Saints Taysom Hill

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Saints rout Chargers 36-7 in preseason "dress rehearsal"

Seth Dunlap
August 26, 2018 - 12:39 am

The New Orleans Saints soundly defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 36-7 in what amounted to a dress rehearsal for the teams with the regular season just a couple weeks away.

Quarterback Drew Brees played well into the second quarter and, after an interception on the team's first series, went a quietly efficient 7/9 for 58 yards against one of the league's better defensive units.  

Yet it was another quarterback who had most people taking notice.  Backup Taysom Hill entered in the second half and dazzled with an array of throws on the run and scrambles.  Hill finished 7/8 for 66 yards and a touchdown through the air with an additional 35 yards rushing and a touchdown.   

His performance, however, comes with one big caveat -- it came against the third and fourth string defense for the Chargers.  Still, it was a nice bounce back performance after last week's dreadful outing by 28 year-old, who struggled mightily against the first team defense of the Arizona Cardinals.  In any case, Hill almost assuredly has a roster spot already locked up due to his contributions on special teams.  

Wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith continued to impress, with four second half catches including a touchdown grab on a pass from Hill.

The Saints defensive performance was more spotty, at least for the first team unit.  The front seven was consistently mauled by a power running game from Los Angeles.  The defensive right side proved to be a particular eye sore at times, as end Trey Hendrickson at times looked overmatched at the point of attack.  Hendrickson started in place of the injured Alex Okafor.  Assuredly, the Saints are hoping for a speedy Okafor recovery after watching the team get gashed by the run in his absence.

On a brighter note, rookie defensive end Marcus Davenport made his preseason debut and didn't disappoint.  Davenport consistently made his presence felt, including a couple of quarterback hurries, a half sack, and one tackle for loss.   That stat line should satiate a fan base hungry for their first round pick to prove he was worth the investment, at least for the time being.

The Saints wrap up the preseason next Thursday during a home date with the Los Angeles Rams in the Superdome.

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