It wasn’t pretty whatsoever for the New Orleans Saints on Friday night, as they shot themselves in the foot multiple times in the first half to lead to a 20-15 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. It was pretty painful to watch, as there wasn’t too much to celebrate on the evening. Here’s some winners, losers, and honorable mentions from the game.
The Saints running backs were quite efficient on the evening. No matter who carried the ball, they all finished productive. Aside the Taysom Hill scramble, Jonathan Williams (8-37), Mark Ingram (7-36), Boston Scott (6-28), and Terrance West (2-26) all looked impressive on the evening. Having the first-team offensive line in definitely helped, and Williams in particular probably helped his case the most in this game.
Tre’Quan Smith hauled in three receptions for 60 yards on four targets. Wil Lutz kicked three field goals on the night (52, 31, 37), being the driving force of the scoreboard for the Saints up until the final minute of the game. Both Brandon Tate and Boston Scott looked good in the kick return game, and the special teams blocking was pretty good overall.
No one sticks out more than Taysom Hill, as he turned the ball over four times in first half action. Hill was intercepted twice and fumbled twice. It was downright ugly. Sean Payton confided in Hill afterwards, saying that it was a tough night for him, but he thought he’ll rebound and be better. Tom Savage didn’t exactly stand out, but went 6-of-7 for 53 yards.
The Saints reserve offensive line combinations ended up surrendering four sacks on Hill (1) and Savage (3). While the first-team starting combo looked good, the pass protection from the others did not. Someone needs to emerge here and fast.
J.T. Barrett definitely made the most of his limited playing time, leading the Saints to their lone touchdown of the evening. Barrett finished 3-of-5 for 45 yards, and had the 12-yard touchdown run in the final 30 seconds of the game.
Austin Carr got in the mix at the right time, catching all three of his targets for 37 yards. Cameron Meredith, although he could technically get an assist for the first Taysom Hill interception, was able to log playing time. While he didn’t register on the stat sheet, it was a big step forward for him.
On defense, I thought Trey Hendrickson and Mitchell Loewen had some good push and rushes starting in place of Cameron Jordan and Alex Okafor. Devaroe Lawrence also had some more flashes like he did against the Jaguars last week.
Whether it was good or bad, who stood out the most to you?