Los Angeles Rams next weekend.

Facing fourth-and-short on...

Expected Saints free agent Mark Ingram ‘not just looking to leave New Orleans’

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(Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

By Christopher Dabe - NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The home playoff game Sunday could be the final time Mark Ingram plays for the New Orleans Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Due to become a free agent this offseason, the eight-year veteran who joined the Saints as a first-round drafted running back out of Alabama in 2011 has no obligation to stay in New Orleans beyond this season.

Even so, his focus remains on the upcoming NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams and potential Super Bowl appearance Feb. 3 in Atlanta.

“I’m not looking just to leave New Orleans,”...

Saints suffer huge hit to defense ahead of Rams matchup as Sheldon Rankins suffers torn Achilles

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Rankins had a breakout year for the Saints

By Kevin Skiver | CBS Sports


Though Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson ran all over the Cowboys in the divisional round, Saints fans could be forgiven for hoping their team's No. 2 run defense would find a way to slow down the Rams' rushing attack on Sunday. However, former first-round pick Sheldon Rankins tore his Achilles in their win against the Eagles on Sunday, according to The Advocate, dealing the Saints a big blow to their defense. He'll obviously miss the end of the Saints' season.

Rankins has enjoyed a breakout season in his third year, picking up a career-high 26 tackles and eight sacks. He was carted off the field in the...

Offense got them to AFC, NFC Championships, but defense will decide who reaches Super Bowl

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(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By Neil Greenberg | Washington Post

NFC championship game: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints

Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET

The Saints averaged almost three points per drive in 2018, including the playoffs, while the Rams gnashed opponents for 2.7 points per drive, making them the second and third most-efficient offenses of the season.

Both have quality quarterbacks and both have elite players at the skill positions but the Rams have some of their most important players flying under the radar: not a single player on the Rams offensive line was named to the Pro Bowl or either all-pro team. That’s surprising...

WWL - Saints Forecast: Did we just witness that?

How Saints used key adjustments, patience to put an end to 'Foles Magic' in win over Eagles

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New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore (23) runs the ball after an interception against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half of the divisional round of the NFC playoff game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. The Saints won 20-14. Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD

By Nick Underhill | The Advocate

Dennis Allen knew this week was going to give his Saints defense a unique challenge.

It is hard to make plays against a quarterback who is willing to throw the ball to the first guy he sees open, and even then, open is a relative term for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick...

On Sheldon Rankins' feared Achilles injury, teammate says he knew immediately, 'was devastated'

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Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

Advocate Staff Report

While an MRI is scheduled to confirm the injury to Saints DT Sheldon Rankins, a teammate familiar with the situation said he knew immdiately what happened.

Rankins went down with a leg injury in the first half of the Saints' playoff win over the Eagles.

"When he went down, I saw what he was holding, saw the way his leg was, the way his foot was turned. I had a feeling that was it, but I didn’t want to expect the worst," said teammate Alex Okafor, who suffered a torn Achilles of his own last season.

Rankins was carted off the field. He said he was "devastated" for his...

How Marshon Lattimore Gave the Saints Life and the Plays that Explain the Divisional Round

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Getty Images/Ringer illustration

The four teams left standing are the four top seeds—and each won their weekend matchups in ways that showcase their strengths

By Danny Kelly | the ringer

The smoke has settled from the NFL’s divisional round, revealing this year’s final four. In the AFC, the Chiefs took care of business and dispatched the Colts 31-13, moving to a championship-round matchup with the Patriots, who blew out the Chargers, 41-28. In the NFC, the Rams ran all over the Cowboys, 30-22, and the Saints came back from a 14-point deficit to beat the Eagles, 20-14. Put together, this weekend’s action sets up a championship round...


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