The New Orleans Saints lost their second preseason game 20-10, but there were a good number of positives to take from the game.
As expected, most starters sat out to rest and avoid injury. Ian Book was under center the entire game and showed some gradual progression from the first preseason game. Book went 16/28, 113 yards + a nice read to Olave for a touchdown before halftime. Book also led the team in rushing yards (49) on seven attempts. Book had two turnovers, a fumble and an interception on consecutive possessions.
“Andy got a ton of the reps this week in the practices,” Saints coach Dennis Allen said. “So, there was a lot of guys that got a bunch of reps in the practices that we wanted to hold in tonight’s game. And so, we got a good look at Ian. He played the whole game. There were some positives, and then obviously the negative really becomes the two turnovers.”
Olave caught two passes for 28 yards in limited snaps.
Rookie OT Trevor Penning looked distinctly better from the first preseason game. His passing protection looked far more polished, and that’s all that Saints fans can ask for from him... Improvement. On 26 pass-blocking snaps, Penning allowed just one pressure. He could very well be worth the gamble New Orleans took but obviously the jury is still out. Nevertheless, expect production from the rook when it really matters.
LB Jon Bostic was probably the brightest spot of the defense, as he led the team with five tackles. He impacted the game outside of the stat sheet as well. If Bostic can improve off of this performance, he could be the depth-piece at LB that Dennis Allen is looking for.
Defensive tackle Malcolm Roach led all players with three pressures on 15 pass-blocking snaps.
Bradley Roby was the only player in the secondary that’ll see substantial playing time and he only played 10 snaps.
Will Lutz converted a 59-yard field goal that was never in doubt. Lutz missed all of last season due to injury and is on record saying he’s pushing the football better than ever. That 60-yarder was a great sign, as Lutz is probably a top five kicker in football. If he’s the same player or better, points should be almost guaranteed on field goals under 55 yards.
Dennis Allen has done a great job of taking all measures to keep this star-filled team healthy. The lack of reps will not be a problem. This team has been sharpening iron all training camp. Health is the only thing holding the Saints back so good to see it as one of the biggest priorities.
The Saints host the Los Angeles Chargers on Friday.