Saints dominate early, hold on late for win vs Jags

Geaux Black and Gold

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway (1) pulls in a one handed touchdown reception over Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin in the first half of an NFL preseason football game in New Orleans, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

In a game featuring two No. 1 overall draft picks, the veteran outshined the rookie on Monday, Aug. 23 at the Caesars Superdome.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, the first pick in the 2015 draft by Tampa Bay, was nearly perfect in the quarter he played as he completed 9 of 10 passes for 123 yards with two deep touchdown passes to receiver Marquez Callaway. Winston’s quarterback rating was a sizzling 157.5. Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in 2021, was 14 of 23 for 113 yards and a QB rating of 73.3.

The Saints (1-1) won their preseason home opener at the Caesars Superdome 23-21 as they played a much cleaner game than in their opening loss to the Ravens with no turnovers (they had six in Baltimore) and the starting defense was just as stout (the reserves gave up two late touchdowns).

Saints quarterback Taysom Hill, who started last week in the preseason opener at Baltimore, entered Monday at the end of the first quarter and led the team on a scoring drive that ended with new Saints kicker Aldrick Rosas making a 52-yard field goal. Hill’s best throw of the game came on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Lil’Jordan Humphrey with 1:27 to play in the third quarter. Hill finished 11 of 20 for 138 yards and the touchdown. Reserve Trevor Siemian played the fourth quarter.

Callaway caught five passes for 104 yards and the two touchdowns. Tony Jones Jr. was the team’s top rusher with 24 yards on five carries. Star running back Alvin Kamara sat out his second consecutive preseason game.

The Saints will close out the preseason Saturday, Aug. 28 vs. the Arizona Cardinals at the Caesars Superdome. The Jaguars dropped to 0-2 in preseason. Coach Sean Payton hasn’t said whether Winston and Hill will play in the preseason finale or if he will give the snaps to rookie Ian Book and Siemian. The Saints, who will be playing their first season without Drew Brees at quarterback since 2005, open the regular season Sept. 12 against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

(Recap via the New Orleans Saints)

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