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Saints vs. Chargers 2018: The View From Section 123

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Here are some photos and my account from the Saints’ victorious outing in Los Angeles.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints travelled out to my backyard of Los Angeles, California this past week, having taken part in joint practices with the Los Angeles Chargers in Costa Mesa, and culminating with a preseason game in the Chargers’ surrogate home in Carson. I’ve had the great fortune to see the Saints play four times in Southern California since the 2016 season after they hadn't been to the region for a very long time. I’ve given recaps for those games at San Diego (Week 4) ‘16, at Los Angeles (preseason) ‘17, and at Los Angeles (Week 12) ‘17.

This will be the last time the Saints play at StubHub Center, as the Chargers are set to move into their massive new Inglewood venue with the Rams in 2020. I’ll miss seeing the Saints in this quaint venue, enjoying the chance to get up close with the team in ways that could not be afforded in usual NFL stadiums and will most certainly be impossible in LA’s upcoming mega-stadium. Much like seeing your favorite musical act in a tiny club, rather than the local arena, this was a unique change of scenery.

Here we go with my view from Section 123 in the second row of the end zone near the Saints sideline

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StubHub Center, the NFL’s smallest venue by a wide margin, prepares to host Who Dat Nation - SoCal Chapter.

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Head Coach Sean Payton about to take advantage of a pregame photo op.

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The Saints’ running backs corps. Who stays, who goes?

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The Dynamic Duo of the Saints backfield, both playing in a game together for what will likely be the last time until Week 5.

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Cameron Meredith snagging some passes in pregame warmups.

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Benjamin Watson follows Cam in line to make a grab.

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Drew Brees may seem like a lock to make this team, JT Barrett, not so much.

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The 2017 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Alvin Kamara, is primed to make another splash in 2018.

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The defensive backfield had long been the Saints most glaring weakness. Now the talent in the secondary is quite impressive, led by the 2017 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Marshon Lattimore.

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The best leg in the business is currently one of the longest-tenured Saints, and he’s back for another season in Black and Gold.

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The pregame huddle led by Head Cheermeister, Drew Brees.

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Here’s the breakout star of last year’s preseason game in Los Angeles, Al-Quadin Muhammad.

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Here, Muhammad is joined by First-round pick, Marcus Davenport, in his first game action of this preseason.

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Cam Jordan proves an impressive sight to behold up close.

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Sheldon Rankins certainly ranks 98 out of 100 on the “Big Boy” scale.

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Expectations will be undoubtedly high for this pair in 2018. Add in Ken Crawley to complete the Saints’ “No Fly Zone”.

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Second-year standout, Marcus Williams has been supremely motivated since he left the field in Minnesota this past January. He was focused yet remained quite loose in warmups.

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The team prepares for kickoff.

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Chris Banjo focuses on the game at hand.

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It’s time for the opening kickoff!

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No “View From” post is complete without the “Cariello Special” cheerleader shot.

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Tom Savage with the handoff to Jonathan Williams.

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The diminutive venue was full of Saints fans. Here is a look towards the Saints sideline.

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Finally, some action came to our end of the field, and thankfully it was the best moment of the game!

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The “other” Marcus Williams’ pick-six had the legion of Saints fans in attendance in a frenzy.

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Boston Scott follows up the pick-six with a 2-point conversion.

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Taysom Hill about to throw Cam Meredith’s way near the goal line.

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Tre’Quan Smith is in for the Saints’ final touchdown of the game.

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The final score shows a satisfying win for the Saints in the City of Angels.

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This final shot is obviously not mine, but it came to us courtesy of the @Saints Twitter account and features Yours Truly and the Mrs. enjoying the most memorable moment of the game!

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This was a really fun game to attend, definitely better than last preseason’s win at the Chargers and last season’s Week 12 loss at the Rams. Was it perfect? Absolutely not, but the team made some big plays when it needed to, and the depth on this roster is as good as the Saints have had in a very, very long time.

The game was fantastic to experience live, and the atmosphere was pretty special. It’s always great to be around so many wonderful Saints fans, when you live in “enemy territory”. Who Dat Nation is alive, well, and thriving in the Greater Los Angeles Area. If any of you were also in attendance for this game, please leave your accounts and reflections in the comments section. Now let’s get done with this preseason and move on to the regular season and the Saints’ march to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII! Who Dat!