It’s only been half a season Cameron Jordan Jersey Salute to Service , but Demario Davis might already be the Saints’ best free agent linebacker signing in the Payton/Loomis era. Scott Fujita and Jonathan Vilma set a very high bar of course, yet if Davis continues to perform on the same trajectory throughout his three year contract with the Saints, it appears all he needs is time to prove his case.I’m not joking. Other than Cam Jordan, Davis has been the Saints defense’s best player through their first eight games. He covers tight ends. He doesn’t allow yards after contact and stuffs the run. He’s a great tackler in the middle and in the open field. He’s even getting to the quarterback now that Dennis Allen has fit his scheme to Davis’ strengths.Manti Te’o was a healthy scratch against the Rams, but Davis played so well, I didn’t even notice the Saints sat Te’o. The Saints defense held Todd Gurley to a season low 68 yards after he had rushed for over 100 in each of his first eight games this season.In fact, the Saints lead the league in rush yards allowed per game (76 yards), and haven’t surrendered over 100 yards rushing in a game since their week one loss to Tampa Bay. Davis has been a huge part of that team performance.At the season’s halfway mark, he’s leading the team in tackles with 43. He’s on pace to finish with 86. He won NFC Defensive Player of the Week after an 11 tackle and two sack game against the New York Giants. Though he hasn’t filled the stat sheet as much since week 4, his steady presence in the middle of the field has been easy to notice.Fellow Saints linebacker Craig Robertson has come up with the perfect description of Davis’ play. “That boy a dog!” Robertson yelled from his locker, following the Giants game. “56 a dog! He a dog! That’s his personal stats: Dog.”The Saints have been looking for a difference making linebacker for a long time. Many failed to exceed those expectations including Curtis Lofton Michael Thomas Jersey Salute to Service , A.J. Klein, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, David Hawthorne, Parys Haralson, and Dannell Ellerbe. There has never been a player that cements the defense together and bridges the gap between the defensive line and the defensive backfield.Davis has the tools, the durability, the humility, and the desire to anchor the linebacking corps much like Scott Fujita and Vilma did during the Saints Super Bowl run in 2009. It’s too soon to talk playoffs and beyond, but Davis’ reliable production helps bolster the Saints’ defensive swagger.And I don’t think I’ve seen this much swagger on this Saints defense since 2009. FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons can’t afford to lean on Matt Bryant’s powerful right leg this week.Field goals won’t be enough to keep pace against the high-scoring New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.Bryant’s four field goals provided all of Atlanta’s scoring until Julio Jones caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Ryan with less than two minutes remaining against Dallas on Sunday. That touchdown tied the game before the Cowboys won 22-19 on Brett Maher’s 42-yard field goal as time expired.The Saints (9-1) have won nine straight . They led the NFL with their average of 37.8 points per game through Sunday’s games.“Field goals against them isn’t going to cut it the way they’re putting points up,” coach Dan Quinn said Monday.The Falcons (4-6) already have lost one shootout against the Saints Authentic Craig Robertson Jersey , 43-37 in overtime on Sept. 23.“When we get our chances, we have to convert,” Ryan said Monday. “We’ve been doing a good job of that for the most part of the year. … We’ve got to be aggressive with our plays when we get our chances.”Quinn said the Falcons can win a high-scoring game, even against the Saints.“We are. We’re equipped,” Quinn said. “Certainly when you’re going against another team that’s high scoring, it was no surprise to see that in the first game, either.”Jones has touchdown catches in three straight games, but the Falcons are in a scoring slump. They rank ninth in the league with their average of 26.3 points, but they’ve been held below 20 points in four games this season, including back-to-back losses to the Cowboys and Cleveland.Atlanta led Dallas 6-3 at halftime despite being held to 110 yards. For the game, the Falcons had 354 yards Alex Okafor Jersey , their third-lowest total of the season. The two straight losses were devastating to Atlanta’s playoff hopes after it won three straight to reach .500.Quinn said the Falcons shouldn’t be worried about their fading playoff hopes.“Right now we have no luxury of looking at anything big picture,” Quinn said. “Right now there’s one picture and that’s New Orleans and that’s Thursday.”Atlanta managed only 80 yards rushing against Dallas. Tevin Coleman had only eight carries for 58 yards, even though he gained 11 or more yards on four runs. The eight carries were his second fewest of the season.Quinn said “it’s going to be important” to establish the run. But he said he was only seeking balance, not a greater commitment to the run.“When you’re in the red zone against them you better finish with it in the end zone because they’re certainly able to score and they’ve shown that this year,” he said.“Whether it’s in the run game or it’s in the pass game, it’s about being able to find explosive games and being able to score. That’s the name of the game when you’re facing a team with an explosive offense like them.”NOTES: The Falcons are attempting to determine if linebacker Deion Jones will play this week. Jones came off injured reserve last week after missing two months with a broken right foot but was inactive against Dallas . Quinn said Jones did not participate in the team’s walkthrough practice on Monday, but instead was scheduled for work after the practice “so we’ll get a better assessment of where he’s at.” Quinn said the goal was to “keep pushing and develop to see where he’s at with his confidence level with his foot.” Custom Cleveland Browns Jerseys
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