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Saints in the trenches Week 2: O-line, D-line and the path to victory

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Defensive line veterans lead the way for New Orleans Saints

Sheldon Rankins
NEW ORLEANS, LA – SEPTEMBER 16: Sheldon Rankins #98 of the New Orleans Saints tackles Carlos Hyde #34 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 16, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Saints went six deep along the defensive line against the Browns and had much success. In the run game, the ends were coming along the back side and holding up the edge. The interior was giving the linebackers a good chance to shoot gaps most of the game.

In the passing game, when the line wasn’t busting off pass rushing moves, they were closing down the pocket to force errant throws.

Head coach Sean Payton also seemed to like the effort of the pass rush, as he commented on it in his Monday comments with the media:

"“Guys played I think with really good get off and we were able to get some pressure on the player. I think our technique was better.”"

Cameron Jordan shows every week why he’s considered a special player. He can break off any block to make plays in the backfield, blow up screens at a moments notice and close down the pocket with incredible force.

Sheldon Rankins played an excellent game, as well. He shoots gaps consistently and has a knack for diagnosing screens very quickly. He plays with great leverage in the pass game and can provide that interior pressure that quarterbacks dread.

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Alex Okafor definitely looked better than he did in game one. He played with great leverage in the run game. Okafor set the edge better this game, and he also was able to collapse the pocket on many occasions. The veterans on the New Orleans Saints defensive line led the way on Sunday and caused much disruption all game.