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Saints Fall To Titans 27-24: End Preseason 2-2

The Saints 2010 preseason ended the same way it began–with New Orleans falling by a score of 27-24. While this wasn’t the most exciting game, particularly for fans who wanted to get a glimpse of the starters in action, it was a game of great importance. Tonight’s game meant do or die time for players on the bubble trying to secure a coveted spot on the 53-man roster. For some, tonight’s performances pretty much solidified their place on the team; for others, it was too little, too late. With that said, here are the highlights (and lowlights) of the matchup.

  • The Saints special teams recorded two blocked punts in this game.  The first was a spectacular play by rookie DE Junior Galette who blocked a punt by Titan’s punter, Brett Kern.  The ball was subsequently recovered  at the Titan one-yard line by rookie LB Harry Coleman who then pushed it into the endzone, giving the Saints a 10-7 edge in the 2nd quarter.
  • The second blocked punt was made when rookie TE Jimmy Graham shadowed a 4th quarter kick that was recovered by LB Anthony Waters.  That play set up another Saints field goal.
  • QB Patrick Ramsey played the first half, completing 11 of 16 passes for 98 yards.  It was the most playing time he has seen this preseason.
  • QB Chase Daniel and WR Adrian Arrington continued to shine.  Daniel, who played the second half, completed 10 of 18 passes for 137 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception he threw  with six seconds remaining in the game.  Arrington led all Saints receivers with three catches for 78 yards, including a beautiful 35-yard touchdown reception in the 4th quarter.  Robert Meachem had five receptions for 49 yards.
  • DE Jeff Charleston recorded his second sack of the preseason.
  • The Saints suffered two more critical injuries.  RB Chris Ivory, who has been so impressive in the preseason, suffered a knee injury and Jonathan Casillas, who recently won himself a starting job at the weak-side linebacker spot,  injured his foot.  Coach Payton promises to give more information on the injuries later today.
  • The Saints run defense gave up a whopping 222 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
  • Special teams gave up a 38-yard kick return that was almost run back for a touchdown.

Here is my take on all of this:

  • Junior Galette might have secured his roster spot tonight.  He had already been quite  impressive, but with the field being so crowded I thought he would probably end up on the practice squad at best.  Now, I’m not so sure.  His overall performance certainly can’t be ignored.  I think he sneaks in and ekes out a vet.
  • I would say that the Saints are okay at the backup quarterback position, whichever way they decide.  Both Ramsey and Daniel have shown moments of brilliance, though I like the play of Daniel better.  But I still think the Saints will go with the veteran, Ramsey as the No. 2 to Brees.  Don’t be surprised though if there are three quarterbacks on the roster when all is said and done.
  • The run defense better improve and quick.  It will face off against Adrian Peterson in less than a week.  While it’s virtually impossible to stop that guy, they’d better find a way to at least slow him down or it’s going to be a very long night for a lot of people.
  • Let’s all hope and pray that the injuries to Ivory and Casillas are not serious enough to keep either one of them out of play.  The running game is that much better with Ivory in it.  And let’s face it, the defense seriously can’t afford to lose any of its key players.

With preseason over, the Saints can now begin to focus on the Minnesota Vikings who come to town next Thursday night to kickoff the 2010 regular season.  The countdown has officially begun to the start of what we Saints fans hope will be another very exciting season.

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