New Orleans Saints vs. Cleveland Browns: 3 key matchups


Browns QB Tyrod Taylor vs. Saints defensive containment

The Saints have so much to clean up from last week’s defensive performance, but there is one specific area that could really come back to bite them if they do not get it turned around against Cleveland.

Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick effectively used his legs whenever the Saints left him an opening, gaining 36 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. He essentially put the game on ice with a 12-yard scramble on third and 11 late in the fourth quarter. 

The Saints will have to do a much better job with Taylor (5) this week. 

The Browns quarterback led the team in rushing against the Steelers last week, gaining 77 yards on eight carries with a touchdown. This is nothing especially new for Taylor, who averaged better than 5 yards per carry in each of his three seasons with the Buffalo Bills, racking up 1,575 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground in his time there. 

The key, defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said, is a disciplined defensive line that is all on one accord.

“They’ve all got to work together, and they’ve got to understand what their rush lanes are and how you’ve got to be able keep this quarterback from scrambling,” Allen said. “…If they all work individually and everybody is just trying to win they’re rush, that’s when you create seams in the defense and you allow the quarterback to step up in through the pocket to scramble out or maybe even get outside the pocket to scramble out.” 

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