This past Monday night, the New Orleans Saints returned home to the newly renovated Caesars Superdome for a date with the Jacksonville Jaguars. For a preseason game, this matchup had a reasonable amount of hype surrounding it due to the ongoing QB competition between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. With all eyes looking in on New Orleans, who would reign supreme at the end of the night? Let’s discuss two things that went right and two that went wrong during the Saints 23-21 win over the Jaguars.
Up: Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston played like his life and career depended on it, and boy did he shine. In the first quarter alone, Winston completed 9/10 of his passes while throwing the ball through the air to the tune of 123 yards and two touchdown passes. If that wasn’t enough, there were no turnovers. Winston seemed about as comfortable as we’d seen him in some time. He made smart decisions, good reads and above all else... he protected the ball. If the QB competition had any doubt, Winston erased all of it in a single quarter of football.
Up: Marquez Calloway
If you hadn’t heard of Saints WR Marquez Callaway before Monday, you definitely know his name now. Callaway found himself catching all 5 passes thrown his way by Winston and catching two glorious touchdowns. Standing at 6’2, he remains a hard receiver for any DB to cover. His route running ability is well above average, which would allow Sean Payton to open up the playbook and have some fun with Callaway. Combine that with the impending return of Michael Thomas in the coming weeks, (pending recovery continues to go well) the Saints could have some real fire power in the WR room.
Down: Taysom Hill
There’s no way around it, Winston outplayed Hill on Monday night by miles and miles. Although he completed 11/20 of his passes, threw for 138 yards and added another touchdown to his resume... it didn’t come easy for Hill. Let’s be honest, Hill looked uncomfortable. What concerns me about Hill is his inability to get out of his own head at times. He takes entirely way too long to get the ball out. Hill is an athlete, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to take off running and use his legs to gain yardage as opposed to sitting there and taking a sack. There were moments where Taysom showed signs of life and possible hope for the starting position... but in the end, he wasn’t the better man Monday night.
Down: Latavius Murray
Murray had a bit of a rough night as well. With Tony Jones Jr. ending his night with 5 carries for a decent 24 yards, Murray ended his with 4 carries for 6 yards. Yes, you read that right. Murray managed a total 6 yards of offense over 4 carries. To put it nicely, Murray wasn’t on his A game. He appeared a bit slower than usual and struggled trying to break through an already depleted Jaguar’s defense who couldn’t do much to stop the offense of New Orleans. With how well Jones played with his number called, it wouldn’t shock me if we saw less of Murray and more of Jones.
Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, on Instagram @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel.