Before the New Orleans Saints’ preseason game against Jacksonville, the lingering mystery was who will start as quarterback.
The response came quickly and forcefully from Jameis Winston, who shone from the first snap to the last.
It would not be surprising to see Winston named the starting quarterback this week. He most certainly deserved it.
With the problem resolved, Sean Payton can begin planning to reintroduce Hill to his wild card/joker position, line him up at the tight end, wide receiver, and even running back. Hill can still play quarterback, as he has in previous seasons.
As he has done in previous years, he will take some plays as a quarterback.
Overall, the key players had a strong performance in front of the largest crowd in Caesars Superdome in two years. Of course, with it being a preseason game and the middle of a pandemic, there were many empty seats.
Here are some Quick Takes on the Jaguars’ 23-21 victory:
- Cam Jordan led the pre-game “Who Dat” chant with the supporters, whose masks muffled voices.
- Ty Montgomery handled the first kickoff return.
- Except for Tony Jones, who started at running back, all Saints starters were on the field.
- Jameis Winston immediately established himself on the first drive, leading the Saints 72 yards in six plays and 2:43 off the clock.
- The Saints took an early 7-0 lead with 12:17 remaining in the first quarter, and it was spectacular on both ends. Winston completed a 43-yard touchdown throw over two defenders to Marquez Callaway. Despite apparent pass interference, Callaway made the catch.
- Following the score, Nolan Cooney, not Aldrick Rosas, kicked off for the Saints.
- Gardner, C.J. Johnson recorded two tackles on Jacksonville’s first defensive drive, which ended in a three-and-out.
- Shy Tuttle and Jalen Dalton started at defensive tackle. All of the other starters were on defence.
- The Saints drove a three-and-out and gained strong field position, but two false start penalties, one on Ryan Ramczyk and one on Erik McCoy, ended the drive and prompted New Orleans to punt.
- Adam Trautman was carried off with an injury, while Brian Poole hobbled out in the first quarter.
- Winston then produced another touchdown drive, this time covering 57 yards in six plays in 3:06, with Winston finding Callaway with a beautiful dime on a 30-yard touchdown throw against Shaquill Griffin’s tight coverage. It was just a perfect toss.
Winston and Callaway shone brightly on this night, catching five receptions for 104 yards and two scores. Winston was able to get the ball down the field, which the Saints have lacked in previous years, particularly last year.
Marcus Davenport and Gardner-Johnson were both excellent one again. Kpassagnon made himself known. Ken Crawley and Dalton both performed admirably.
Paulson Adebo impressed himself once more. Carl Granderson got called for a personal foul in the second half, but he was otherwise a terror, playing well.
The main disadvantage was watching Trautman go on a cart.
Aside from Winston, the Saints improved from six turnovers to none and from ten penalties to six in their preseason opener against Baltimore.
Saturday night is the last preseason game, which will be played at home versus Arizona. It’s unlikely that we’ll see much of the starting in the game, if at all.