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Ups and downs from the Saints vs. the Chiefs

Which players are on the rise and who took a step back?

NFL: Preseason-Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in a 26-24 victory that ended with a Blake Grupe field goal as time expired.

Preseason is a great way for coaches and fans to evaluate the pieces you have on your team. Here’s our list of players that went up and down on our boards.

Up: Alvin Kamara

One of the emphases throughout training camp was getting Alvin Kamara the ball in the receiving game. Kamara is one of the most electric running backs in the league, and new quarterback Derek Carr made sure to get him the ball. Kamara rushed three times for 14 yards averaging 4.7 yards per carry and hauled in two receptions for 21 yards in just the first drive. Although he’ll miss the first three games of the season, Kamara’s stock is going up due to the impact he’ll have in the new Derek Carr-led offense.

Up: A.T. Perry

Rookie wide receiver A.T. Perry impressed in his first career NFL game leading the team in receptions and yards. Perry caught six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown, that touchdown coming from a 29-yard pass from Jameis Winston over a defender. The Saints currently have 12 receivers on the roster and Perry, who was a seventh-round pick out of this year's draft, had a strong showing warranting a roster spot.

Down: Jake Haener

Rookie quarterback Jake Haener’s name has buzzed a lot throughout training camp, but his first professional snaps didn’t look great. Haener looked nervous and lost on certain plays. He’s a rookie getting his first in-game action, so these types of mistakes are expected, however, the fourth-round pick’s performance wasn't what fans expected after hearing the hype all throughout training camp.

Haener’s performance by no means was terrible, throwing for 107 yards and a touchdown. The rookie now has game experience under his belt and could use that to his advantage against the Los Angeles Chargers during preseason Week 2.

Down: Alontae Taylor

Second-year cornerback Alontae Taylor has become a fan favorite toward the end of last season, but he had his struggles on Sunday. During the second quarter, Taylor got beat on a fly route that put the Chiefs inside the red zone. Later in that drive, there was a miscommunication and Taylor left his matchup wide open in the end zone leading to a touchdown. Taylor did have a bounce-back play later in the game, tipping a pass that would go on to be intercepted by Ugo Amadi. Taylor and third-year cornerback Paulson Adebo have been in a battle to lineup opposite sides of Marshon Lattimore, and it looks like Adebo could be in the lead.

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