After a good start to preseason play last Thursday against the Jaguars, the Saints offense regressed on Friday with an underwhelming first half led offensively by Taysom Hill, leading to a 20-15 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
How It Happened
Brandon Tate continued to put a stranglehold on the kick return team with a 40-yard return on the opening kickoff to give the Saints great field position. However, Taysom Hill’s night began on the wrong foot going one-for-three capped off by an interception off of a tipped pass to Hasson Reddick.
After the Saints defense forced a three-and-out, the BYU product started to move them down the field all the way to the Arizona 35-yard line. However, he wound up coughing up the football on what should have been a play action.
The Cardinals got on the board on the first play of the second quarter when David Johnson ran into the endzone from nine-yards to break up the stalemate. Things continued to go sour for Hill, throwing his second interception of the ballgame and that led to Josh Rosen connecting with Christian Kirk for a 13-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 with 10:42 left until halftime.
The Saints finally got on the scoreboard on the very next drive thanks to a key third down conversion by Hill when he scrambled 43-yards to the Arizona 17-yard line. However, he coughed it up once again and pushed New Orleans back to the 30-yard line and they had to settle for a 52-yard field goal from Wil Lutz.
The Cardinals would make it 17-3 with a 41-yarder from Phil Dawson and it remained that way for the rest of the first half after Dawson missed a 46-yarder as time expired.
The Saints offense didn’t fare much better once Tom Savage came in to start the second half and that led to Arizona making it 20-3 after a 53-yarder from Matt McCrane.
Tom Savage was able to get things going with a lengthy drive down the field, but it ended with another field goal from Lutz to make it 20-6 with 12:58 in the ballgame. The Georgia State product made it a perfect three-for-three later in the fourth quarter with a 37-yarder, capping off an eight play drive.
JT Barrett made it a more respectable final score with a quick march down the field that was capped off by the Ohio State product running into the endzone from 12-yards out. However, the Saints failed on the two-point conversion after Garrett Griffin couldn’t hang on to the football.
Big Number: 3
Taysom Hill still has a lot of work to do after giving up the ball three different times in the first half. You add the fact that the lone fumble that he was able to recover wound up being a 21-yard loss and wound up forcing the team to settle for a field goal.
Player of the Game: Boston Scott
If there’s anything that was proven, it was that Louisiana Tech product Boston Scott will be making his bones on the special teams. He had three kickoff returns for a total of 87 yards. It’s an impressive showing from the rookie and may very well take one of those roses when it’s all said and done.
Next Up: at the Los Angeles Chargers August 25th; Kickoff at 7 pm