Deuce: Saints are ‘playing really, really well’
NEW ORLEANS — Saints radio color analyst Deuce McAllister said Tuesday that the play of the hometown team during its nine-game winning streak has been almost unprecedented.
“It might be a while before we see something like this again,” McAllister said at the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Quarterback Club presented by Home Bank Tuesday at Rock ‘n’ Bowl.
“How efficient they’ve been … I think they’ve got us spoiled. You’re disappointed if you haven’t scored 35 at halftime. It’s going to take some luck, but this team is playing really, really well.”
The Saints have a quick turnaround heading into their Thanksgiving night showdown with the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Playing on a short week has its advantages and disadvantages, McAllister said.
“The bad: Having so many guys dinged up and playing on a short week,” he said. “The good: You’re playing at home.
“For this team to be able to recover is critical. Game-plan wise, it will be condensed to a point.”
The Saints had a chance to move into the outright lead in the NFC playoff race Monday night, but the Los Angeles Rams moved to 10-1 with a 54-51 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Rams are off this week and the Saints can pull back into a tie for the top spot in the conference standings Thursday night.
“I was a Kansas City Chiefs fan last night,” McAllister said, probably speaking for Saints fans everywhere, “but it was not in the cards.
“I’m all for points. (There was) really good quarterback play, but terrible quarterback play as well. I think both quarterbacks forgot who they were playing against for a while. I think they got so infatuated with the big play that they held it for four seconds.”
The Falcons, despite their 4-6 record, will provide a tough test Thursday night.
“They’ve been banged up. They’re starting to get healthy. Matt Ryan likes to operate from a fast pace.
Marcus Davenport is close to returning to the field, McAllister said, and might have a chance to play if this week’s game was Sunday.
“He will be able to add some depth and some fresh legs,” McAllister said.
He said tackle Terron Armstead is also getting close to returning from a pectoral injury.
“I’m thinking they’re trying to get him back for next Thursday (at Dallas), but for sure at Tampa Bay (Dec. 9),” McAllister said.
McAllister is in his first year working with new Saints play-by-play voice and former teammate Zach Strief after spending the last two years with longtime voice Jim Henderson.
“I thought Jim taught me an awful lot,” McAllister said. “We’re a work in progress (this year). It’s telling the game and talking the game and hopefully teaching the game as well.”
The Saints and Falcons kick off at 7:20 p.m. Thursday. NBC will televise the game.
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Lenny has been involved in college athletics since the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…