Saints’ dominant defensive effort leads them past Raiders

Benny Greenspan, Staff Reporter

Matthew Tate

This past Sunday, the New Orleans Saints shut out an opponent at home for the first time since 2012 with a 24-0 win against the Las Vegas Raiders. 

Defensively, the Saints played their best all season, as the Raiders did not get past midfield until their final drive of the game — where both teams relied on their reserves. The Saints’ showed excellent defensive performance when they stopped the Raiders’ fake punt attempt at the beginning of the 2nd quarter and a Tyrann Matthieu interception on the next Raiders’ possession. 

Rookie cornerback Alontae Taylor was the defensive standout for the Saints. He stepped in to cover Raiders star Devante Adams due to Marshon Lattimore being out with an abdomen injury. Adams was held to just one reception on the game, with his only catch not coming until the start of the 4th quarter. 

The defense was just as effective at stopping the run game. They held the Raider’s star running back Josh Jacobs to just 43 rushing yards, his fewest in a game this season. Second year players Payton Turner and Pete Werner each showed out on the defensive end. Turner had two sacks, and Werner led the team with seven solo tackles.

Offensively, despite being without pro bowl receivers Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry for yet another week, the Saints got off to a strong start behind their two dynamic playmakers, Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill. 

Coming into this game without a single touchdown on the season, Kamara finished the game with a hat trick. The Saints offense included Kamara in every facet, as he had 62 rushing yards to go along with 96 receiving yards. Andy Dalton was able to finish the game with an efficient and turnover-free performance, throwing for 229 yards and two touchdowns that both went to Kamara. Dalton finished the game with a 117.2 passer rating

The Saints went into halftime — up 17-0 — and continued to keep the foot on the gas, especially at the defensive end. The Saints now go to 3-5, just one game behind the Falcons, who are currently winning the division with a 4-4 record. 

Next week, the Saints play at home Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN with a start time of 7:15 CT

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