NFL

Davis delights Payton as Saints fend off sliding Seahawks

By Sports Desk October 26, 2021

DeMario Davis delivered a supreme defensive effort and earned plaudits from coach Sean Payton after the New Orleans Saints rallied for a 13-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

The Saints linebacker impressed for the visitors with 10 tackles in all as he and his team-mates had five sacks in the hard-earned victory at Lumen Field.

"We take a lot of pride in our defense," Davis said. "We've got to be able to play complementary football. We have a very high standard for our group and there's no other way that we would take it. Defense on the field with the game on the line. We get excited, and we play with a lot of energy in those situations."

Speaking about the string of sacks, which went 5-2 in New Orleans' favour, Davis said: "That's a credit to the cover guys. We can take away the first read, and he has to hold the ball. Credit to the D coordinator and the D line having a good rush plan for us. And then guys just executing their job.

"It's fun to play on defense when you know that all you have to do is do your job and it's going to work. Guys did their job. I think we were getting pressures early on, but we weren't getting them to the ground, we've got to find a way to get him on the ground."

Payton was full of appreciation as he watched on, with the Saints recovering from allowing a stunning 84-yard pass from Geno Smith (12 for 22 passes, 167 yards and one touchdown) to star team-mate DK Metcalf.

With Davis on his game, Payton savoured watching his team improve to 4-2 for the season, dealing the Seahawks (2-5) a fourth straight loss.

The Saints coach said of Davis: "Man, I just love the way he leads and plays with enthusiasm. He's really developed into not just run but pass as well. He's someone who has good instincts, can close the cushion on a run or a play in space. He tackles well. He's playing well, and I'm sure when we look at the tape, we'll see a lot of good efforts. That was a good hard-fought win."

There had been pre-game talk of a bomb cyclone hitting the Seattle area, but the worst-case weather threat failed to materialise.

Payton said such a forecast "kind of gets your attention", but in the end the storm was relatively tame, and the same could be said for the sniping among the sides.

Davis said of the at-times tetchy atmosphere: "Sometimes guys want to be tough on the field and talk after the play, and this is the most physical sport there is. You've got seven seconds to be as physical as you want to be, you got to prove it between the whistles.

"I'm never going to be the guy to talk after the whistles and doing extra because at that point you're just trying to bully someone. I've always been the guy that's going to bully the bully. And team-mates appreciate it when you have their back like that.

"I try to stay pretty level-headed between the whistles and while I'm on the field, but I'm always going to have my team-mates' back, and I think they appreciate it, and it gives them motivation."

Alvin Kamara's 13-yard touchdown reception gave New Orleans their lone TD of the night. Kamara caught 10 passes for 128 yards, becoming the first running back with eight-plus receptions and 100-plus receiving yards in the first half of a game since 2004.

Kamara said of his own effort: "I didn't know what to expect. Every game has a life in of its own self and the flavour of this week ended up getting a lot of touches."

Related items

  • Seahawks sink to third straight loss as Washington's Heinicke makes NFL history Seahawks sink to third straight loss as Washington's Heinicke makes NFL history

    The Seattle Seahawks and their 2021 NFL season is fast becoming a nightmare after going down 17-15 to the Washington Football Team.

    Taylor Heinicke lifted Washington past Russell Wilson and the slumping Seahawks, who suffered a third consecutive defeat to fall to 3-8 for the season, in an historic performance.

    Wilson had not accounted for a single touchdown in two games since returning from a finger injury – only the second time in the star quarterback's career he had zero total TDs in at least back-to-back games after going three straight in October 2016.

    While Wilson threw a pair of touchdowns on 20-of-31 passing for 247 yards and no interceptions, it was not enough against Heinicke and Washington on the road.

    Heinicke was 27-of-35 passing for 223 yards, a touchdown and interception for streaking Washington (5-6), who celebrated a third successive win.

    The 28-year-old found J.D. McKissic with a 10-yard TD pass in the second period before the latter – who was carted off late in the fourth quarter due to a head injury – scored on a 10-yard run to put the hosts ahead 17-9.

    In his last three starts, Heinicke has beaten Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton and Wilson. According to Stats Perform, he is the first undrafted quarterback in NFL history to beat three different opposing starting QBs who had previously started a Super Bowl in three consecutive starts.

  • Cardinals coach Kingsbury deflects Oklahoma job speculation, provides Murray update Cardinals coach Kingsbury deflects Oklahoma job speculation, provides Murray update

    Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury deflected speculation linking him to the University of Oklahoma job, while he is hopeful of Kyler Murray's return.

    The Oklahoma Sooners are reportedly targeting Kingsbury for their vacant coaching position, though the Cardinals coach is contracted through 2022, with a team option for 2023.

    Kingsbury was asked about the rumours as the high-flying Cardinals prepare for Sunday's NFL matchup against the Chicago Bears.

    "I don't get into those things," Kingsbury told reporters on Monday.

    "My sole focus the last couple weeks has been the Chicago Bears and, after watching them on Thanksgiving, it needs to be, because they're a really good football team and had a big win, and so that's where my focus has been."

    The Cardinals lead the NFC and Kingsbury – who was appointed in 2019 – added: "We're in-season, we're 9-2, Just not a topic I want to touch on right now."

    Star Cardinals quarterback Murray has missed the team's last three games due to an ankle injury.

    Murray leads the NFL in completion percentage (72.7) and passer rating (110.4), while he has thrown for 2,276 yards and 17 touchdowns.

    "I am hopeful," Kingsbury said of Murray and DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring).

    "I will leave it at that at this point because I want to see them move around, practice full speed, and see where they are at, and where their comfort level and their confidence is."

  • Steelers' Watt lands on COVID-19 list Steelers' Watt lands on COVID-19 list

    The slumping Pittsburgh Steelers have been dealt a blow after placing star T.J. Watt on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

    Pittsburgh have been impacted by coronavirus this NFL season, with star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Minkah Fitzpatrick both missing time due to positive tests.

    Steelers push rusher Watt is the latest to land on the COVID-19 list after returning from a one-week absence caused by knee and hip injuries in Sunday's 41-10 rout at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Watt recorded just two combined tackles as the Steelers suffered their first season sweep at the hands of the Bengals since 2009, stretching their winless run to three games.

    The three-time Pro Bowler, who has missed two games this season, is now likely to sit out Sunday's matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

    Pittsburgh's humbling defeat left the Steelers 5-5-1 but still within striking distance of the final AFC Wild Card spot, which is currently possessed by the Los Angeles Chargers, who defeated Watt's team 41-37 in Week 11.

    The Steelers' final six games are all against playoff contenders. They face the Ravens twice and also have games with the Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.