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Deuce McAllister: Buccaneers couldn't guard Mike Thomas

The wide receiver gave the Saints a huge mismatch against the Bucs.

WWL Newsroom
October 07, 2019 - 10:29 am
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By: Jordan Fiegel

On Sunday, Saints fans saw an offense that looked like its old self. New Orleans racked up 457 yards with 345 passing yards, the first 300+ yard passing game since Week 1 with a fully healthy Drew Brees.  Teddy Bridgewater accounted for 314 of those passing yards and tossed four touchdown passes to three different players. WWL Saints color analyst Deuce McAllister was impressed.

"Overall, Teddy was able to distribute the ball and get it to his playmakers," McAllister said. "He found the one-on-one match-ups and took advantage. There are still some things he can do better, but you saw him get comfortable. You saw him get into a rhythm. Hopefully, he continues to grow."

To no one's surprise, Teddy Bridgewater's favorite target was Michael Thomas; and the wide receiver had another huge game.

"Michael Thomas was a mismatch for the Bucs," McAllister explained. "[Tampa Bay cornerback] Vernon Hargreaves is a good corner, but I think he's more of a nickel corner. Mike stands 6'3, and Vernon is about 5'9 or 5'10. From that alone, Hargreaves is at a disadvantage."

The Saints certainly took advantage. Thomas secured 11 catches on 13 targets for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns.

"Mike was physical on his routes," McAllister went on. "He was able to really run the slant and the over routes well. He was just more physical than the corner, and that allowed him to win."

Tight end Jared Cook also had a good game. He hauled in four catches and scored his first touchdown as a Saint.

"You knew the staff wanted to get Jared Cook more involved," McAllister said. "It started last week and continued against Tampa, and there's still more to be had there. If you can continue to get him involved, it'll make things easier for Mike and Alvin [Kamara]."

Over the last two weeks, Cook has 12 targets, the same number he had in the first three weeks combined.

There has been some grumbling from some Saints fans about Marcus Davenport and a perceived lack of production. He had a monster game against Tampa Bay, recording one forced fumble, two sacks, three QB hits. McAllister argued that this is just a reflection of the impact Davenport has had all season.

"Watch the tape," he said matter-of-factly. "This was the first game the sack numbers really showed up, but he has played really well all season. You're finally seeing the sacks come through for him. He's been getting push and pressure on quarterbacks; and, Sunday, he was able to bring them down as well. Davenport was dominant.

"A lot of times, fans fall in love with how many sacks a player has," McAllister continued. "But it's not just about sacks. It's about how disruptive a player is, and Davenport has been disruptive."

After five weeks, Davenport is tied for second in the NFL with 11 QB hits, 6 of which have come in the last two games; only J.J. Watt has more.

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