Deuce: Watching this Saints offense is something special

November 20, 2018 - 8:58 am

By: Jordan Fiegel

“Right now, you’re watching how efficient the Saints are,” said Saints color analyst Deuce McAllister. “You’re probably, no, you are disappointed when they punt or even only score a field goal. I’m somewhat getting spoiled, because we’re seeing them go out and execute at such a high level.  They can’t continue at that pace, but it’s just something special to watch.”

And efficient the Saints were against the reigning NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles. New Orleans scored on 8 of its 10 possessions (not counting the final kneel down), and 6 of those drives resulted in touchdowns.  Drew Brees was deadly 373 yards and 4 touchdowns; but the ground game put together another strong performance, with Mark Ingram rushing for more than 100 yards for the second week in a row.

Nobody respects the impact of a double threat at running back more than Deuce. “Ingram’s return has really changed this offense and given them more balance,” McAllister said.  “Mark has the ability to run inside and outside with different blocking schemes.  It’s just been really, really special.”

Ingram moved closer to setting some new franchise records.  He needs 347 more rushing yards and 2 more rushing touchdowns to surpass McAllister’s records in those categories.  Does Deuce think Ingram will break those records? “Yes, he will get those records,” smiled Deuce.  “And you tip your hat to him.  Ingram is a player who works really hard and comes to work each and every day.   He wants to get better, and he’s an outstanding young man off the field.  I’m happy for him.”

Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara’s, success running the ball starts up front. McAllister praised the play of the offensive line, especially with how banged up that group has been. “The entire offensive line group has been outstanding. They’ve lived up to the challenge of trying to be the best offensive line in the NFL.  You look at a lot of the numbers, and they’ve improved week in and week out with a lot of different guys who’ve stepped in and played,” said Deuce.

Drew Brees referred to it as a “revolving door” with injuries against the Eagles, and that’s been something that has reared its head throughout the year, and Deuce knows how critical flexibility is for the line position.

“Josh LeRibeus started 4 games because Andrus Peat has dealt with so many different injuries throughout this season.  Jermon Bushrod had to step in last week and then again this week for Terron Armstead.  Despite these changes, the offensive line hasn’t really missed a beat,” said Deuce.

McAllister did say, however, that these injuries could be the biggest issue going forward. “The health of the offensive line is probably the biggest concern for the Saints.”

McAllister’s praise did not stop at the offense; he’s also loving what he sees from the defense as of late. “They’re doing a good job limiting explosive plays, and opposing teams are having to drive the field to score.  They gave up a couple runs Sunday, but they still did an outstanding job of stopping the run overall,” McAllister continued.  “That’s key.”

Deuce singled one Saints defender who has been picked on by Saints fans and opposing teams. “P.J. Williams has been picked on.  People said he should be cut.  But he’s bounced back.  Williams has played outstanding.  When teams have targeted him, he’s been able to break passes up. He’s undercutting routes; he’s getting his hands on the football.  He’s able to pick passes off.  Hopefully his confidence continues to grow.”

McAllister also brought up the short turnaround before the game against the Atlanta Falcons Thanksgiving night.  Deuce points out how tough it is for players.

“It’s always difficult, because you’re putting a lot of stress on your body.  You lose a couple days of recovery time. The biggest difficulty won’t be the mental part for this team.  It’ll just be the physical part and getting your body ready and prepared to play.”

That said, McAllister likes how the Saints stack up against the Falcons. “The Saints matchup well.”  McAllister cautioned, however, that “this will be a tough game; this won’t be a cakewalk.  This Atlanta team took the Saints to overtime last time they played.  Atlanta’s coming off two losses, and they do have to travel on the short week.  The Saints just have to worry about what they can take care of, and that’s themselves.”

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