New Orleans Saints at New York Jets
When and Where: Saturday, Aug. 24, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., 7:30 p.m. EDT.
Sam Darnold’s first handoff to Le’Veon Bell will not come until the Jets play their season opener, so the second-year quarterback looks to remain sharp with Ty Montgomery in the backfield as New York hosts the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night.
Payton hoping Saints clean up mistakes in red zone
New Orleans rallied for a 19-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday as Taysom Hill engineered a second-half comeback from 14 points down. Hill, who is used as in the Saints’ version of the Wildcat formation, threw a pair of touchdown passes and directed a 9-play, 50-yard drive that was capped by Wil Lutz’s go-ahead 28-yard field goal with 1:05 to play.
Column: Saints' Taysom Hill is a do-it-all quarterback still perfecting his game https://t.co/kNJyt1yjMI
— Phillip J. Wilkinson (@_solomanssong) August 19, 2019
“I felt like we were able to move the ball,” Hill told the Saints’ official website as he continues to vie for the No. 2 job with Teddy Bridgewater. “Things broke down and we were able to avoid negative plays. We had a sack but we were able to come back from that and convert on third down. I think having the ability to make plays and things like that, it just makes us more difficult to stop and avoid making negative plays.”
Bridgewater completed just 5 of 12 passes for 40 yards with an interception, but he was also battling an illness. Coach Sean Payton admitted he should have taken Bridgewater out during the first half, but the signal-caller opted to gut it out to make sure Payton did not bring Drew Brees off the bench for any reason.
The 40-year-old Brees has yet to take a preseason snap, but the work he got in during the joint practices with the Chargers leading up to Sunday’s game was a suitable substitute.
“Yeah, I’d say for me it’s even more valuable,” Brees said after practice Thursday, “because I’m getting a lot more reps obviously in these practices than I would be getting in a preseason game. You script situations you do not always encounter every situation in a preseason game.”
It is possible he will play a series or two in this game, but Payton has yet to commit to any sort of rotation among his three quarterbacks. Injuries to back-up offensive linemen Chris Clark and Michael Ola during the win over the Chargers and their availability could play a role in that decision.
New Orleans played its first-string defense for the first three series against the Chargers, and rookie linebacker Kadeen Ellis has seen the bulk of snaps in both games learning his roles in the Saints’ 4-3 defense. Ellis, who played a team-high 38 snaps, only came off the field when New Orleans employed a nickel package.