Stud No. 2: Eli Apple
Eli Apple recorded just four tackles against the Bucs. But, that wasn’t what made him a stud. His dominance over receivers like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin was what took his performance to the next level.
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The four tackles were important and were his third-highest total of the season. As aforementioned, Evans’ mere four receptions was the more impactful part. The Saints were one Godwin touchdown away from holding him scoreless and under 30 yards.
Apple led the core, and with P.J. Williams and Patrick Robinson on a similar level, the Saints were able to tame one of the league’s most dynamic receiving duos. All three are undersized in comparison to Evans so it was a terrific job overall.
Both the corners and safeties played well, and the secondary, as a whole, were led by Apple, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and Marcus Williams. This was supposed to be a game where Evans and Godwin ate up a depleted secondary.
But, those three, who got a boost from the impressive play of Apple, took the defensive to a new level.