Week 10 – Know Thy Enemy: New Orleans Saints

titans vs saints
Credit: Mark Zaleski AP

It is Titans vs Saints this week. Mardi Gras meets Honky Tonks and Hot Chicken on Broadway as the Saints travel to Nashville. New Orleans is reeling a bit with significant injuries on both sides of the ball but has enough talent to upset the home favorites. Can Sean Payton conjure up the magic to beat a stingy defense?

This game will be officiated by the infamous Jerome Boger who was in charge the last time these two foes met in a closely decided contest. Will that play a factor? Are the Titans built to withstand all the expectations that come with being a favorite in this Week 10 battle?

Saints Key Numbers + Info (2021 season)

Record: 5-3 (2-1 NFC South)

Points scored: 201

PPG: 25.12

Points allowed: 155

PPGa: 19.37

Avg. yards per rush: 4.0

Average. yards per rush allowed: 3.2

Avg. rush yards per game: 123

Avg. rush yards per game allowed: 74

Rushing TDs: for, 5 against

Avg. pass yards per game: 191.62

Avg. pass yards per game allowed: 273.25

Passing TDs: 17 for, 12 against

Pass Completion Rate: 59%

Pass Completion Rate Against: 63%

Leading Rusher: Alvin Kamara (146 attempts for 530 yards and three touchdowns)

Top Receiver: Alvin Kamara (32 receptions for 310 yards, four touchdowns)

Leading Tackler: Demario Davis (59 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four passes defended, seven quarterback hits, three sacks)

Key Additions: WR Kenny Stills, OT Jordan Mills, ATH Ty Montgomery, CB Bradley Roby, S Jeff Heath, EDGE Tanoh Kpassagnon, QB Trevor Siemian, LB Kwon Alexander (trade), RB Mark Ingram (trade), OL James Hurst, RB Lamar Miller, WR Kevin White, FB Alex Armah, DT Christian Ringo, TE Nick Vannett

Key Losses: QB Drew Brees (retired), QB Jameis Winston (IR), WR Michael Thomas (PUP), OL Andrus Peat (IR), EDGE Payton Turner (IR), CB Patrick Robinson (retired), CB Prince Amukamara, WR Emmanual Sanders, CB Janoris Jenkins, DT Malcolm Brown, P Thomas Morstead, CB Desmond Trufant, RB Latavius Murray, CB Brian Poole, OL Austin Reiter

Titans vs Saints Series History

Tennessee leads the all-time series 8-6-1

Tennessee Call Out, Ball Out

Be Ready for ANYTHING defensively

The Saints are missing a ton of key pieces including superstar back Alvin Kamara. Sean Payton is notorious for pulling stuff from you know where so the defense will need to be prepared. Trevor Siemian is the nominal starter after Jameis Winston went out due to injury but there is the slippery and tricky Taysom Hill to account for also.

Star tackle Terron Armstead is out for this contest as well, so there will be some shuffling along the line. Point is, Shane Bowen and co will do well to be prepared to face the kitchen sink thrown at them. 

Team Mentality 

There has been a ton of praise heaped on the Titans after the run they’ve been on defeating every contender to date. Can they keep the sky high emotions in check and lock in for a wounded but still dangerous Super Bowl caliber team?

Especially cornerback Janoris Jenkins facing his former employers. Mike Vrabel has proven to be adept at man management within his locker room so there’s that. They aren’t that healthy themselves so it will be a 60 minute battle of attrition. 

WR2?

Living legend Julio Jones was just placed on IR so he will be out for three weeks. It’s a gigantic blow to the Titans’ hopes to complement AJ Brown. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine will likely get the first shot at replacing Julio as he has been productive this season in spurts.

The Titans are hurting for depth at the position as they released Josh Reynolds. They will have to likely rely on a committee or scour the wire for help. Can Tennessee cobble together a receiver room that has to be respected?

Keys to a Saints Victory

Establish. The Run

The easiest way to get a backup quarterback who has limitations? Run the ball. Luckily for New Orleans, they have a reinvigorated Mark Ingram to hand the ball off to in Kamara’s stead. Ingram is the league’s fourth leading rusher.

Establish the run to get the hell hounds on the Titans’ defensive line off balance and thinking. Taysom Hill will definitely play a factor in the run game as well. 

Locate 20

Former Saint Janoris Jenkins has been extremely suspect and the worst player in the Titans secondary. He’ll be highly motivated to prove his former team wrong and it can be used against him.

