The end result wasn’t what the New Orleans Saints and its fans wanted, but we should be encouraged by some of the things we saw. After I watched the game again from Thursday using NFL Game Pass, here are a few plays that stood out to me.
Play No. 1 - The Kasim Edebali sack
So that first #Saints sack by Kasim Edebali was a pure rush, beat Nate Solder with ease. Good push by line. pic.twitter.com/BpJtm8SNYK— John Hendrix (@JohnJHendrix) August 12, 2016
Kasim Edebali has a pure rush at right defensive end against left tackle Nate Solder. Now, it can be said that Jimmy Garappolo might have held the ball too long, but that can be attributed to some good coverage downfield by the Saints. Still, great move, and that’s what you want to see more of.
Play No. 2 - Saints blitz and force an incompletion
This #Saints defense is what you want to see more of in 2016 pic.twitter.com/lLT4CliBgU— John Hendrix (@JohnJHendrix) August 12, 2016
Dennis Allen brings pressure here, and the end result is an incompletion. Kenny Vaccaro gets picked up by the running back, but the break through was there. One other encouraging thing? Check out Dannell Ellerbe in coverage. Even if this was complete, the receiver would have been brought down quickly for a minimal gain.
No. 3 - The second Kasim Edebali sack
The formation has Kenny Vaccaro up on the line up against the Patriots tight end. Bobby Richardson and Kasim Edebali are ends, while Sheldon Rankins and Tyeler Davison are your interior linemen.
After the snap, Richardson comes in without resistance, but the left guard pulls to cover him. Vaccaro backs off for the tight end route, and James Laurinaitis comes in with his blitz.
All linemen get a good push, and Edebali sticks with the play to have an end result of a Saints sack. Check out the play in full speed.
Lots of good things happening here for the #Saints defense with Kasim Edebali’s 2nd sack pic.twitter.com/I0nTwyYeFw— John Hendrix (@JohnJHendrix) August 13, 2016
Yes, it’s just preseason. However, you have to feel good about what you saw from the first-team defense on Thursday night.