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A View from the UK – Saints on Cloud NINE with Another Win – Defensive Breakdown

Things are happening down in New Orleans this November and the Saints continued to roll with another victory, this time over the reigning Superbowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles. This moved the Saints to 9-1 on the season including their ninth straight victory and boy didn’t they make it look easy. All the talk again is about the Saints electric offense who just can’t be stopped right now putting up another 48 points in this game and removing starters at will as the end drew closer. Weapons for days across the offense with plenty of guys making plays and getting some catches but let’s not discount what a great job the defense did on Sunday, I just wanted to focus on that side of the ball a little bit more today, so let’s get in to it.

The momentum started early for the home team on Sunday holding the Eagles to two consecutive 3-and-outs on their opening drives before Marshon Lattimore came up with the pick on the third drive. Yes the ball was under-thrown by Wentz but Lattimore had to be in the right place at the right time to jump up and make the grab. Shows why other teams haven’t been targeting Lattimore in other games, especially down the field when the receiver is in double coverage, recipe for disaster. That’s Marshon’s first interception on the season and he started the group celebration afterwards, beautiful. Lattimore also showed up later in the game to make a play on 4th down to condemn the Eagles to their second turnover on downs of the day.

How good has Sheldon Rankins been this season too. The big #98 came crashing through on a 3 and short around midfield to sack Wentz and get them punting, he has been outstanding recently recording 6 Sacks on the season. Love that celebration dance too, the Sheldon Shimmy/Shuffle I’m looking forward to seeing the Sheldon Salsa down the stretch! The pressure he creates on opposing quarterbacks gives them the fear causing the oh so important hits and turnovers the defense has been craving in recent years. Keep it goin’ big Sheldon!

Black Friday sales have started early and it’s Carson Wentz giving out interceptions for free! Chris Banjo was at that sale on Sunday, grabbing not 1 but two interceptions off of the Eagles QB. Sure it was late in the game with the Eagles massively behind and making throw and hope plays but good job Chris, that will give the boy some confidence if needed to step up in pressure situations.

The amount of love I have for Cam Jordan grows game by game. The leader of the defense lead from the front getting in the faces of the opposing O-line, helping with sacks and getting a big time tackle for a loss on Golden Tate on a play that would have fooled most others. He’s known for his experience and quality leads him to be double blocked at times giving others the opportunity to get in the stats column but he is so physical he still gets in amongst it. Nice to see he has some help around him this season and Davenport is still to come back! QB pressure has been a big gap in the Saints D of recent times but we finally look like we have the answer and let’s hope it continues against the Falcons, love seeing Matt Ryan flat out on the Saints floor.

Eli Apple has certainly been a step up at the Corner Back position, he is fast and making a great partnership with Marshon Lattimore across from him. Apple was in coverage with Lattimore when he grabbed that pick early on. Apples seems to tip passes quite a lot and has gone from strength to strength since joining the Saints, getting his first interception last week and learning the playbook more every game, shows what being surrounded by better players can do for someone.

You can’t talk about the Saints Defense and not mentioned Demario Davis. He is always there, nearly every play. Making a tackle, getting a touch on the ball, being physical, fast, this guy is a straight up baller.

Vonn Bell was his usual 2018 season self with some nice plays too, Bell can go under the radar but makes lots of tackles and strong ones at that. He has been excellent this season so you just get used to it after a few games of quality.

Alex Okafor and Craig Robertson also recorded sacks on the game, the Saints are using so many different guys to make plays now it’s hard to keep up, what a team.

If the offense keeps doing what is does combined with an improved defense this team will be hard to stop. The D has held teams to a combined 21 points in the last 2 games and scored 99 themselves. Just the 78 point swing there. Here’s some more stats:

  • Will Lutz outscored the opposition by himself, again.

  • The Saints threw for nearly 2 times as many passing yard as the Eagles did total yards. 373 passing yards v 196 total yards.

  • Carson Wentz recorded his worst QB rating of the season against the Saints defense (31.9) if you throw the ball at the ground every play, you get a 39.6 rating.

  • The Saint O-line allow Zero sacks, again.

  • The Eagles had more punting yards then either Rushing or Passing yards (but not combined)

  • Discounting victory formation kneel-downs, the Saints have scored on 24 of their last 29 offensive possessions (Cheers Jeff Duncan for this one)

  • The Saints D forced 5 turnovers (if you included the 2 Turnovers on downs)

  • Drew Brees is the GOAT.

So rivals Atlanta (4-6) come to town next on thanksgiving. Not a fan of the Thursday games, especially when they are against a big rival and on a 1.20am UK time…but let’s just keep on going, staying healthy is key in these short weeks and hopefully some additional in game rest helped out in the last victory.

This is a must win for the Falcons so they should be fired up but with the offense playing at record levels, the defense much improved and it being in the Superdome we ‘ain’t gonna make it easy for anyone. 3 road game stretch after this one so let’s hit that 10 straight.

Keep it as loud as it was on Sunday, that place can make one hell of a noise. Until next time.

Who Dat!

For more “A View from the UK” check out www.allsaintsconsidered.com or give me a follow @Matt_Holding1