With such a strong run defense, the Saints certainly benefitted from strong production from their linebackers in that area.
Demario Davis continued to be an energizer bunny, making his presence felt against the run, while also totaling four sacks and 16 pressures.
In pass coverage, meanwhile, he wasn’t as much of a playmaker with just five passes deflected, but he also allowed just 5.1 yards/target, meaning that he did his part, even if he wasn’t as exceptional as he was in 2019.
At the midseason point, New Orleans paired Davis with Kwon Alexander, sending a fifth-round pick to the 49ers for his services. Together, the duo formed arguably the most exciting linebacker tandem in the NFL with their “all-out” playstyle.
Missed tackles continue to be a problem for the athletic linebacker (12.9 percent missed tackle rate), but he also allowed just an 88.1 passer rating, 60.9 percent completion rate and 5 yards/target in New Orleans.
His risky playstyle and success in pass coverage paired well with Davis, more of a run defender, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints found a way to keep him, and it is a shame that he is out for the rest of the season after tearing his Achilles in Week 16.
Now that Alexander is out, the Saints have to turn back to Alex Anzalone to play alongside Davis. His 12.8% missed tackle rate, 78.3% completion rate allowed, and 124.8 passer rating allowed point to why they traded for Alexander in the first place, as he barely played any snaps in their nickel-heavy defense upon acquiring him.
Now, though, they are counting on him when it comes to defending tight ends and running backs, which is something they improved upon dramatically upon acquiring Alexander.
Overall Linebacker Grade: B