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PlayAction newsletter for Nov. 24: Saints can play maximum coverage vs. Bills

PlayAction newsletter for Nov. 24: Saints can play maximum coverage vs. Bills

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Nov. 24, 2021 

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Saints like their 3-man rush

The New Orleans Saints have an outstanding defensive secondary and sometimes they will go all-in on maximum coverage.

New Orleans uses a three-man pass rush almost 20% of pass plays, most in the NFL. In 2020, they used a three-man rush 12% of the time, which was eighth-most in the league. Flood the passing lanes with coverage men and force the quarterback to fire into tight windows.

The Saints' defense enters the Thanksgiving game against the Buffalo Bills ranked No. 10 in the NFL in yards allowed.

Not many defenses rush only three men at the quarterback often. The Saints have been doing it a fifth of the time this year – which is a lot. Here's a look at how New Orleans uses its unorthodox, three-man rush.


If the pass blocking is good against a three-man rush, the quarterback can have all day to wait for a receiver to come open. The problem for offenses is when the Saints get to the quarterback even though only three men are rushing five blockers.

New Orleans has one of the best defensive linemen in the league in Cameron Jordan – he was on the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2010s. He’s a handful for offensive tackles and guards.

New Orleans has two outstanding coverage cornerbacks in Marshon Lattimore and Bradley Robey. One of their best defensive linemen, end Marcus Davenport, is dealing with a shoulder injury. His status will be something to watch before the game.


  • The Bills need their defense to be the firewall in New Orleans. Rise up from the butt-whipping against the Colts, bounce back against the Saints and save the Bills’ season. Read more
  • Josh Allen was not the Bills’ biggest problem vs. the Colts, but the Bills are reeling in the wake of two ugly defeats. They need their quarterback to lead the way in avoiding big mistakesRead more
  • The biggest concern is whether this Bills team is physical enough on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball against good teams. Read more

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