What better for the Saints than the coach who has seen his strengths and weaknesses every day for years in practice to exploit? Jenkins has been inconsistent against the faster receivers so lining up Marquez Callaway or Deonte Harris might be the trick to beating him. 

Stop that guy wearing 17 

It’s kind of inherent, you think? The Titans’ running game has been seriously jeopardized as a legitimate weapon due to the loss of Derrick Henry. All that’s left is a newish running back room featuring aging Adrian Peterson, unproven young guns like Jeremy McNichols and D’Onta Foreman.

Tennessee’s offense did not look like anything resembling its potent self last week in the temporary post-Henry era. They are relying on fickle winds of turnover luck to create short fields for the offense to thrive in. New Orleans has a defense capable of stopping Ryan Tannehill. Dumb turnovers have plagued him as of late so chances will be there for them to exploit. 

Titans vs Saints Injury Report

Titans vs Saints: What are the odds?

Caesars has the Titans as three-point favorites at -100 while the Saints are +120 dogs. The over/under has been set at 44 even. The money line is the Titans at -150 and the Saints at +130.

BetMGM has the Titans as three point favorites at -105 while the Saints are +115 dogs. The over/under has been set at 44.5. The money line is the Titans at -120 and the Saints at +150.

Wynnbet has the Titans as three point favorites at -105 while the Saints are +115 dogs. The over/under has been set at 44 even. The money line is the Titans at -150 and the Saints +120.

Prediction

NEW ORLEANS 31

Tennessee 24

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Previous KTE Editions

KTE: Jacksonville Jaguars

Know Thy Enemy: Seattle Seahawks

Know Thy Enemy: Indianapolis Colts

KTE: New York Jets

Know Thy Enemy: Buffalo Bills

KTE: Kansas City Chiefs

Know The Enemy: LA Rams

Patriots, Saints, Jekyll & Hyde, Unicorns and Show Ponies

FOXBORO, MA – OCTOBER 13: Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins #85 of the New England Patriots catches the game winning touchdown in front of cornerback Jabari Greer #33 of the New Orleans Saints in the closing seconds of the Patriots 30-27 win at Gillette Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

This weekend will feature a battle of 1-1 teams in Foxborough as both look to gain some direction for the rest o their season. The Patriots had a one-point loss at home to the Dolphins in the opener before making Zach Wilson see ghosts in Metlife in week 2. The Saints absolutely dismantled the Packers in Jacksonville week 1 before putting up a flat performance against the Panthers in week 2. Everybody in New England remembers the last time the Pats hosted Saints and the culmination of the evening with Big Papi sending Torii Hunter head over heels into the Sox bullpen and the birth of a local hero- Bull Pen Cop Steve Horgan.

With the Sox hot before falling flat against the Yanks last night, maybe the Pats can start some magic Sunday afternoon before another absolute night capper by our Boston counterparts.

In a twist, the Pats are facing opponents on back-to-back weeks coming off games against the Panthers (the Panthers played the Jets week 1 and the Saints week 2). While the Panthers operate a different offensive and defensive system than the Patriots, the consistency in film will allow the Patriots to see what works and doesn’t work and incorporate similar philosophies into their game plan.

The Saints faced adversity before the season even started, having to move their football operations to Arlington, Texas in the wake of Hurricane Ida. The move and subsequent neutral site home opener seemed to have no ill effects on the Saints team as they blew the doors off the “visiting” Packers 38-3. Famous Jameis had 5 touchdowns on 14 completions and the Saints never looked back. All-World Runningback Alvin Kamara had 83 yards on the ground and added another 8 and a touchdown receiving. The Saints defense got involved as well, sacking Rodgers twice and picking him off twice.
The Saints weren’t done facing adversity as during week 2, seven coaches missed practice time and three were unavailable during the game. Still practicing in Arlington, the Saints traveled to Carolina for a divisional matchup. All the goodwill bought in week 1 was quickly lost as they lost 26-7. Quarterback Jameis Winston showed he’s not done bringing his team on a rollercoaster experience as he threw 2 interceptions and was sacked 4 times. In classic Winston fashion, after being sharp in one week, he made some absolute head-scratching decisions the week following.

