Don’t look now, but the Saints 2012 season has legs

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If the saints win at Oakland on Sunday, they reach the 500 mark: 5 wins, 5 losses. And more importantly, they would be only one game out of the six spot in the NFC standings. Seattle and Minnesota are both 6-and-4, and both have byes this week. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 5-and-4, and play at Carolina on Sunday.

What the Saints have done is pretty amazing, considering that they have allowed 256 points, the most in the NFC.

What has been the difference in the Saints turnaround? Five simple plays.

Malcolm Jenkins running down Vincent Jackson in Tampa.

Against Atlanta, safety Malcolm Jenkins was able to stop Falcons receiver Harry Douglass cold at the one yard line. Three plays later, Jabari Greer knocked away a potential game winning pass aimed for Roddy White.

Six days earlier, Patrick Robinson returned a Michael Vick tipped pass 99 yards for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. Later, Curtis Lofton forced a Brent Celek fumble at the Saints eight yard line.

The margin of victory has been razor thin, but for four of the last five weeks that has been good enough.