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Saints desire to beat reigning champs, but know this year’s Eagles are in ‘fight for their lives’

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

As the old saying goes, to be the best, you got to beat the best.

The Philadelphia Eagles, at 4-5, might not be the best team in the NFL this year, but because they’re the reigning Super Bowl champions, some New Orleans Saints admitted this week they have a little extra desire to beat them.

“Don’t let the record fool you,” Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said. “This is a damn good team with playmakers everywhere, and at this point, they’re in a fight for their lives in their division. … They’re in a fight for their lives, so they’re backed into a corner and they’re going to bring the whole kitchen sink at us. It’d definitely be big to get this win.”

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Hey, Drew Brees, how many interceptions have you thrown this season?

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

One time this season, Drew Brees took a risk he probably should not have.

The New Orleans Saints were driving against the Vikings in Minneapolis, holding a three-point lead in the second quarter, when defensive end Stephen Weatherly zoomed around the edge unblocked, making a beeline for Brees.

Receiver Michael Thomas flashed open across the middle of the field. Brees backpedaled in the pocket to make an off-balance throw to his star receiver before Weatherly got there. His pass sailed high and was intercepted by safety Harrison Smith.

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Alvin Kamara’s personalized Airheads a hit in Saints locker room, especially with Mark Ingram

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

Any New Orleans Saints player who didn’t have enough candy on Halloween two weeks ago received a quick sugar rush on Thursday.

Alvin Kamara received his first shipment of his personalized Airheads on Thursday morning, and he handed out boxes full of the chewy treat to his teammates.

Fellow Saints running back Mark Ingram was so excited about the candy that he interrupted Kamara’s interview Thursday to express his love for the new Airheads.

“Alvin Kamara got his own Watermelon Zoom flavor, man,” Ingram said. “Watermelon Zoom! You can’t even get that in the store, man! You can’t even get that in the store!

Full Story - NOLA.com

NOLA.COM First-and-10: Drew Brees might be in the midst of the greatest QB season ever

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

First (take)

When I told Drew Brees the premise of this column, he didn’t want to hear it.

“La la la,” he said, jokingly putting his fingers in his ears as he walked away.

I understand. I’m a superstitious person, too.

However, it’s time to discuss whether or not Brees is in the midst of the greatest season by a quarterback in NFL history.
Many people consider Aaron Rodgers’ performance in 2011 with the Packers to be the best of all time, but through nine games in 2018, Brees has been better by just about every key metric.

Full Story - NOLA.com

First-year Saints players in awe of a New Orleans phenomenon: the airport welcome parties

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Photo from NOLA.com

By Jeff Duncan | NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Keith Kirkwood experienced a number of firsts on Sunday (Nov. 11). The New Orleans Saints rookie wide receiver played in his first official NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. He caught his first pass as a professional in the second quarter.

But what Kirkwood will remember most about his NFL debut occurred several hours later.

As he turned his car onto the auxiliary road leading out of Atlantic Aviation in Kenner, hundreds of Saints fans lined the street, and there among the throbbing black-and-gold masses was a sign: “I heart Keith Kirkwood #18.”

“It’s just an amazing experience,” said Kirkwood, who was promoted from the Saints' practice squad to the active roster Saturday. “I didn’t know how die-hard and deep the Saints fans can get. It’s humbling to us as an organization and to us as a team. New Orleans Saints fans are like family to us.” ...

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NFL Super Bowl and Conference Futures: Saints at the Top

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NFL Futures Lines and Computer Simulation Based Forecast

By Scout Staff | Scout.com

The relative difference at the top of the conference is small at 5%. The New England Patriots at 29.8% trails the Kansas City Chiefs at 31.5%. The difference between these teams is widening as the Patriots chances are down from 40.4 percent. There is a 1.13 difference in projected win total between the #6 best record and the #7 best record in the conference. This is a pretty significant difference even if it does not seem to be at first glance. There is not a lot of parity and power is concentrated at the top of the conference with just 5 teams having at least a 4% chance of winning it.

Visit Sportsline to get the latest game forecasts, picks against the spread, totals and moneylines by the computer and top Vegas handicappers. We also have the best player projections for Season Long and Daily Fantasy players. ...

Full Story - Scout.com

Sidney Jones Says 'He's Good To Go' vs. Saints

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By Chris McPherson | philadelphiaeagles.com

Cornerback Sidney Jones was a full participant in Thursday's practice and afterward declared that he's "good to go" for Sunday's game against the Saints.

Jones missed the last three-plus games after suffering a hamstring injury in the Week 6 win over the Giants on October 11. The first-year cornerback has 23 tackles and two pass deflections.

Typically the nickel corner, Jones could see time on the outside Sunday against the Saints and their top-ranked scoring offense.

"Inside and outside, they're pretty different," Jones said. "But at the end of the day, you play man coverage out here and just lock your guy up. At the end of the day, that's all it comes down to."

Some more good news for the Eagles as defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (knee) returned to practice in a limited capacity. He did not participate in Wednesday's session.

Full Story - philadelphiaeagles.com

Why the Saints offense is on a historic pace: Dat Chat podcast, Ep. 17

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By Jeff Duncan | NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints are on a record-setting offensive pace in the 2018 season and look like a team capable of making a deep playoff run.

Join me and guest host Sean Fazende as we analyze the reasons behind the Saints' historic start on offense on Episode 17 of the Dat Chat podcast.

Sean and I will take a look at the various reasons behind the Saints' unprecedented offensive efficiency and analyze the potential impacts of Terron Armstead’s injury and Brandon Marshall’s addition to the lineup. We’ll also look ahead to the Saints' game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and give our predictions. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Saints offensive line receiving extra rest after high snap totals against recent tough opponents

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

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

This season has been grueling for New Orleans Saints offensive linemen.

In five of nine games, the Saints offense has played 70-plus snaps, and in the previous five games, the team has faced some of the league’s top defensive lines in the NFL with Washington, Baltimore, Minnesota, the Rams and Cincinnati.

So, for the past two weeks, coach Sean Payton has rewarded some of the Saints offensive linemen with some extra rest.

“The Rams game was one where we backed off of practice the next week,” Payton said Thursday. “Each game there’s a stress and a toll on the front, and I think we’ve played some really good fronts of late.”

After the Saints beat the Rams on Nov. 4, a game with 71 offensive snaps against premier interior linemen Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, all five of the starting offensive linemen were listed on the injury report the following Wednesday, Nov. 8. Larry Warford did not practice with what was listed as not injury related. Terron Armstead (knee), Andrus Peat (hip), Ryan Ramczyk (knee) and Max Unger (knee) were all limited that Wednesday, but it was unclear the severity of their ailments. ...

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