Friday night’s preseason home opener was a tough one for the New Orleans Saints offense. Taysom Hill started at quarterback and committed four turnovers. Tom Savage got the nod to start the second half and promptly was sacked and almost lost a fumble in the end zone. The Saints recovered on that play but couldn’t rally in the game as the Arizona Cardinals won 20-15 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Hill, a second-year player out of BYU competing with Savage to be Drew Brees’ backup, had two interceptions and two lost fumbles and couldn’t get the Saints’ offense on track. The first interception bounced off the hands of receiver Cameron Meredith but the second was an overthrown pass intended for Ted Ginn Jr. The first lost fumble came on a mixup in the backfield. The second fumble ended his best drive of the night as Hill had completed five consecutive passes before a strip-sack ended the possession.
Hill did lead the Saints on a drive that ended with a 52-yard Wil Lutz field goal. The key play was a 43-yard scramble by Hill. He was 11 of 15 passing for 68 yards.
Savage was 6 of 7 for 53 yards. He also led the Saints on a drive that ended in a Lutz field goal, this one from 31 yards in the fourth quarter. Rookie J.T. Barrett played the final six minutes and scored the Saints’ lone touchdown on a 12-yard scramble with 12 seconds to play. The two-point conversion attempt failed. Barrett also engineered a drive that ended in a Lutz field goal, this one from 37 yards.
Brees didn’t play for the second consecutive preseason game. He was joined on the bench by star defensive end Cam Jordan and star running back Alvin Kamara.
The Saints starting offensive line opened the game – including left guard Andrus Peat – and it looked dominant for the brief action the group saw as Mark Ingram ran seven times for 36 yards and Jonathan Williams added 37 yards on eight carries. Rookie receiver Tre’Quan Smith also flashed, catching two passes for 41 yards.
Veteran Sam Bradford started at quarterback for Arizona and led the Cardinals to their first touchdown, a 9-yard run by David Johnson. Rookie Josh Rosen came in during the second quarterback and fired a bullet 13-yard scoring pass to Christian Kirk. The Cardinals added two field goals to round out their scoring.
The loss dropped the Saints to 1-1 in the preseason. Their next game is Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Los Angeles Chargers. The Cardinals improved to 2-0.
(Press Release Provided by the New Orleans Saints)