Second-year Saints DE Payton Turner had the best game of his career vs. Raiders

This is what you love to see. Payton Turner’s pro career hasn’t started out as well as hoped, but he delivered on those expectations in Sunday’s rout of the Las Vegas Raiders. The second-year New Orleans Saints defensive end played the best football we’ve seen out of him in Week 8’s game — he notched 5 quarterback pressures at Pro Football Focus, including 2 sacks. He was also credited with 3 defensive stops, which are typically defined as plays in which the offense gains 50% or fewer yards necessary for a conversion.

What’s impressive here is that this was just the ninth game Turner has played in the NFL. He lost most of his rookie season to injuries and has only been active for four games this season. He’s young and inexperienced, but he’s got the tools to win on Sundays. It’s really encouraging to see him finding this kind of success at this stage in his career.

The Saints will need more games like it out of him, though. Their future at defensive end is unclear. Marcus Davenport is their best pass rusher at the position and he’ll be a free agent in the spring; Cameron Jordan has a real shot at entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday, but he’s 33 and playing on a hefty contract. Tanoh Kpassagnon will also be a free agent in 2023, leaving Turner and Carl Granderson (who was inactive Sunday) as the only two young players signed long-term. If Turner can turn the corner and keep racking up sacks and building confidence, he can be a big part of the solution at defensive end.

List

6 Saints players who rose to the occasion in a convincing win vs. Raiders

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire