Saints' Alvin Kamara: 'Madden needs to update our whole O-line'

Clark, Schefter have differing views on Saints (1:34)

Ryan Clark and Adam Schefter debate whether the Saints are the best team in the NFL. (1:34)

METAIRIE, La. -- The beauty of Mark Ingram's 28-yard screen pass touchdown on Sunday in Cincinnati was that it pulled the New Orleans Saints' stellar offensive line out of the shadows for a few seconds and gave it some highlight-reel love for a change.

Left guard Andrus Peat was 5 yards ahead of Ingram when he completely laid out linebacker Jordan Evans.

And right guard Larry Warford ran down the field ahead of Ingram for about 25 yards, getting in the way of two defensive backs inside the 5-yard line before Ingram finished the job by spinning out of two tackles.

Last week, left tackle Terron Armstead had a similar highlight-reel moment when he got out in front of running back Alvin Kamara on an 11-yard touchdown in the Saints' signature 45-35 victory against the Los Angeles Rams.

After that game, I wrote that New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, receiver Michael Thomas and Kamara were having a "triplets season" for the ages for a Saints team that is now 8-1 and leading the NFL at 36.7 points per game.

But they're able to do that because of an offensive line that Brees called "the best group in football, in my opinion."

"Madden needs to update our whole O-line," Kamara said -- a reference to the video game's player ratings.

Ingram chimed in: "Madden need to update all their stats. And y'all Pro Bowl voters, All-Pro voters, you need to pay attention.

"They some beasts, man, they some beasts. They hold us down. They hold Drew down. They're the anchor of our team. ... Left to right, everybody. And [fullback] Zach Line don't get enough credit. He's a monster, he don't miss a block," said Ingram, who said this is the best offensive line he has played with yet.

And that's saying a lot, since Ingram played with All-Pro guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks when the Saints set the NFL record for yards gained (7,474) in a season in 2011.

"I've been around some top-caliber offensive linemen throughout my career here with the Saints. But just as a unit from right tackle to left tackle, I don't think you're gonna see a better offensive line from right to left," Ingram said. "They do it all. Pass block, run block. They're very smart, communicating, diagnosing fronts, diagnosing pressures. I'm very thankful they're my line."

Unfortunately, Armstead's status is in doubt after he left Sunday's win at Cincinnati with a shoulder injury. It's still unclear how much time he might miss.

If Armstead's injury is significant, it would be a huge shame. The sixth-year pro looked like he finally might earn his first Pro Bowl appearance this season now that he was healthy after a series of hip, knee and shoulder injuries that plagued him in recent seasons.

Heading into last week, Pro Football Focus had Armstead graded first among NFL offensive tackles this season (with right tackle Ryan Ramczyk ranked fourth).

The good news is the Saints have a reliable veteran backup option in Jermon Bushrod. And Peat and Ramczyk could both play left tackle in a pinch if needed, too.

The Saints' balance of talent across the entire line is one of the things that makes it so special.

Kamara, who added the Saints' linemen "don't get the credit they deserve," also used that phrase, "from right to left." Brees and center Max Unger were among others who used the term "all five."

You could make an equally strong case for Armstead, Ramczyk, Unger, Warford and Peat to earn a spot on an All-Pro team or Pro Bowl roster (as Warford did last season).

Even more impressive is the murderers' row of defensive fronts the Saints have been thriving against in recent weeks. Washington and Baltimore were both allowing the fewest yards per game in the NFL at the time the Saints played them in Weeks 5 and 7, respectively. Then the Saints faced the Vikings (with defensive ends Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen), the Rams (with DTs Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh) and the Bengals (with DT Geno Atkins).

When asked about the recent schedule, Unger said, "What do you mean the last couple weeks? Have you seen the schedule coming up?" -- starting with the Philadelphia Eagles' loaded defensive line, led by defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, that New Orleans will be facing on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox).

"We've been talking about this," Unger said. "In my career this is the most challenging stretch of defensive linemen I've ever been a part of."

And yet the Saints have allowed only nine sacks this season -- the fewest in the NFL.

The run game is strong, too. Although the Saints rank only 21st in the league in yards per rush this season (4.13), they ranked second in that category last season (4.66). And they rank first in total yards per game since the start of the 2017 season (399.4).

"We play well together. The communication's there," Unger said. "And Drew puts us on the right page. And we have good players that have been playing well."

That combination has been adding up to a lot of points -- and a lot of wins.