Saints show signs of improvement yet lose 10th straight preseason game
The Saints had a 14-13 lead at the 2 minute warning in the fourth quarter and on 4th and 2 with 1:52 left, Cleveland QB Deshone Kizer found WR Jordan Payton who had burned CB Damian Swann on a double move for a 45 yard touchdown to give the Browns a 20-14 lead. New Orleans would get down to the Browns 21 yard line but would be unable to convert on 4th and 6 to keep the drive alive.
Head Coach Sean Payton was happy with some of the play on Thursday including on how his defense played the game early. Repeated in his post game presser however Payton kept going back to the poor situational play of his team. One particular thing was the amount of times the team had just 10 players on the field and the 11th player kept entering late onto the field.
The Saints will take on the Chargers in Los Angels next Sunday August 20.
The Saints defense will determine whether or not the team is a playoff contender or not this season and against the Browns we definitely saw some encouraging signs. The one down side is that the defense did not force a turnover while turning over the ball themselves twice.
- Cleveland was held to zero first downs in the first quarter as the Browns offense ran 11 plays for just 41 yard.
- The secondary has been talked about being a strength and at times in the first half we saw why. S Kenny Vaccaro had a nice pair of Pass Break Ups, as did Ken Crawley who although was called for PI that resulted in a TD, he made a nice PBU to save a TD earlier in the game.
- CB P.J. Williams led the team with 6 tackles and all were solo.
- LB Hau’Oli Kikaha showed Thursday what we’ve seen at practice this training camp, that he’s healthy and can bring a pass rush. He caused a false start and then on the next play drew a holding call.
- SACK TIME: LB Stephone Anthony had a sack, Al-Quadin Muhammad with a sack and a half, DE Mitchell Loewen had a sack and half and Alex Jenkins had a sack to go with a few Passes batted down. Team total of sacks was 4.
Saints WR Tommy Lee Lewis had a fantastic night as he continues to do what he does, get open and make catches. Lewis finished the night with 10 receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown.
Saints RB Alvin Kamara did not fail to impress. I said that I thought fans would be surprised by how well he RUNS the football since most of the talk surrounding him has been centered around his receiving skills. Well his first two runs showed just impressing he is as he finished with 4 carries for 35 yards and a long of 22 where he was talked and then broke it, bouncing it to the outside and scampering for a big gain. His other big run he gave a Browns defender a concussion.
QB Garret Greyson had the kind of night were social media joked if he would be cut at halftime or even be let back on the plane coming back to New Orleans. The third year player still looks lost on the field and was blamed by Jon Stinchcomb for one of the sacks he took. The former starting right tackle pointed out what the defense was doing and said it should be something Greyson picked out and helped in protection and failed to do so. In his third year Greyson should be able to handle situations like that and more. What worse was an errant throw to an open Travin Dural led to the receiver being injured. Dural was coming over the middle and was open and found a spot but Greyson’s throw kept leading Dural who tried to adjust and lean for the pass where a waiting defender was Dural got popped high. When asked if Dural had a concussion after the game Payton got testy reminding the reporter who asked the question that injuries would not be discussed.
You just don’t sense the confidence or see a player that has a grasp on the offense, as he should considering Ryan Nassib has been here what two months tops and moved the offense up and down the field. Nassib also showed pocket awareness. It’s not even close if you ask me. Payton needs to swallow his pride here and cut ties with Greyson and give those reps to Nassib who looks more mobile and has a stronger arm.
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