Deuce: Saints boxed Ravens with body blows

Deuce dissects Saints run game, Taysom, LeRibeus & Cameron Tom

Deuce McAllister
October 22, 2018 - 1:07 pm

The New Orleans Saints went into Baltimore and came away with a comeback victory over the Ravens 24-23.  Former Saints running back and current WWL color analyst Deuce McAllister gave some more of his thoughts the day after the close win.

“I loved, not liked, loved, that they stuck with the run.  When you play with a team like the Ravens, you have to keep them from rushing the quarterback all the time and make them play the run.  You have to force them to stop the run.  It’s like body blows.  If you continue to hit the body, eventually that person is going to go down; and I think that’s what the Saints were able to do.”

Drew Brees had similar thoughts on the rushing attack, referring to it as “dent the defense.”  And the Saints kept delivering those dents and body blows into the fourth quarter despite being down by 10 points. 

“It makes the defense start to cheat with their eyes.  Sticking with the run game also allows you to break a few more tackles because you’ve had the offensive line laying on those defenders and teeing off on them.  It also opens things up for the passing game for Drew, because they’re going to be a little slower rushing the passer and they’re going to be a little slower getting in certain zone packages.”

One increasing part of the running game is Taysom Hill.  Hill had 6 carries for 35 yards, and he adds wrinkles to the offense with how many different ways the Saints use him.

“Hill is probably playing about 40% of the plays on offense.  He’s a part; he’s a piece.  He makes defenses have to prepare just a little bit extra for when he comes into the game.  What’s interesting is the different positions Sean [Payton] is putting him in.  He’s lined up as an H-back, he’s lined up at receiver, he’s lining up obviously as a quarterback.  And Sunday, we see him lining up by himself as the tailback.  The more and different ways they can use Taysom will only make opposing defenses study a little bit more.”

The Saints had some changes on the offensive line.  With left guard Andrus Peat out with an injury, Josh LeRibeus started in his place.  Before going down with an injury of his own, McAllister was impressed by what he saw.

“They really like Josh being able to step in for Peat.  He has done it this year and in the past.  They like what he can do for the team in the run game and in the pass game.  The Ravens matched up Za’Darius Smith against him, and he beat Josh with a swim move once.  But outside of that, Josh was playing fine.”

When LeRibeus exited the game, Cameron Tom was the next man up; and McAllister had just as much praise for him.

“They have to be really excited about Cameron Tom being able to step in and perform like he did.  Tom’s a center, not even a true guard; but he was able to do enough for you at that guard position where you have to feel confident in him going forward.”

It was a big win on the road, but McAllister says the Saints have a couple areas to clean up.

“The Saints have to continue to play better situationally.  When I say that, I mean the two minute drive at the end of the half and then the drive at the end of the game.  Those are some things they want to do a better job of defending.  You also want to do a better job of creating turnovers.”

The victory gave Drew Brees a win over all 32 NFL teams.  His lone win against the Saints came when he was with San Diego in 2004.  The contest featured a somewhat infamous play by QB Aaron Brooks that McAllister played a role in.

“He thought he was throwing it to me, but it was actually the tackle.  I saw the ball, and I went and picked it up.  If I had been really thinking, I could have thrown the ball for an incomplete pass instead of a big loss.”

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