The showing in Los Angeles this week was much cleaner than the sloppy game the Saints played last week. Drew Brees did throw one interception on a pass intended for Ted Ginn, but that was the only turnover, which is encouraging. Marcus Davenport made his debut and did not disappoint. Taysom Hill had a better outing and the wide receiver depth chart may be the hardest one to finalize.
Taysom Hill had 4 turnovers last week when he was given the start over Tom Savage. He needed to bounce back tonight and he did that in a big way. He once again had a nice completion percentage going 7 of 8 for 66 yards and 1 touchdown. He also added 35 rushing yards and one touchdown.
His rushing touchdown came in the redzone when he scrambled out of the pocket. He did a good job at going through his progression before deciding to take off. This is the kind of thing coaches like to see and could possibly keep Hill in the back up conversation, although Tom Savage looked good in his time on the field.
Davenport and the D-Line
The controversial first round pick finally made his NFL debut and did not disappoint. He made a nice tackle on an end around where he used his long arms to tackle the wide receiver and displayed his pass rush skills. He used a rip move and showed flexibility to bend the edge and run the arc around the left tackle.
Davenport got pressure throughout his snaps and combined for a sack with Onyemata. Trey Hendrickson continues to show his progress and his ability to key off the ball and explode off the line of scrimmage as the ball is snapped. He should get a large amount of playing time while Okafor is out and could possibly start even when he does return.
Offensive Rookies continue to impress
Tre’quan Smith continues his stellar preseason hauling in 4 receptions for 39 yards and showing his football IQ by finding a soft spot in the zone coverage where Hill threw a laser to him in the endzone. Smith also caught a pass for a successful 4th down conversion. Boston Scott got some extra snaps this game and made the most of them. He showed off his elusiveness an ability to break tackles and the ability to catch passes out of the backfield. He could add some fun wrinkles to this already loaded offense.
The kickoff coverage was pleasantly adequate this game, keeping the Chargers from reaching the 25 yard line two out of the three returnable kicks. This was a point of emphasis during the offseason and draft. Mike Westhoff was also retained this offseason for his special teams acumen. Its encouraging to see the team adapting well to the new kickoff rules.
Wide Receiver Depth
Sean Payton is going to have a tough time deciding how many and which receivers to keep. Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn, Cam Meredith, And Tre’quan Smith are all locks. The fifth and possible sixth spot are still up for grabs. Austin Carr had a nice game, playing primarily in the slot, he was able to snag 3 receptions for 38 yards, including one long catch for 29 yards. Tommy Lee Lewis is the guy who won’t go away.
He led the team in receiving with 36 yards. His best play came on a deep pass from Tom Savage where he was able to beat the corner back and make an impressive over the shoulder catch. Brandon Tate looks to be the punt returner which gives him a spot on this roster. Based on the snaps in this game, it look like the sixth spot is coming down to a battle between Carr and Lewis.