Kamara was largely bottled up against the Panthers, rushing for 5 yards and adding another 25 receiving. Whatever the Panthers were doing against Kamara, the Patriots will hope to replicate Sunday. The return of OLB Kyle Van Noy will be an added boost to a front seven that was susceptible to the run game last week. Despite being listed on the injury report all week OLB Matt Judon will be good to go Sunday. The Patriots could be without do-it-all safety Adrian Phillips as he missed the final two practices of the week due to a personal matter. Phillips’ status bears watching Sunday morning. OLB Josh Uche is listed as questionable with a back injury, his absence would lead to a loss of pep in pass-rushing situations as he leads the team in sacks with 3.

There has been much opining about the Patriots’ offense and lack of red zone success and explosive plays in the passing game. A week after seeing just how quickly a rookie QB can torpedo your team’s chances of winning, the New England fan base took to the radio waves and social media in force to complain about the conservative approach the offense has been taking in the passing game. The offensive game plan, while boring for fantasy football and Madden savants, follows the old Belichick (and quote from Art of War) adage that “You can’t win until you keep from losing.” While it’s not splashy and sexy, it is effective. The team was undone by its turnovers in week 1 and despite a 19-point victory in week 2, fans are clamoring for more risks in the passing game. The return of RT Trent Brown should give Mac more time in the pocket on Sunday but expect him to continue to be safe with the ball, especially when throwing in the direction of Pro-Bowl Cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

The Patriots again should be paced by their rushing attack. After being listed all week on the injury report with a finger injury, Damien Harris was removed Friday and will be a full-go for the game. The Pats will look to continue running the ball and set up play-action for their downfield shots in the passing game.

This Saints team reminds me a lot of the 2018 Tennessee Titans; a team that is absolutely talented but struggled to put it together week to week. Those teams are hard to play against as they are a different flavor of football team every Sunday. The week 1 opener showed us a talented team capable of paying incredible complimentary football, while week 2 showed us a team that seemed rudderless against a familiar opponent. Regardless of what version of the Saints shows up on Sunday, the game will be won or lost on third down. The Saints are a mere 7-21 on third down in the season while allowing a similar conversion rate defensively (9-25)> Forcing the Saints to consistently convert on third down will go a long way in deciding the Patriots’ success while avoiding those situations offensively themselves. Bottling up Kamara on the early downs and forcing Jameis to win the game would be the prudent defensive game plan. Offensively, avoiding DE Cam Jordan and staying the course will be successful. While everyone wants the big passing play, avoiding the turnover and staying on schedule is more important for the team at this juncture of the season.

Prediction

These are the hardest games to decide as the Saints have been such a mixed bag of results in a young season. Sean Payton is a great coach who should never be underestimated in his ability to prepare a team after a showing such as the Saints had last week. Old friend Chris Hogan and his Saints team keep it close in the first half before a couple Jameis turnovers turn the tide in the second. Patriots win 26-16 as their red-zone woes lead to multiple Nick Folk field goals continue for another week.

7 Up, 7 Down: Opening Overreactions

UP

1. Chandler Jones Has a Half a Season in ONE GAME

Cardinals EDGE rusher Chandler Jones had the denizens of Nashville crying out for an offensive tackle that could simply stand in front of him. Sadly for the Titans, no such man was coming on Sunday afternoon. Jones had a dominant day, putting up FIVE sacks which prompted NBA god LeBron James to tweet his support for Jones’ candidacy for DPOY. 

Jones was so dominant that the Titans’ star left tackle Taylor Lewan was beaten repeatedly into submission. Lewan later acknowledged his failure in stopping Jones and credited him for waking him up. 

2. Saints March In and Show Out

The Saints, briefly displaced by Hurricane Ida, put on a show in Jacksonville against fellow NFC contender Green Bay. The defense was all over the place, hounding Aaron Rodgers into two interceptions. Jameis Winston was efficient, throwing for 148 yards and a whopping FIVE touchdowns, including this beauty to get him over the century mark in yards for the day. He’s currently on pace for 2,500 yards and 85 touchdowns

Not to be outdone by his usual stellar play on the field, All-Pro CB Marshon Lattimore scored a well-deserved pay rise moments after the victory. The salary cap is a social construct built by mere mortals that can be exploited to profound and spectacular limitless bounds.

3. Dak Prescott IS Back!

Dak showed very little ill effects of the devastating ankle injury he suffered early last season and the recent shoulder issue he went through in training camp. He may not be back to being full force Dak but he’s well on his way to return to prior form. The Cowboys may not be an upper-tier contender but Prescott gives them a fighting chance in the much beleaguered NFC East where 9 wins might be enough to win the division. I’m glad that he’s back from such a bad injury. 

