Every once in a while, a player who’s not a quarterback or offensive player delivers a performance that sends shockwaves across the league. New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis was that player on Monday night.
In the Saints’ Week 7 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, running back Alvin Kamara dragged his team to a muddy 13-10 win at Lumen Field. But Kamara’s performance, while great in its own right, didn’t evoke the same energy as Davis’ did that night.
Anyone watching knew that Davis was a bad, BAD man.
Davis had one of those games against the Seahawks — the kind you normally don’t remember the score, but you remember the player. Think Chandler Jones’ performance against the Titans in Week 1.
Davis finished with 10 tackles, two sacks, three quarterback hits, four tackles for loss, and a pass defended. The way he played, you could feel his uncontainable energy snap after snap as he bulldozed into players or lunged for a mid-air pass. If Davis seems larger than life on the field, it’s because he has the presence of a behemoth, sniffing out opponents’ fear and leaving no blade of turf untouched.
On one play, Davis bodied his way through Seattle’s left guard, Damien Lewis, hitting Lewis with such monumental force that Lewis fell back into his running back, producing a tackle for loss.
He’s the NFL equivalent of AFC Richmond’s Roy Kent (Ted Lasso, anyone?), and soon Saints fans could be chanting, “He’s here! He’s there! He’s every f–ing where! Demario Davis!”
Demario Davis has emerged as one of the best value New Orleans Saints players in recent history
This is Davis’ fourth year in NOLA, but he’s already proven to be the best free agent acquisition since Drew Brees.
During the 2018 offseason, the Saints signed a then little-known linebacker named Demario Davis in free agency. Davis, originally a third-round pick of the New York Jets in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Arkansas State, had just come off a strong season with the Jets in which he recorded a career-high 135 combined tackles.
New Orleans’ interior defense had plummeted ever since their 2009 Super Bowl win, and Davis was picked up along with Alex Anzalone and A.J. Klein to form a new-look linebacker corps.
In Davis’ first year with the team, the Saints allowed and average of 22.1 points per game, surrendering 20 points or fewer 11 times. They also finished second in the league against the run, allowing just 80 yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry.
Since Davis’ arrival in 2018, the Saints have boasted a top-five rushing defense in each of the last three years. Davis earned a long-overdue Pro Bowl berth in 2019, and the rest is — well, he’s still making history.
Davis’ athleticism, run coverage, and all-around leadership rescued the Saints defense then, and he’s producing the same dominant LB play this season.
Davis has played in every defensive snap since Week 1. Since 2018, he’s played in every game of his New Orleans career to date. His stamina puts the Energizer Bunny to shame.
His most recent game against Seattle was not an anomaly, just an exceptional preview of what Davis can do for this Saints team in 2021. The simple answer: he makes them better. (Ever seen one of his pregame huddle speeches? He’ll make you want to suit up and run through a wall.)
Drew Brees wins as the best Saints free-agent addition for his good looks and a few other things, but Davis is right up there with the QB great.
The hey day of the Saints’ linebacker dominance may have come and passed with Pro Bowler Jonathan Vilma and a bygone championship era. O captain, our captain, Demario Davis still has plenty of fight left in him to take New Orleans far this season.