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Saints come up empty in preseason for second straight year

Is going winless in the preseason a bad omen for the New Orleans Saints?

NFL: Preseason-Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

If you believe in bad omens or anything of that nature, then you’re likely concerned for the 2016 New Orleans Saints. For the second straight season, the black and gold go winless in the preseason, as they dropped their finale to the Baltimore Ravens 23-14. If you’re counting, they’ve lost nine straight contests dating back to 2014.

The first-team offense got things going for the Saints, as they jumped out to a 6-0 first quarter lead. Kai Forbath made a 36-yard field goal while Connor Barth made a 40-yard field goal attempt. The running game looked better, the offensive line protection was decent, and the defense played fairly strong. However, the Ravens would dominate the second quarter to put up 16 unanswered points.

The Saints defense had a David Onyemata sack nullified by a Ken Crawley penalty, who didn’t play particularly well. However, John Jenkins had two sacks and Craig Robertson had one off of a delayed blitz where he got by a running back block with ease. The second half was riddled with penalties and sloppy tackling, which is common with second and third string players.

On offense, Marcus Murphy stood out with some nice runs and receptions. However, it might be too little, too late. As for the reserve offensive linemen, rookie Marcus Henry got a shot over Jack Allen at center, and it was pretty ugly. Henry’s errors led to a Luke McCown sack and fumble for a Ravens touchdown. Backup tackle Tony Hills was bullied most of the night, which doesn’t bode well for the veteran.

The Saints added a late fourth quarter score on a Garrett Grayson 3-yard pass to fullback Austin Johnson. Daniel Lasco converted the ensuing two-point attempt to cut the lead to 23-14.

Drew Brees finished the night 3-for-6 for 40 yards, which included a nice back shoulder throw to Willie Snead for 26 yards. With the preseason out of the way, the Saints can focus on final cuts to get down to the 53-man roster. The deadline is set for Saturday, September 3 at 4:00 p.m. EST, while practice squads will be formed on Sunday.