Mark Ingram rushed for a career-high 172 yards to lead the New Orleans Saints to a 44-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. Our takeaways:

1. The Saints need to stop jerking Ingram around and start treating him like one of the NFL’s top tailbacks. Ingram has looked dynamite going back to the preseason. Even after getting shut down in Detroit last week, Ingram is averaging a sterling 5.7 yards per carry on the season. Going back to the end of last season, he has the same average of his last 102 carries.

2. We finally got a glimpse of the explosive offense we expected the Saints to unveil this season. Drew Brees hit Kenny Stills and Brandin Cooks on deep passes, Jimmy Graham was a mismatch in the red zone and Ingram ran like a man possessed. This was easily Brees’ best performance of the season, a promising sign going forward.

3. Aaron Rodgers‘ 203 first-quarter yards were the most in any quarter of his career. He’s now 31 of 37 (84 percent) over his last five first quarters. The Packers‘ second-half collapse coincided with a tweaked hamstring for their star quarterback. He wasn’t as comfortable in his mechanics and was reluctant to scramble outside the pocket. His two interceptions — both tipped by his receivers — were back-breakers for the Packers. Rodgers still finished with his fourth career 400-yard game.

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