The New Orleans Saints were defeated by the New England Patriots in their second preseason game with a final score of 7-6. The game was not what many fans expected as many thought the score would be a little higher. The game featured two of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL with the Saints and Patriots. Despite the one-point loss there was plenty to like about how the Saints played.
The Saints got good effort all around from their running game, passing game, and their defense. Running backs Joe Banyard and Travaris Cadet led the rushing attack with a combined 53 yards on 16 attempts. For the night the Saints running game posted 92 yards on 29 carries. In addition to their ground game the Saints also got great contributions from the wide receivers. Courtney Roby, Andy Tanner, and Cadet really shined during the team’s second preseason game.
Tanner, who is fighting for a roster spot, had another great outing as he caught four passes for 45 yards. Tanner is one of the wide receivers vying for the number four wide receiver spot and if he continues to play well he might have a shot. Cadet continued to show why he is one of the Saints’ “diamonds in the rough” as he led all receivers with 6 receptions and had 29 receiving yards.
Cadet is just hoping to make the team and if his first two preseason games are any indication he has definitely proven that he deserves a spot somewhere on the Saints’ 53-man roster. However, as great as Cadet played, this night belonged to Roby. Roby, a special teams regular, is looking to make a splash as a wide receiver for the Saints. Roby caught five passes for an impressive 85 yards, including a huge 30-yard gain. Roby is another wide receiver fighting for the fourth wide receiver slot and he is definitely making a strong case after Thursday’s preseason game. It looks like the fight for the number four receiver will come down to the wire and there are many players who deserve it.
Even though they were not able to prevent a Patriots’ touchdown the Saints’ new-look defense still played pretty well. On Thursday they had 70 tackles, one sack, and one interception. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is working with what he’s got and is doing a very good job. The Saints’ defense looks better than it has for a few seasons and it seems like the players are responding very well to Spagnuolo.
Cornerback Marquis Johnson made the most of his preseason start as he picked off Patriots’ quarterback, Ryan Mallet for the Saints’ lone interception. Johnson got the start tonight due to the injuries of starting cornerbacks Jabari Greer, Patrick Robinson, and Johnny Patrick. Johnson is looking to be the number four cornerback for the Saints and he definitely made a case for himself tonight. In addition to Johnson’s interception he also made five tackles, two of which were solo tackles.
Despite losing the game the Saints have to feel pretty good about their team so far in the preseason. The offense looks great as they are finding a nice combination between their rushing game and passing game. Furthermore, the defense looks to be jelling well and it is expected to be much improved from last season. The Saints are now 1-1 in the preseason with their next preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at home on August 17, 2012. The Saints are looking to have a successful preseason as they get ready for the start of the regular season.
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