The New Orleans Saints didn’t have a lot of starters play in their first game of the 2018 NFL preseason, but they still managed a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Any starters that were on the field were only out there for a limited amount of time, but longtime starting quarterback Drew Brees didn’t get a single moment of playing time. Instead, the game belonged to the other quarterbacks on the roster as the race for the back-up spot is just getting underway.
While there are not a lot of positions with an open competition on the New Orleans Saints’ roster this season, one of them is the back-up quarterback spot. Most NFL teams only keep two quarterbacks on the active roster and one more on the practice squad which makes it even more important to impress during the preseason games.
In the game against the Jags, the Saints put together a great comeback in the fourth quarter to take a 24-20 victory. It wasn’t the prettiest game, but it did show a lot about a number of players on the Saints’ roster and just what could end up happening by the regular season.
The biggest battle that has the eyes of fans, players, and coaches is that of Taysom Hill vs. Tom Savage.
LET THEM PLAY !!! ????The Taysom Hill experience has a long way to go. But act one was a fun entrance. https://t.co/UehGOrspoa— Tricky (@Tricky22876046) August 10, 2018
It’s time to look at how the quarterbacks on the Saints’ roster who are not named Drew Brees did in the preseason opener. This is not a matter of who necessarily looked better, but who had the better numbers and statistics overall.
Former Houston Texans’ starter Tom Savage started the game for the Saints on Thursday night and he finished with 70 yards on 10-of-14 passing. Savage also had two yards rushing before being taken out before the end of the first quarter.
He was replaced by Taysom Hill who had 72 yards through the air on 8-of-9 passing, but he was sacked twice. While the accuracy was there for Hill, it was his rushing ability which may help him make the Saints’ roster in another position as he had 52 yards and one touchdown on just seven carries.
Rookie quarterback J.T. Barrett also saw some playing time as he entered late in the fourth quarter and led the Saints to the winning touchdown. Still, Barrett is truly on the bubble and is a huge longshot at making the roster as a back-up to Drew Brees.
The good thing for the Saints is that two of the three quarterbacks fighting for the back-up position has a chance of contributing at other positions. If Hill or Barrett can’t end up on the 53-man roster as a signal caller, they could easily wind up on special teams or other skill spots.
Overall, it was Taysom Hill who had the best numbers on the night, but it’s hard to say, after just one game, if he is going to take the back-up quarterback spot. The New Orleans Saints need to make sure that someone strong is behind Drew Brees and right now, that veteran experience lies with Tom Savage. There are still three more preseason games and a lot of playing time left to go, but it’s going to be a tough QB competition throughout August.