In an underwhelming year for the New Orleans Saints, Demario Davis still showed he’s aging like wine. We saw no fall-off in his game whatsoever.
34-year-old Davis led the Saints with 109 tackles in 2022, his fifth season with New Orleans. It was his sixth straight year recording at least 100 stops and the eighth such achievement in his 11-year career.
Not only did Demario put together a career-high in sacks (6.5), he showed consistency/improvement in pass coverage. He effectively shadowed tight ends and running backs from sideline to sideline all year.
Demario Davis named to 2nd Team All Pro AND still a nominee for the #WPMOY This is his 4th consecutive All Pro season & 2nd nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year.— Joe Horns Cell Phone (@JoeHornsPhone) January 13, 2023
What a season. Congrats @demario__davis pic.twitter.com/Fb0MLnLZDC
Demario Davis chucks the shallow and still breaks up the pass on the sit on mesh. Most underrated LB in the league imo. pic.twitter.com/d6yubOQZNX— Mike (@bengals_sans) October 11, 2022
This was Davis’ third straight season receiving 2nd Team All-Pro honors. He was a 1st Team All-Pro in 2019. Davis received 41 of a possible 50 votes from the AP media panel, including eight first-team votes.
He was not only the heart and soul of the defense but the entire team. Availability is the best ability, and Davis was the only LB in the NFL to play 100% of his team’s snaps.
Davis’ range at 34 is unparalleled.
I believe Demario is the closest thing we’ve seen to Ray Lewis at LB, he resembles him in almost every way. He is great at stuffing the run and shooting gaps. He squeezes lanes, he’s beyond disciplined. In pass coverage, he’s become a zone maven. Simply put, there’s no weakness in his game.
Since 2017, only Bobby Wagner has more tackles than Demario.
Although he’s aging, the Saints seem to have at least another two years of elite play from him. Davis has taken care of his body and I honestly can't remember seeing a bad game from him last season.
With the emergence of Kaden Ellis and Pete Werner, he shouldn’t have as big of a workload on defense as he previously did. This means longevity and fresher reps. If Loomis can revamp the DL some, this means even fresher reps for Demario.
Davis sits with a career total of 744 solo tackles. Only 19 players in NFL history (two active) have surpassed 700 solo tackles.
Overall, for the ‘22-’23 season, Demario was exceptional. Dennis Allen couldn’t have asked for more from him and there’s no reason not to expect another elite season next year. At 34, he has a more-than-valid argument for being the best in the NFL. Saints' fans have been watching pure greatness and shouldn’t take it for granted.