Saints: Five takeaways from first preseason game

Tony Jones Jr., New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Tony Jones Jr., New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

3. Taysom Hill gets the start but….

As expected and as frequently written about, neither Saints quarterback is impressing.

You just read about Ian Book’s hot-and-cold performance than ended with an interception. Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill aren’t looking like reliable first team starters, either.

Taysom Hill started the first quarter, and his offensive drives were derailed with little mistakes. Hill looked comfortable leading the team on a 66-yard drive, but then he threw an interception due to a miscommunication with Ty Montgomery.

Jameis Winston came in the second quarter and led two touchdown drives, but the offense still looked shaky. Later in the quarter, Winston has his best highlights when he hit Montgomery, Juwan Johnson, and Lil’Jordan Humphrey for big plays. In a two-minute drive, he used seven plays to go 80 yards, finding Humphrey in the endzone.

Winston looked in full command of the Saints’ offense for just a few brief moments before he ultimately missed a connection with Humphrey and turned over the ball.

By the end of the game, every Saints QB threw an interception. You don’t need websites to tell you that’s not a great start to the Saints preseason.

2. Tony Jones Jr. shined brightest

Tony Jones Jr. isn’t taking Alvin Kamara’s spot anytime soon, but he was one of the brightest spots on the Saints offense last night. The second-year running back came in the second quarter and immediately outplayed Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman. He strung together double-digit yard runs play after play, including one 18-yard carry that resulted in a touchdown. Take a look:

Jones provided a necessary spark to the Saints’ wilting offense in the first half of the game. While his minutes will be numbered in the season, his preseason performance against the Ravens was exhilarating to watch and should make Murray and Freeman feel a bit nervous.

Overall, he had seven carries for 82 yards and a touchdown, adding five catches for 38 yards on five targets. Even though he ended up fumbling, too, Jones can make an impact on Saints special teams for sure, and he may even climb the running back depth chart as the season goes on.