The New Orleans Saints closed out their preseason campaign with an impressive 28-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night. Sean Payton’s squad finished 3-1, but none of that matters now with the regular season imminent. Here’s a few players who did and didn’t stand out in the win.
If you remember last time Taysom Hill took the field in the Superdome, it was downright ugly. He helped pilot the Saints to 15 points in the first half, finishing 10-of-17 for 159 yards and a touchdown pass (109.7 rating), also adding 31 yards on the ground on three attempts. Hill looked comfortable in the pocket, and made several strong reads and throws on the evening.
Cameron Meredith led the way on the stat sheet in receiving with two catches for 72 yards and a score on four targets. It was a much-needed performance out of the free agent acquisition. Both Boston Scott (12-68-TD) and Jonathan Williams (16-64-TD) racked up over 60 yards on the ground and each got into the end zone.
On defense, Nathan Stupar went pretty crazy on the stat sheet, finishing with 7 combined tackles, 3.0 sacks, 3 quarterback hits, 3 tackles for loss, an interception, pass defense, and fumble recovery. Of course, one bad special teams play where he jumped offside didn’t please Sean Payton one bit.
Tom Savage didn’t see a single snap on the night, and obviously with the team acquiring Teddy Bridgewater on Wednesday, it absolutely means his future with the Saints is null and void. Roster bubble players like Austin Carr, Hau’oli Kikaha, and P.J. Williams didn’t exactly leap off the page in the stat column, nor were their names called much on the night.
J.T. Barrett had a pretty tough night, but did lead the Saints to a touchdown, making work of the short field. Arthur Maulet got in trouble on the penalty stat sheet, having false start and unnecessary roughness calls on punt coverage early on. However, he did rebound by having some good defensive moments.
Tre’Quan Smith finished out his strong preseason with four receptions for 42 yards on four targets. He’s going to be very interesting to watch playing with Drew Brees in Week 1. Sticking to offense, Dan Arnold may have only had two catches for 36 yards on five targets, but the catch in traffic near the end of the half from Taysom Hill was pretty incredible.
Craig Robertson, Justin Hardee, Marcus Davenport, Devaroe Lawrence, Taylor Stallworth, and Kamrin Moore were also some of the players on defense that deserve an honorable mention. The blocked punt from Colton Jumper came after the Saints rushed just six men, and Jayrone Elliott recovered it to help put the Saints up 22-0.
Whether it was good or bad, who stood out the most to you?