New Orleans Saints With Thrilling 26-24 Pre-Season Win
Despite coming off a 7-10 season in 2022, the expectations in 2023 are sky high for the New Orleans. And they did nothing in their first pre-season game to quell those expectations. In fact, they probably raised them.
The Saints starters scored on their first three possessions while stopping the Chiefs on their first three possessions.
Each starting quarterback, Derek Carr for New Orleans and Patrick Mahomes for the Chiefs only played one possession. Carr led the Saints on a 12-play, 80-yard drive to begin the game, capping it off with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Keith Kirkwood. Carr was 6-8 for 70 yards, connecting with four different receivers, Alvin Kamara, Juwan Johnson, Michael Thomas and Kirkwood.
On the other side, Mohames and Co drove to midfield, but Blake Bell was stuffed on 4th & 1.
Jameis Winston replaced Carr, and only needed four plays to hit pay dirt, a 29-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver A.T. Perry.
On Winston’s second drive, he led a 9-play, 30-yard drive, with Will Lutz finishing it off with a 36-yard field goal and a 17-0 lead.
Reports out Saints camp were impressive for rookie quarterback Jake Haener, but it didn’t translate into the pre-season, at least not at first. The Saints only got two 1st Downs on their first five possessions with Haener calling the signals. Eventually, he made up for it with a 6-play, 76-yard scoring drive and 4-yard touchdown pass to Ellis Merriweather. Down 1, the Saints attempted to go for 2, but the ball was snapped too early as Haener was trying to change the play.
On Kansas City’s next possession, Saints DL Kyle Phillips came up with the interception, setting up rookie kicker Blake Grupe for a game-winning 31-yard field goal and a 26-24 Saints victory.
The Saints are heading out west this week for practices with the Los Angeles Chargers, before playing them Sunday night at 6P.
It’s only one pre-season game, but you can’t blame the Saints and the Who Dat Nation if their expectations have increased for the upcoming season the way the starters played against the defending Super Bowl Champions, Kansas City Chiefs. 2023 could be one of those special seasons for the New Orleans Saints.