We are back! Sure, the scores don’t count yet, but preseason games often determine future starters, while hidden gems are discovered in these games. So let’s take a look at what happened yesterday. But before that...
As always, for our novice or non-New Orleanians readers, welcome!
Let’s start with some definitions:
Beignets (English: /bɛnˈjeɪ/; French: [bɛɲɛ], ben-YAY literally bump) are distinctly New Orleans, a delicacy intimately connected to the city’s rich French heritage. Best enjoyed heavily powdered with sugar.
This is your “After-Saints-Game” brunch, where we talk about the state of the Black and Gold, we debate the goings-on with the team and talk about what’s next at this point of the season. So, sit back, take a bite and a sip while your brain slowly wakes up, and let’s catch up on some football.
What Just Happened?
Playing in their second preseason game of the offseason, the New Orleans Saints were welcoming the Jacksonville Jaguars and first overall pick quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the Caesars Superdome on Monday Night Football. On everyone’s mind, was the quarterback battle between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill for the chair left vacant by the now-retired Drew Brees.
Winston got the start, and displaying incredible poise, he proceeded to go 9-of-10, with 123 yards and two touchdown passes, each to wide receiver Marquez Callaway, who figures to be New Orleans’ number one receiver until Michael Thomas returns from injury. Maybe more importantly, Winston did not turn the ball over or even come close to doing so. He displayed toughness in the pocket and diagnosed the Jaguars’ defensive formations with aplomb. The performance, some would argue, earned him that coveted starting quarterback job.
Taysom Hill came into the game late in the first quarter, with the Saints leading 14-0. Playing with a backup offensive line, Hill struggled to establish much of a rhythm, He would eventually lead a scoring drive late in the third quarter, finding Lil’Jordan Humphrey for a touchdown that made the score 23-3 in favor of the Saints. New Orleans’ backups would eventually seal the win, a 23-21 affair, with the Jaguars scoring the last 18 points of the game.
Beignets and Café au Lait Awards
Tons of Beignets, Unlimited Café au Lait Refills: Jameis Winston
Many people around the NFL and even within the Saints’ fanbase have been waiting of expecting Winston to fall on his face. Not only has it not happened, Winston is starting to show signs that he is taking to Sean Payton’s teaching. Winston showed great poise against a Jaguars defense that was in attack mode last night. His stat-line will get the highlights, but it’s the command in the huddle and how well he appeared to process information that was most impressive. The Saints have a chance to contend this upcoming season if Winston plays anything close to what he has shown so far this offseason. Count me in the Winston for QB camp!
Tons of Beignets, Unlimited Café au Lait Refills: Marquez Callaway
With Michael Thomas out for what could be a handful of games at the start of the season as he recovers from ankle surgery, Callaway has taken the number one receiver role and has not looked back. Last night, the undrafted free agent out of Tennessee was clearly Winston’s favorite target, hauling in five passes on five targets for 104 yards and two touchdowns. all of that in a little less than a quarter of work. New Orleans will need more than Callaway in its receiving corps, and that starts with Tre’Quan Smith and Michael Thomas getting healthy. But until that happens, the Saints have found, at the very least, a very viable pass-catching option for Jameis Winston.
Next Saturday night at 7 PM CT, the Saints welcome the Arizona Cardinals inside the Caesars Superdome for their third and final preseason game. As is often the case, expect the starters to mostly sit this one out, however some bubble players might still make an impression of the coaching staff and land on either the practice squad or outright make the roster. It is also probable that we will officially know by the start of this game, who the regular season starting quarterback for the Saints will be. The games that count are almost upon us, folks, get excited!
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