4. Sean McVay’s Football Mental Health

Sean McVay was voraciously giddy and gratuitously presumptuous when the Rams traded for former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in exchange for Jared Goff and multiple first-round selections. Well, after Stafford’s performance against the Bears on Sunday night, it appears his mental state of unabashed happiness hasn’t changed one iota. Goff, on the other hand, was valiant in trying to lead the moribund Lions to a stirring comeback victory. McVay has to be overjoyed by the fact that Stafford is more consistent and doesn’t need much of a guiding hand or protection from the Rams boss, unlike his predecessor. This frees him up to be more creatively intuitive in his play-calling ala new age Sean Payton, armed with a star-laden defense led by the indomitable Aaron Donald. 

5. Is Jalen Hurts that dude?

Yes, it was against the brutally hapless Falcons defense, but Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts began 2021 in a promising fashion, going for a combined 326 yards and three touchdowns. A game that included this beauty to former Alabama teammate and reigning Heisman winner Devonta Smith.

The Eagles quarterback is certainly showing signs of promise early on but he will need to turn in an outstanding season in order to avoid tempting the front office that has looked into the Deshaun Watson / Russell Wilson market in the past. Hurts looks spritely and in command of Nick Sirianni’s offense after one week. Philadelphia will face a much stiffer test this coming Sunday against the vaunted 49ers defense who just gave up 33 points to the woebegone Lions. For Hurts’ sake, let’s hope he has a great season for the City of Brotherly Love.

6. #LetRussCook

The Shane Waldron and Russell Wilson era got off to a flying start with the quarterback being an efficient 18/23, 254 yards and four touchdowns, including a beauty of a deep pass to Tyler Lockett. The signs of letting Russ cook full stop are there with Waldron seemingly calling the impact shots instead of the archaic Pete Carroll’s preferred ground control offense. Next up on the docket: a Titans team who got blown out by an explosive Cardinals offense in week 1. Let Russ Cook, indeed. 

7. Justin Herbert is FUN

The promising sophomore sensation led the Chargers to a win in a must-have game-icing situation when normally, Bolts teams of old would’ve found a way to blow the lead. Could it be a curse-killing win for the powder blue outfit or just a random win? Herbert has all the physical tools and is now challenging the tier of upper-crust quarterbacks. What kind of 2021 will he have?

DOWN

1. Matt Rhule in “Plus Territory”

Yes, the Panthers beat the rebuilding Jets but several decisions inside plus territory left Carolina fans wanting. A decision to punt while having the ball on the Jets’ 33 yard line is the most egregious of the issues. However, scoring only one touchdown against a hapless defense in four trips inside the 10 yard line is a giant cause for concern going forward. Especially so when one of the best dual threat running backs in football resides on the roster. Could this be a worrying trend for the Panthers? Is there anything left in Sam Darnold left to salvage? 

2. The Vikings have OL Issues

Kirk Cousins has his own warts but the offensive line was horrendous for the Vikings on Sunday. This was against a middling at best Bengals stop unit. It looks like they’re still in preseason mode and haven’t gelled together yet. Up next for the Vikings and their beleaguered line: the red hot Arizona Cardinals defense on the road. It will likely be another long day I suspect for Cousins and company.  

3. Jason Garrett is Not that Guy

Like the meme says, Garrett is not that guy. He hasn’t been handed the most ideal of circumstances such as Saquon Barkley returning from injury and a poor offensive line. Daniel Jones hasn’t developed and is quickly reaching Mitchell Trubisky territory. If this lack of production continues, Big Blue faithful will be up in arms calling for Joe Judge’s job. It’s certainly possible that Garrett is hamstrung by Jones but he isn’t helping him, either. One has to wonder if Garrett is the coach that Judge sacrifices to retain his own job security. 

4. Bad juju in Cheesehead Land

There’s some bad mojo in Green Bay, namely starting with the months-long diaspora of Aaron Rodgers dysfunction. It has carried over the season, it seems as Matt LaFleur’s men couldn’t get going Sunday. Would it be best for all parties for the Packer to end the charade of harmony and trade Rodgers? Love was inserted into the lost cause to mixed results. They will need to see what they have in their former first round pick before too long. However, one game does not make a season. It bears watching going forward though. 

