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Broncos wary of Saints' newfound potent run game

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The New Orleans Saints' ground game found new life the past two weeks behind Tim Hightower and Mark Ingram.

The duo combined for 67 carries for 352 yards in wins over the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. The Saints have gone three straight games with more than 100 rushing yards on the ground.

The newly potent rushing attack has the attention of Sunday's opponent, the Denver Broncos.

"The last two weeks, it's been two different guys," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said, via the Denver Post. "They're committed. They're a good offensive football team."

Kubiak noted that the rushing element makes the Saints' offense much tougher to contain. If defenses bring safeties into the box, they risk getting sliced apart by Drew Brees' aerial assault. Keep those safeties back to slow down Michael Thomas, Brandin Cooks, and Willie Snead, and risk Hightower/Ingram running down your throat.

"That's why they're so good at what they do," Kubiak said. "It's another tough group for our defense to deal with."

Expect to see a heavy dose of the running game again Sunday from Sean Payton. The ball-control style from the past fortnight has helped his beleaguered defense stay off the field for longer stretches.

Attacking the Broncos' defense on the ground also hits the weak point in Wade Phillips' unit.

Denver ranks first in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game (183.3) and QB hits (76) but sits a terrible 29th in rushing yards allowed per contest (128.6).

The Broncos got gashed on the ground by an overpowering Oakland Raiders offensive line last week, surrendering 218 rushing yards and three TDs. In Week 8, they allowed 111 rushing yards to Melvin Gordon of the San Diego Chargers.

With a newfound run game, expect the Saints to probe that weak underbelly of the Broncos' defense.

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