Deuce's Dimes: The good and bad from Saints preseason loss to Vikings

Deuce McAllister gives his thoughts after the game

Seth Dunlap
August 09, 2019 - 11:35 pm

NFL fans getting worked up over the final score of a preseason game is a bit like panicking because your weeding's dress rehearsal wasn't flawless.   It's rehearsal.  It's preseason.  No marriage was ever doomed because that steak was overcooked the night before you said 'I do.'  No Super Bowl was ever lost, or won, because your third string quarterback threw a pick-six in early August while trying to throw to a tight end who has 12 career receptions.

Look beyond the 34-25 Vikings win and you'll find much good, and a bit of bad, in the New Orleans Saints' first action against somebody besides themselves this summer.  Saints Radio Network color analyst Deuce McAllister wanted to make sure the positives of tonight's game weren't buried by the ugly blemishes. 

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Wide receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey had perhaps the highlight of the day from a Saints perspective, hauling in a 33 yard touchdown on a pass from quarterback Taysom Hill.  Humphrey finished the night with two receptions for 42 yards and that score.  McAllister thought it was an impressive night for the rookie out of Texas.

"Lil'Jordan Humphrey, yes, he scored a touchdown which was important to do.  But I would go with Dwayne Washington as probably one of the players who stood out," Deuce shifted focus.  "He's looked pretty good carrying the pads and being a physical player.  He made the opening tackle on special teams.  The one thing that offensively up front, the offensive line did a really good job.  I thought they have some things to grow on, and some interesting prospects."

Washington carried the ball eight times for 36 yards, but it was his work on special teams that will impress the coaching staff.  

The Saints did move the ball effectively between the 20s, but they stalled multiple times once inside the Vikings' red zone.  A trio of times they settled for field goals, which was essentially the difference in the game.

"You look at the two possessions inside the red zone.  Really the three possessions in the red zone.  You had to settle for field goals, and that was the difference in the game," McAllister lamented on 'The Locker Room Show' on the Saints Radio network.  

Even with their problems finishing drives, the offense seemed to have a spark that was missing towards the end of last season.  Starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed 14 of 19 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown, while Hill added 135 yards of offense along with a scoring throw.

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"They're close.  They're close," Deuce said when asked if the offense was close to firing on all cylinders.  "I'm not necessarily one hundred percent worried about that."

Another issue were the constant missed tackles, especially in the defensive backfield.  Numerous times Vikings' players were able to escape an initial tackler or two only to break out for a big play.  McAllister said that's an area that needs work when training camp practice resumes Saturday evening.

"That's one thing you can continue to practice on as a player.  There's only so many limited days you can hit in practice, in the sense of the new tackling rules (in the CBA).  I wouldn't be surprised for them to get on the dummy machine and do some tackling drills."

Listen to Deuce's full post-game commentary in the podcast below.

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