Football is back, and the regular season is just two weeks away. It might have just been the preseason, but it’s still something. So with the return of football, comes the return of our “Ups” and “Downs” series. In what was another roller-coaster of a game with plenty of ups and downs along the way, here are a couple that stood out.
Up: Taysom Hill
The Taysom Hill hype train lives!
After an abysmal showing in the Saints second preseason game of the year, Hill came back and showed exactly why he fits in a Sean Payton offense.
He made a short and crisp throw to Tre’Quan Smith late in the game for a touchdown. He also rushed for a touchdown earlier in the game. He scored a two-point conversion when he kept the ball away from Boston Scott and rushed around the edge, and later Scott was able to score a two-point conversion himself when the threat of Hill keeping the ball forced the opposing defender to cheat outside.
That’s not even mentioning the most exciting element that Hill brings to this team: Hill can absolutely wreak havoc on special teams. This time, it wasn’t in the form of a blocked punt or a key special teams tackle, but rather a direct snap on a fake punt where he was able to use his speed to pick up a first down and continue a drive.
More of that, please.
Up: Austin Carr
After staying relatively quiet through training camp and the first week of the preseason, former UDFA Austin Carr has finished with back-to-back games of nearly 40 receiving yards out of the slot. We also know Drew Brees like his trusted “hands”/possession receiver in the slot for key third downs, with the likes of Willie Snead and Lance Moore having filled that role in the past, but now Austin Carr has taken a big step forward to try to be that guy for 2018.
Up: Marcus Davenport
The 2018 1st Round draft pick didn’t light the stat sheet on fire during his half of play, but the fact that Marcus Davenport finally saw the field for live football action is an “Up” in and of itself.
The pass rushing defensive end finished the game with 3 total tackles (with one tackle for loss), .5 sack, and 1 QB hit during his time with the ones. One of his tackles was on an athletic play where he initially over-pursued a sweep toward the sideline but was able to twist his body around to make a stop on the Chargers Travis Benjamin.
Down: Drew Brees
It has to be said, right?
Brees has seemingly struggled with the interception bug during training camp, with multiple reports of S Marcus Williams picking Brees off in team drills. When Drew was finally able to see preseason action, his second pass attempt of the game went for an easy interception as he threw a ball into double coverage intended for Ted Ginn Jr.
Hopefully this isn’t a throw Drew would attempt in the regular season, but let’s be honest: we all know it is. And that’s why we love him.