The Saints closed their 2014 preseason schedule by facing the Baltimore Ravens tonight in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. With most of the regulars sitting the game out including quarterback Drew Brees, New Orleans lost the game 22-13. Quarterback Luke McCown drove the Saints for an early touchdown drive in which he was 4 for 4 passing. Ryan Griffin then took over and was unable to get New Orleans into the endzone again. Here are a few observations from the action tonight:
- Less penalties: The Saints only had one penalty (a false start) for five yards. This is quite an improvement compared to the slew of fouls called against the team in the previous two games.
- Tyrunn Walker: The Saints defensive end had a great night, deflecting numerous passes and recording four tackles in the game.
- Derek Dimke: The young kicker, who is in a battle with incumbent Shayne Graham for the place-kicking job made his two field goals, including a 49-yarder at the end of the first half. He originally missed from 54-yards out, but had a mulligan after a "running into the kicker" penalty on the Ravens. Dimke has a shot at making the roster.
- Brees-less Offense: Without its field general, the Saints offense could only score one touchdown and recorded a meager 190 total yards. A far cry from the usually lethal Saints offense.
- Patrick Robinson: After being sidelined last season with a torn ACL and early this preseason, Robinson needed some reps and showed a significant amount of rust. He was repeatedly burned by Baltimore's second year receiver Kamar Aiken. Not a good sign for one who is trying to win the second starting cornerback job.
- Ryan Griffin: I know not many will agree with me, but it simply seems to me that Griffin isn't ready to be a number two QB. He was 11 of 26 for 126 yards, and not every missed throw was the defense's fault. At times he also seemed to simply not want to stand tall and take a hit while delivering the ball. If Payton still had any doubt, I think Griffin just cemented McCown's place as the number two quarterback this season.
- What Defense? The Saints allowed the Ravens to gain 436 yards in the game, with 214 yards rushing. These were mostly backups playing, yet the performance was largely putrid. Many of these guys will get cut and may not have helped themselves for a pickup by other teams.
- Stay on the field: New Orleans was 0 for 7 on third down and lost the time of possession by a wide margin (17:21 of ball possession against 42:39 for the Ravens).
|NEW ORLEANS SAINTS|