New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) carries for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Ingram finally looked like a first-round pick, has Cowboys D to thank

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram was once a Heisman trophy winner out of Alabama, and he looked like a safe bet to be a quality feature back. I was critical of the Saints decision to trade up in the draft in order to select Ingram, because I’m one of those people who absolutely hates drafting running backs too high in the first round. But I thought Ingram was going to end up being a solid, dependable back for the Saints.

Of course, three years later and Ingram hasn’t averaged more than 3.9 yards per carry in a full season. But last night against a beat-up, horrendous (emphasis on “horrendous”) Cowboys defense, Mark Ingram finally looked like a first-round pick and former Heisman trophy. Some of it was bad defense, but some of it was also great rushing. He finally looked healthy, motivated, and explosive en route to a 145-yard day that came on just 14 carries. Ingram looked excellent throughout the second half in the Saints dominant 49-17 victory over the Cowboys, and an average of 10.4 yards per carry on the ground is simply extraordinary.

Should fantasy owners go chasing after his 20-point fantasy day? Probably not, because he still received less carries than Pierre Thomas, who was also impressive. Ingram looked excellent, though, so he’s worth keeping a close eye on with the “watch list” feature and is likely worth a speculative add in a deep league. He seems to be at full strength now, because he finally started to run with authority in between the tackles. The Saints needed that out of Ingram, who was rumored to be on the trade block earlier this year. It was just one game against an awful, Sean Lee-less defense, but it was still a breathtaking performance.

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Tags: Behind The Numbers Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints

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