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Observations of the Saints vs. Ravens preseason matchup

Observations of the Saints vs. Ravens preseason matchup

On Saturday, the long-awaited wait for the New Orleans Saints to return to playing football arrived. However, this time it was without their future Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees. Despite not having the presence of Brees, the show must go on for New Orleans.

Today, Saints Discussions will share a few observations of what was seen in last night’s game versus the Baltimore Ravens. For the most part, there were a few ups and downs throughout the entire contest. However, a few positions showed a lot of promise as we advance.

The Quarterback Battle is Still Up For Grabs

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton has been adamant about having both quarterbacks show what they can do once the preseason starts. Last night, both Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill had their moments, but neither did enough to separate themselves from each other.

Hill showed that he has improved as a quarterback throwing from the pocket. The first few drives where he was in control of the offense produced like a usual unit under Coach Payton.

The two turnovers committed by the Saints offense were not Hill’s fault at all. New Orleans was on the move, and all signs pointed toward them scoring a touchdown until Latavious Murray fumbled the football well within Baltimore territory.

The second turnover was committed after Hill’s attempted pass to wide receiver/running back Ty Montgomery was intercepted by a Ravens defender. If you paid attention to the play, Montgomery was to go out a little further to make the catch, but he decided to cut the route short, which allowed the interception to occur. Hill’s fellow QB Winston had a turnover of his own when he attempted to complete a pass downfield to wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

The ball went off the hands of Jordan Humphrey and into the hands of the Baltimore defense. On the bright side, Winston led the Saints to a touchdown score when he completed an 8-yard pass to Jordan-Humphrey that allowed the Saints to take the lead up until the fourth quarter. In total, the Saints’ offense accounted for six turnovers in yesterday’s defeat against Baltimore.

“You have six turnovers, 10 penalties, you’re going to struggle,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “We were fortunate to even be that close, honestly. … Bad job by us as coaches, players. It was ugly to watch.”

If things remain even between Winston and Hill as the preseason moves on, do not be surprised if Payton does not name the starting QB a few days ahead of the Saints season opener versus the Green Bay Packers.

Other Notable Observations

Marquez Callaway is Good As Advertised 

In an earlier post, we recognized wide receiver Marquez Callaway as a player that could have a breakout season in 2021. In Saturday’s game against the Ravens, he made his presence known early. Callaway would finish the night with three catches for 61 yards on 28 targets. With Michael Thomas still in a walking boot at the moment, the Saints will rely heavily on Callaway as the season quickly approaches.

Tony Jones Jr. is Going to Put One of the Other Running Backs on the Bubble

One of the biggest positives from Saturday’s game against Baltimore was the solid production from running back Tony Jones Jr. No matter who was the quarterback at the time, Jones produced. The former Notre Dame running back rushed 82 yards on seven carries and caught five passes for 38 yards receiving. If Jones keeps this up in the Jacksonville game, it will be difficult for Coach Payton not to include this man in the Saints’ rotation of running backs once the season begins. 

Paulson Adebo Rose to the Challange of Being CB2

According to the recent depth chart, rookie Paulson Adebo is the second cornerback that will line up opposite Marshon Lattimore. He was constantly picked on against the Ravens’ passing attack but never allowed big plays to occur within his area of responsibility.

Along with Jones, Adebo is another player to look out for when his impact on the football team. The Saints’ next preseason game will be at the Caesar’s Superdome on Monday Night against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

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