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Marcus Davenport powering into position as imposing force for New Orleans Saints

'We have always seen that in him, and now I believe we're getting a little bit of the fruits of the labor now'

The New Orleans Saints take on the Tennessee Titans on the road in Week 10 of the 2021 NFL season.

You'd think it would be a bigger deal to New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport.

To take an offensive tackle – Tennessee's 6-foot-5, 310-pound Kendall Lamm – and power him backward into his quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) forcefully enough to knock down the quarterback for a sack, would seem to be a talk-about-it-for-months moment.

But for Davenport, the euphoria was fleeting.

"Nah," he said of getting an adrenaline rush. "Nah. Nah. Uh-uh. I think ultimate (adrenaline rush) is winning. That's the ultimate."

And the Saints didn't do that, logging a 23-21 loss to the Titans last Sunday.

This Sunday, New Orleans (5-4) will attempt to end a two-game losing streak against the Eagles (4-6) at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Davenport possibly had his most imposing game of the season against Tennessee, with two sacks, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and three tackles. He has four sacks, six quarterback hits and six tackles for loss in five games this season.

The run-through sack was an imposition of will and display of strength.

"That's kind of a hard one, because I don't really feel like I set him up," Davenport said. "I just felt like it was about that time where I had to commit to my power. And from there, that was the play.

"It's a lot of just working to win. You try to find what works against him, what works against the quarterback depending on how he moves. Every rep, every play is kind of different so it's kind of going out there and having something in mind and being able to work off of that."

He's in the middle of as productive a four-game stretch (three sacks, five quarterback hits, four tackles for loss, a forced fumble and 13 tackles) as he's had in his career.

"Well, look, I think we've said from the very beginning that we've felt like Marcus Davenport has the ability to be a dominant type of player," Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said. "It was really just a matter of time, growth, and it didn't happen probably as fast as we wanted it to, and I do think that injuries were a major factor in that. Like I said, this past offseason was his first offseason where he didn't have an offseason surgery.

"So, you're just beginning to see, and I think even more so than anything else, that Marcus Davenport knows and believes that he can be a special player in our league. That confidence, (Saints Coach) Sean (Payton) says this all the time, 'confidence is born from demonstrated ability.' The more plays he is able to make, the more confidence he gets in his ability to play at this level. We have always seen that in him, and now I believe we're getting a little bit of the fruits of the labor now."

More fruit will be needed Sunday, and not just from Davenport. It'll take a collaborative effort to hem in Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has passed for 2,137 yards and 13 touchdowns, and has run for 547 yards and five touchdowns. Hurts ran for 106 yards on 18 carries in an Eagles victory over the Saints last season, when he made his first NFL start.

"He's a great athlete," Davenport said. "He's fast and he can move out of the pocket. He makes quick decisions and he's one of those guys that can beat you just with his feet. So it's going to be a real disciplined games, especially for us on the ends and the interior.

"It's going to be one of those games where we have to play smart. Can't just unleash as much as we would want to."

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