5. Do the Chiefs have a good enough stop unit?

The Browns are well coached and talented but there’s no reason for the Chiefs defense not to be at least middle of the pack. They were dominated by Cleveland until they were forced to buck up in the fourth quarter. Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league armed with an impressive arsenal but even he can’t keep on rescuing the defense repeatedly. The defense will need to step up better than they showed on week one. 

6. Bears Post “Help Wanted” ad for Left Tackle

It’s been an arduous journey for the left tackle position for Chicago as rookie Teven Jenkins was already injured. His replacement, aging veteran Jason Peters was injured early Sunday. The replacement for Peters, Larry Borom, was injured during the same game. They are one snap away from having to play Germain Ifedi at left tackle. Chicago’s offense was already labeled as a struggling unit, with these injuries, it will be tough for either Andy Dalton or Justin Fields to get any traction. It might be a long year for Matt Nagy. 

7. It’s still Atlanta United’s stadium, Falcons!

The Falcons struggled mightily against a retooling Eagles team, failing to impress anyone. The poor offensive line was a sieve and allowed Matt Ryan to get hit repeatedly, resulting in one iconic image. Defensively, they weren’t any great shakes either save for a few performances from Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, and AJ Terrell. HC Arthur Smith’s team had a great opening drive or three but it all fell downhill afterwards. The losses may continue with the defending champion Buccaneers next on the docket. Coach Smith’s will and coaching ability is going to be seriously tested as the Dirty Birds escape from the last vestiges of the ill fated Dan Quinn era. It’s still Atlanta United’s stadium and the Falcons are paying rent for the right to play in it with a random Kanye cameo. 

Ravens Report: Preseason Week 1 Roster Preview

Ladies & Gentlemen, you’ve seen this author & title across multiple websites, but it’s now here at the hottest up and coming sports news network. We’re all excited to be here for you all the fans, no need for introductions cause that was done on Twitter. With that being said let’s get down to business.

Starting out understanding the opponent. As most of us know already that they’re playing the New Orleans Saints at M&T Bank Stadium. I know this is usually one of my favorite preseason games to watch, whenever they play. Seeing the Saints go through a change at QB with an ongoing position battle & now some WR controversy. It’s definitely going to be something to watch. Game time is at 7pm EST.

While they have everything they got going on, the Ravens have some QB battles of their own. Yes, that’s right, QB2 battle. Tyler Huntley & Trace McSorley.

Both of these guys are great with what they do, Trace brings his own kind of cool balance of pocket passer & scrambler. Seeing them bring in Mr. McSorley was pretty awesome thinking back to it. At first when it happened I thought to myself “Why are they drafting another QB when they have LJ8 & RG3?” Well then remembered they duo need the depth for camps & after further research this guy was the real deal & has proven to be a solid back up since.

Mr. Tyler Huntley, the man who beat the one, the only, the Lamar Jackson back on the High school gridiron. Well technically it was the defense that he beat but that’s a whole other discussion for a later date. This guy as we all have seen in flashes of, is more a true copy cat of LJ8 vs any other mobile QB we’ve seen. This backup QB battle is easily the best in the league. It’s a sight to see to say the least. P.S. a main reason why I’m going into depth with this is because I don’t expect to see our beloved starter much suited up to play.

Let’s move onto one of my favorite pieces of the puzzle in this depth chart release. The Offensive & Defensive Lines! Starting out with the starting OL we have:

  • LT: Ronnie Stanley
  • LG: Ben Powers
  • C: Bradley Bozeman
  • RG: Kevin Zeitler
  • RT: Alejandro Villanueva

The only true shock but not shock to this is at LG. The Ravens’ Public Relations Dept put this depth chart together and as my understanding they put some of the more veteran/guys who have been with the organization longer first. I still feel like that spot is up for grabs with any of the other guys throughout the entire preseason. Whether it’d be Bredeson, Phillips, Cleveland, Mekari, or Powers. Any of them can take it and perform well.

As far as the center position goes, Bozeman was a killer at the spot in college & there is no doubt in my mind that he’ll succeed in it. but as far as who will be his backups. I cannot emphasize this enough. Keep Mekari healthy & ready to go but also have T.C.C. ready to go as well. Mr. Colon is the only dedicated center on this roster as far as we know of.

