The rejuvenated Broncos run, which delivered a season-high 189 yards in victory over Miami last week, will face arguably their toughest Test Sunday against New Orleans.
The Saints, who have won seven consecutive games and are an NFC best 8-2, allow only 74.3 yards of rush per game and 3.4 yards per carry, both second best in the NFL.
In the last three games, the Saints have allowed eight rushing yards in Tampa Bay and 49 and 52 in home wins over San Francisco and Atlanta, respectively.
“Those guys in the front just play really hard,” Broncos quarterback Drew Lock said on Wednesday after practice. “It’s different when you have guys who are extremely talented and can get away with talent, but when you have a team of guys who are extremely talented and bust their asses – and you can see how hard they work on film – that’s what this defense of the saints is.
“You go down in the lineup, you can name all their players and they all play like it’s their first year in the league. Flying around. To beat. Make the great plays. “
The Saints have not allowed a 100-yard rusher this year (Las Vegas’ Josh Jacobs tops 88 yards in Week 2) and allowed only two teams to reach 100 yards (Raiders 116, Los Angeles Chargers 111) .
Fourteen Saints have at least one tackle for lost distance in the run game. Linebacker Demario Davis and defensive end Cameron Jordan lead with 35 and 31 run-game tackles, respectively.
“Generally speaking, you try to play the game on their side of the scrimmage and you need discipline and players need to understand their attacks, and then you obviously need to tackle well,” said Saints coach Sean Payton said. a conference call with the media in Denver. “We’ve gone against a lot of fouls and yet those same things must be for you to properly defend and defend the flight.”
Glasgow, Callahan is sitting. Four Broncos did not train on Wednesday – right-hand guard Graham Glasgow (calf), safety Trey Marshall (shin), right-handed tackle Demar Dotson (hand / groin / rest) and cornerback Bryce Callahan (foot). Limited participants were cornerback Duke Dawson (chest), receiver Jerry Jeudy (ankle / achilles), nose gear Sylvester Williams (elbow), and inside linebackers Josey Jewell (ankle) and Joe Jones (calf).
Lock (ribs) and tight Noah Fant (ribs) were listed as full-go. Defensive end Shelby Harris, from the last three games due to contact tracing (Atlanta) and a positive COVID-19 test (Las Vegas and Miami), remains on the reserve list.
“He’s getting better and better, but not enough to get off the list,” said coach Vic Fangio.
Fangio on Hall of Fame. Fangio was asked about Pro Football Hall of Fame semi-finalists Peyton Manning and John Lynch and also used the forum to promote two of his former linebackers: Sam Mills (New Orleans) and Patrick Willis (San Francisco).
About Manning: “I found out that Peyton was going to be pretty special when he was about 14 or 15 years old, making passes to the Saints’ facility (where Fangio was an assistant) out of season. ‘
On Mills: “Sam Mills deserves to be there. Everyone thinks I’m biased and probably I am, but I’ll tell you for a fact that there have been guys in this league who’ve been close to Sam and other players in the Hall of Fame and they’ll tell you Sam is better was as an inner linebacker than some of those in the Hall of Fame. “
About Willis: “He was a great linebacker for (eight years) in San Francisco. The fastest linebacker I’ve ever coached. He was also a great player. “
Fangio said Lynch will “come in eventually, I’m sure.”
More credit to Manning. Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre also earned high marks for Manning during his weekly appearance as a co-host on The Sirius XM Blitz with Bruce Murray.
“If you were to protect (Manning) – and he had great protection for most (in) his career – he would just cut you apart,” Favre said. “Obviously I was never a defensive coordinator, but I had to think about it (going against Manning) was a game of chess that you knew you wouldn’t win. …
“One of my bigger games was against the Colts in Indianapolis and man I couldn’t miss. And I was shy about two touchdowns to win that game. It was like, ‘I can’t do anymore and he just makes every step unbelievably.’
Favre’s recall is on point. In September 2004, Favre was 30 of 44 left for 360 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 123.3 rating… and Green Bay lost 45-31 to Indianapolis. Manning was 28 out of 40 for 343 yards, five touchdowns (including two scores for Denver resident / radio host Brandon Stokley), no interceptions, and a 140.9 rating.
Footnotes. Fangio said defensive coordinator Ed Donatell (COVID-19) will stay away from the team. “Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later that he can get in here (to work), even if it’s on a part-time basis,” Fangio said. … The Broncos renounced LeVante Bellamy backsliding and activated inside linebacker Mark Barron from the injured reserve. Barron sustained a hamstring injury during training camp and has not played this year. Jake Rodgers, aside from Tuesday, was claimed by Baltimore.