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Saints running backs bracing for tough challenge

The New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints always play each other tough: 7 of their last 12 games have been decided by a touchdown or less.

The New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints always play each other tough: 7 of their last 12 games have been decided by a touchdown or less.  Two contests came down to just a field goal.  Every opportunity will be crucial in New England for the Black and Gold.


The Saints have struggled to get the run game going lately, but say they're committed to the rush attack this week. It won't be easy against New England's monster linebackers, as running back Pierre Thomas acknowledges.


"We know they're going to come at us full force and be ready. That defensive line is a tough D Line, and they've got a heavy linebacker corps," Thomas said. "It's something we're going to really have our hands full.  I know we have stressed all week - if they blitz us - we really have to bow up against those big guys because they have a lot of weight over us.  We'll be ready.  We'll be sound, and I can't wait because it is going to be an outstanding game."


Since 2009, these are two franchises stack up similarly when comparing overall results. The Patriots' 53 victories since '09 ranks first in the NFL.  The Saints have 49 wins since then, which  is tied for second.


The little things will become big things Sunday – factors like time of possession and turnovers.  Last weekend against the Bears, the Saints excelled at mastering those areas; the Black and Gold played turnover-free and held onto the ball for 36 minutes.