With the defensive line/rush LB, we have starting out a massive & monstrous unit coming after the backfield:

  • DT: Calais Campbell
  • NT: Brandon Williams
  • DE: Derek Wolfe
  • Rush: Pernell McPhee
  • SAM: Tyus Bowser

This set is a solid go to, and you can’t argue it. All these guys are dominant veterans who have the knowledge & skill sets to get the job done.

But the talk of the town has been that Rush position and who is gonna be the quality guy(s) to take over.

Well let’s look at who is in the running for starting & rotations shall we? *Note: this also includes our depth SAM LB*

  • Justin Houston
  • Jaylon Ferguson
  • Chris Smith
  • Odafeh Oweh
  • Aaron Adeoye
  • Darlin Hayes

All of these guys are key impact/rotational players in one way or another & we’ll get to see a lot of our draft picks in action in this game coming up especially Oweh & Hayes.

Next up is another huge position group that’s been talked out in the offseason: the wondrous WR.

According to a lot of the fan base on both Facebook & Twitter, the team’s WRs weren’t getting the job done or missing the X-Factor in the position. Well Ravens Flock, you all got your wish in Rashod Bateman & Sammy Watkins. Picking up Batman.. I mean Bateman in the draft was a mean steal. The guy has size, route running abilities, speed, and everything you want in a young receiver to compliment what the team already has. Expect to see alot of playing time against the Saints so he can get used to things.

As far as Sammy goes, we may see him in the first quarter only because he’s a NFL vet. Yes, even though it’s his first year with the team & a way for a fresh start to get more his stats under the belt over making room for Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill.

Both of these guys will be an immediate compliment to Hollywood Brown.

These two guys are great additions but my eyes will be on these four guys: Miles Boykin, James Proche, Devin Duvernay, & Tylan Wallace. All young & hungry wideouts looking to make themselves household names. It’s going to be a straight up brawl for the final spots with these gentlemen.

Now with everything being said, there are plenty of other position, rotation & backup battles going on. Everyone above listed in depth aren’t the only ones we’re going to be watching & evaluating. In the secondary we have names such as Nigel Warrior, Shaun Wade, Brandon Stephens(Who has officially been moved from college CB to NFL Safety), Geno Stone, & Ar’Darius Washington.

At FB/TE(Since the team has been doing dual roles with both or flip flopping them), we have a heated battle for TE 3 & 4/FB2. Josh Oliver, Ben Mason(my current favorite), Eric Tomlinson, Eli Wolf, etc.

So much fun & excitement going on right now in preseason that this preview of the team. Be prepared & have your jerseys, hats, tumblers, etc ready.

Wrapping this up, just want to say thank you to everyone who has made it to the end of this article & read ever bit of it. Means more than any of you all could imagine. Don’t forget to check out everything Around The Block, here on the website or on your favorite social media platform. Till next week have a great day!

Eric Allen Should Be in the Hall Of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame induction was Saturday night, and it got me thinking about the career of Eric Allen and how he should be in the Hall of fame. Eric Allen was drafted with the 30th pick of the second round in the 1988 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Philadelphia Eagles

Allen was one of the top defensive backs in his time with the Eagles. With Philadelphia, Allen set an Eagles franchise record with 34 interceptions. In 1993 alone, Allen had six interceptions and four defensive touchdowns to lead the NFL. Allen was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2011.

New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders

In 1994, Allen left the Eagles and signed with the New Orleans Saints. He would play there for seven seasons before moving on to the Oakland Raiders. In three seasons with the Saints, Allen intercepted five passes. With the Raiders, Allen resurrected his career. In four seasons with the Raiders, Allen had 15 interceptions, including three for touchdowns in 2000. Allen is the only player in NFL history to have two years of three or more interception returns for touchdowns. As a Raiders fan, Allen was one of my favorite players to watch in the Silver and Black. Allen and Charles Woodson made an outstanding cornerback tandem in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Career Achievements

Eric Allen put together several good seasons with the Eagles before ending his career with a solid run for the Raiders, A member of the All-Decade team of the 1990s, six Pro Bowls, and the 1989 All-Pro team, Allen finished his career with 54 interceptions and nine defensive touchdowns. If Allen intercepted a pass, he was a threat to score. Allen matched up with some of the great wide receivers in the NFL and held his own. Allen and Michael Irvin had some classic battles in the 90s. Irvin had plays where he would beat Allen, then Allen would turn around and break up a pass or intercept one.

Allen is one of the most underrated players in NFL history and should be in the Hall of Fame. Hopefully, one day he will be able to get in.