It was a rough first game back for the New Orleans Saints offense, giving the ball away to the Baltimore Ravens six times on Saturday night. Losing the game 17-14 and dropping their record to 0-1 in preseason play.
How It Happened:
The Saints begin the game with the ball and Taysom Hill being the starting quarterback for this game. Hill looked sharp on his first drive completing four out of five passes. Three of those completions went to Marquez Callaway, including two of them on third down. The drive came to a halt with Latavius Murray coughing up the ball inside the Baltimore 10 yard line and a Raven’s defender picking it up and gaining possession at their own eight yard line.
After the Ravens go three-and-out, the Saints get the ball, but the drive is short-lived as Hill and Ty Montgomery aren’t on the same page and Hill throws an interception in their own territory.
The Defense steps up and stuffs running back J.K. Dobbins on a fourth and one to give the ball back to the offense. Both teams proceed to trade punts with Jameis Winston coming in with less than a minute left in the first quarter.
That next drive, Winston hands the ball off to Devonta Freeman and he fumbles the ball himself. Giving the Saints their third turnover in just the first quarter. Baltimore doesn’t go far with the ball, but are able to put up the first points on the board with a 56 yard Justin Tucker field goal.
New Orleans responds with the next drive kick starting by a Tony Jones Jr. 28 yard scamper down the right sideline and finishing with an 18 yard touchdown run by Jones Jr. giving the Saints the 7-3 lead early in the second quarter.
The following Ravens drive goes for 13 plays, 52 yards and results in a 43 yard made field goal by Jake Verity, the Ravens backup kicker. After neither team goes anywhere with the ball their next possession, Winston leads the team down the field hitting different receivers for big gains and ending the drive with strike to Lil’Jordan Humphrey in the end zone extending the lead to 14-6 with a minute and some change left in the half.
Both Jameis Winston and Ravens quarterback Trace McSorley exchange picks back-to-back. McSorley the next drive marches his team into field goal range and cuts the lead to 14-9 going to half time.
Baltimore starts with the ball coming out of the half, but punts after stalling in Saints territory. New Orleans rookie QB Ian Book comes in as reliever for the rest of the contest. Book leads the offense down the field, setting up for another touchdown opportunity, instead the drive ends with a fumble lost by Tony Jones Jr. inside the Ravens 15 yard line.
The Ravens cough up the ball themselves the following drive, yet the Saints don’t do anything with it. Baltimore’s Tyler Huntley leads a 12 play, 79 yard drive, going in for the score himself off a read option, giving the Ravens the lead. Followed by a successful two-point conversion, with the score now 17-14.
With one last chance, Book tries marching into Ravens territory for a potential game winning drive but gets intercepted with less than two minutes left in the game.
Big Number: 6
The New Orleans Saints offense had six turnovers in Saturday’s contest; three fumbles and three interceptions.
Player of the Game: Tony Jones Jr.
Besides his fumble, Jones Jr. had 120 scrimmage yards off of 12 total touches and a rushing touchdown. An all-around play-maker, giving himself a good shot at making the final 53.
Next Up: Monday August 23rd vs Jacksonville; Kickoff at 7:00