When many heard that Drew Brees and other starters would play into the second quarter earlier this week, it was expected that we’d see an early look at how the New Orleans Saints will look headed into the 2018 season. While the end result was a positive, it definitely wasn’t a conventional win as the Saints came away with a 36-7 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday evening.
How It Happened:
With Drew Brees taking snaps for the first time all preseason, things didn’t look good to begin with as he was picked off on the third play from scrimmage by rookie Derwin James on a pass intended for Ted Ginn Jr. However, the Saints defense was able to keep the Chargers out of the endzone after Phillip Rivers throws an incompletion on fourth-and-goal from the four-yard line.
The Chargers weren’t going to be denied though as Detrez Newsome found paydirt late in the first quarter to take an early 7-0 lead. Things started to turn around for the Saints when they took a huge risk with a direct snap to Taysom Hill and it paid off as the Saints kept their drive alive. That helped get some momentum going and they were able to capitalize with a two-yard run up the middle by Alvin Kamara followed by a successful two-point conversion gave the Saints an 8-7 lead with 12:53 left until the half.
Things continued to go in the Saints favor with a pair of field goals from Will Lutz in the final 1:50 helped them take a 14-7 into the break. After a slow start to the second half, Taysom Hill made it 20-7 when he ran it in himself from 11 yards out and followed that up with a successful two-point conversion to make it 22-7.
New Orleans started off the fourth quarter with a dagger through the heart of the fans in Carson City when Marcus Williams picked off Geno Smith and took it to the house to make it a 30-7 ballgame. Hill got his first passing touchdown late in the ballgame with a short pass to rookie wideout TreQuan Smith.
Big Number: 4
For the most part, the Saints defense was passable. In the first two drives, it was a bit of a mess. However, once the Chargers first team walked away they were able to get pressure on the QB and racked up four sacks on the evening.
Player of the Game: Taysom Hill
After having a horrible outing in the first half against the Cardinals, the BYU product bounced back and helped out in a number of ways especially on that fake punt. He went 7-of-eight for 66 yards and a touchdown along with 35 yards rushing and a touchdown on six carries. He showed a lot of versatility and more importantly poise after the poor performance in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Next Up: Preseason Finale vs Los Angeles Rams; Kickoff at 7 pm