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Saints rookie roundup, Week 12 - Ruiz slowly gaining confidence

A running game is nothing without an offensive line

NFL: NOV 08 Saints at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints traveled to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Broncos in Week 12. Running back Latavius Murray’s 124 rushing yards and two touchdowns led the way in a 31-3 victory over a handicapped Denver team.

The Broncos were left without an active quarterback due to COVID-19 protocols. Denver was forced to activate undrafted receiver Kendall Hilton from their practice squad to lead the offense.

The Saints made it a pretty tough day for Denver, who did not complete a pass in the first half. Taysom Hill once again got the start under center for New Orleans. While his passing stats were forgettable, his two touchdowns on the ground helped keep the game out of reach.

New Orleans Saints v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Saints’ run-heavy offense did not leave much room in the passing game. Rookie tight end Adam Trautman caught his only pass of the day on a tight end screen that went for eight yards. He and Josh Hill led all tight ends in snaps and were mostly used for blocking.

First-round rookie Cesar Ruiz played all 64 offensive snaps at guard. He helped pave the way for 229 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Undrafted receiver Marquez Callaway served as the primary returner with Deonte Harris (neck) ruled out but suffered a minor knee sprain in the second half.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton became just the 13th head coach in NFL history to defeat all 31 other teams with the win.

Rookie linebacker Zack Baun saw four defensive snaps and 17 on special teams. Kwon Alexander and DeMario Davis might just be the best linebacker duo in the league. Despite not having much room to carve out a role for himself, Baun has two of the position’s top players to learn from and develop under.

Green Bay and Seattle remain in tow with the Saints for the NFC’s top seed. New Orleans will travel to Atlanta in Week 13 for a second straight road game and final matchup against their division rivals.

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