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Numbers to know: 4 takeaways from the Saints’ preseason

Three preseason games taught us plenty about this roster.

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images


What does it mean: The combined QBR for all New Orleans Saints quarterbacks throughout the preseason schedule

Why should I care: This stat is a little strange because starting quarterback Derek Carr only attempted eight passes during the preseason; however, it could be cause for concern beyond Carr. Last preseason, the combined QBR between Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, and Taysom Hill combined for 89.5. It is safe to say that the passing performances from Winston and Jake Haener this preseason were a bit underwhelming. If something happens to Carr, we will need to see production from one of these two backups. This preseason left some questions as to whether this quarterback room can hold its weight without Carr. Hopefully, Winston and Haener can correct their preseason mistakes.


What does it mean: Percentage of field goals made by kickers Will Lutz and Blake Grupe

Why should I care: One of the more surprising battles emerging from preseason is between veteran kicker Will Lutz and rookie Blake Grupe. Regardless of his mediocre performance last season, most experts are indicating that Lutz will likely be the starting kicker for week one. But here’s what this preseason taught us: the Saints have two assets at kicker. It seems to make too much sense that Mickey Loomis would use one of these assets as leverage in a trade at some point. It will be very interesting to see what the Saints do with Lutz and Grupe this season and next offseason.

19.3 Points

What does it mean: Points per game allowed by the Saints defense this offseason

Why should I care:

The Saints’ defense was able to hold their own this preseason. The Saints finished 2022 with 20.3 points per game, so this number seems consistent. This is especially important because it shows defensive depth. There have been some questions surrounding depth at certain defensive positions, especially at linebacker and defensive line. This preseason is an indication that the defense is locked and loaded for another impressive season after a strong defensive draft and free agency haul.

1.7 Turnovers

What does it mean: Turnovers forced by the New Orleans defense per preseason game

Why should I care: Forcing turnovers was a missing element to the Saints’ defense in 2022 that has been a key feature of the team during Dennis Allen’s defensive tenure - but 2022 was different. The defense only recovered 14 turnovers last season (0.8 per game). This was largely due to unfortunate injuries to key playmakers like Marshon Lattimore and Pete Werner. Increasing the turnovers per game will be critical to improving the defense in 2022. The five turnovers forced this preseason (1.7 per game) is hopefully a solid indication that this will improve in 2023.

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