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Takeaways from the Jaguars-Saints Preseason Game

The whole world got to watch Jameis Winston shine in the spotlight as the Saints starting quarterback on Monday night, as well as finding out who Marquez Callaway is.

NEW ORLEANS -- Fans, the football world, and primarily the Saints wanted to get some answers about the quarterback situation, and they got plenty of them from Jameis Winston in the national spotlight. The Saints held on to win the game 23-21 after a good comeback effort from the Jaguars. We got enough questions answered about the defense, offense, and other areas on the night.

Attendance

Alvin Kamara was present, but as it was reported earlier on Monday, he did not play. Missing from the night included Tre'Quan Smith, Garrett Griffin, Marcus Willoughby, Malcolm Roach, and Payton Turner. Smith was present on the field, but not in uniform. Both Pete Werner and Kwon Alexander dressed out and took part in walkthroughs, but did not see game action along with Marshon Lattimore.

Starting Rotation

Here's what the offense looked like on the opening snap.

  • QB: Jameis Winston
  • RB: Tony Jones Jr. 
  • FB: Alex Armah
  • WR: Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris
  • TE: Adam Trautman
  • OL: Ryan Ramczyk, Cesar Ruiz, Erik McCoy, Andrus Peat, Terron Armstead

Meanwhile, the Saints defense opened in the nickel. This was their first look.

  • DE: Cam Jordan, Marcus Davenport
  • DT: Jalen Dalton, Shy Tuttle
  • LB: Demario Davis, Zack Baun
  • Slot: C.J. Gardner-Johnson
  • CB: Paulson Adebo (left), Ken Crawley (right)
  • S: Malcolm Jenkins, Marcus Williams

Quarterback Comparison

Jameis Winston had an incredible start, and he was perfect on his first drive after going 4-of-4 and piloting a 6-play, 72 yard drive to get a touchdown. The second drive went backwards after two pre-snap penalties by the offensive line (McCoy, Ramczyk), and the 3rd-and-16 pass to Tony Jones Jr. was incomplete.

However, Winston made the most of his third drive, leading the Saints to another touchdown after having great field position. It was a 6-play, 57-yard drive that looked strong and potentially helped make some final decisions a bit easier.

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As for Hill, it was a rough start. Both of his first drives went for negative yardage, while the third drive went 57 yards on 10 plays, but finished with a turnover on downs. Hill got some work in with 36 seconds left in the half, and couple of good hookups to Ty Montgomery to help get a 52-yard Aldrick Rosas field goal before halftime. He was 6-of-13 for 86 yards with a 68.1 rating up until that point.

Hill played deep into the third quarter, and his final series was his best one, getting New Orleans into the end zone after an 8-play, 72-yard drive that finished by connecting with Lil'Jordan Humphrey for a 14-yard touchdown. It was arguably his best throw of the day.

  • Winston: 9-of-10 (90%), 123 yards, 2 TDs, 157.5 Rating
  • Hill: 11-of-20 (55%), 138 yards, TD, 93.3 Rating

Observations and Notes

Callaway's Hot Start: There wasn't any better way to script a start for Jameis Winston, but how about Marquez Callaway? He finished the night with securing all five of his targets for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. He's on fire right now, and this is everything we've seen from him in practice. 

Injury Front: Adam Trautman was carted back to the locker room with an apparent lower leg injury. It's never a good sign, but we'll have to see how that plays out. The team also lost Brian Poole to a foot/leg injury. He was in the medical tent and tried to work out whatever was wrong on the stationary bike. He later limped to the locker room.

The Saints also lost backup offensive lineman Ethan Greenidge to an apparent arm injury. He left the field late in the third quarter after he was examined in the medical tent.

Stock Up

Here's a few players who did well and improved their stock after Monday night, as we'll omit Jameis Winston from the list after talking about his great day previously.

  • Marcus Davenport - It's the second straight week we've seen good stuff from Davenport, and it's no longer just a practice thing. This Saints pass rush is a bit underrated and very talented, and it could carry them a long way this season.
  • Marquez Callaway - He's on a bit of a tear throughout two preseason games, as he's now up to 8 receptions for 165 yards on 9 targets with two scores. The Saints might be fine without Michael Thomas for a bit, but what about when he gets back?
  • Lil'Jordan Humphrey - If there's any player that needed to have a good showing, it was Humphrey. He had a rough week of practice, having several bad drops during various sessions. He ended up getting a touchdown late in the third quarter and finished with 4 catches for 74 yards on 5 targets.
  • Ken Crawley - Whether you want to accept it or not, Crawley looks like he's most definitely going to be the CB2 when the season rolls around. He had some good coverage plays, including a nice PBU near the goal line. 
  • Wynton McManis - He had a big pick in the end zone to go along with some good stops and 3 pass defenses. He finished with 6 total tackles (4 solo, 2 assisted) to go along with a special teams stop.
  • C.J. Gardner-Johnson - This was a great showing from Ceedy Duce. He had been having a pretty mixed camp in coverage, but he's a prime example of taking it to another level when it comes to the game.

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