'Great day to be me': Sheldon Rankins makes big plays to lead the way for dominant Saints defense

Monday, 13 November 2017, 11:16:28 AM. ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Sheldon Rankins has felt like the big plays were coming.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Sheldon Rankins has felt like the big plays were coming.  Rankins, who has become the mastermind of the defensive line in his second season in New Orleans, has been playing well and creating pressure, but he was unable to finish any big plays. He hit the halfway mark of the season without a sack. But he kept believing the big plays would come in bunches, and he was right. Rankins picked off a pass and recorded his first sack of the season in a dominant 47-10 win for New Orleans.  "I had a smile that you probably still can't wipe off my face," Rankins said. "Playing the type of game we played, being able to make the plays I made for the defense. ... I knew they were going to come to me eventually." New Orleans (7-2) has dropped defensive linemen back in coverage regularly this season, and the 305-pound Rankins estimates he takes three to four snaps per game in coverage.  This time, he thought he knew where the ball was going when Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor dropped back and looked for Charles Clay over the middle.  "I'd seen that passing concept with the tight end dropping out like that; they'd probably done it a couple of plays before," Rankins said. "When we got our defensive call, I kind of just figured where I'd be dropping back to, broke on the ball, he bobbled it, made a play on it and it was a great day to be me." Rankins, who played running back in high school and scored a touchdown at Louisville on a fumble recovery, took off with a full head...Read more
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