On Thursday night, the New Orleans Saints traveled to Florida to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in their preseason opener.
It was a game filled with ups and downs that, ultimately, resulted in a 24-20 Saints victory.
Future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees suited up; however, he did not play in the game. Instead, quarterback Tom Savage started for the Saints. He finished 10 for 14 for 70 yards passing in the game and led a touchdown drive late in the second quarter that was capped off by running back Mark Ingram.
Kicker Will Lutz hit his first and only field goal of late in the first quarter.
Quarterback Taysom Hill saw some snaps in the second half. He finished 8 for 9 with 72 yards passing and added 52 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Quarterback J.T. Barrett didn’t have much time to show what he could do late in the fourth. However, he did help lead the Saints’s game winning drive that was capped off by a go-ahead score by running back Jonathan Williams, who had 4 rushes for 26 yards and a touchdown.
While no touchdowns were thrown by the Saints, all three Saints quarterbacks show promise.
The bigger story of the night, however, was the Saints defense.
They recorded six sacks and three forced fumbles against the Jaguars offense. They were called for some flags in the secondary, but very solid, upfront and caused consistent pressure on the QB. Some names that were heard all night were defensive end Jayrone Elliott and defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence, who combined for 4.5 of the 6 sacks of the night.
They also shut out the Jaguars in the fourth quarter, which led to a Saints comeback victory.
It was a very strong overall performance from the Saints Thursday night. They showed a lot of promise on both sides of the football. It will be interesting to see how how quarterback J.T. Barrett will perform with more expected snaps in Friday’s game versus Arizona as well as if the Saints backups can continue to prove why they deserve a spot on the roster.
The Saints will host the Arizona Cardinals in their preseason home-opener on Friday, August 17, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.