NFL Analysis: Preseason Week 2 Chargers vs Saints

Sainted Resilience: Saints Win 22-17

In a captivating Week 2 showdown of the 2023 preseason, the New Orleans Saints secured a win against the Los Angeles Chargers, marking the final score at 22-17. The victory was celebrated by fans and players alike, but the game was as much about resilience and overcoming adversities as it was about skill on the field.

The environment leading up to the game was far from ideal, and Saints’ coach Dennis Allen had reasons to be concerned. Despite the victories during the practice sessions and the game itself, natural calamities plagued Southern California. An unexpected torrential downpour caused by Tropical Storm Hilary led to the cancellation or rescheduling of several sporting events. To add to the unpredictability, an earthquake of a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 was felt at the Hollywood Park stadium, its epicenter near Ojai.

Yet, the most alarming incident occurred off the field. Saints’ tight end, Jimmy Graham, had a concerning “medical episode” that saw him disoriented and taken into custody in Los Angeles. A swift assessment by the team’s doctor, John Amoss, suggested Graham likely suffered a seizure during the time of his apprehension. While the situation was tense, Graham underwent evaluation and was released from the hospital the next day.


Easton Stick: Mixed Performance

Easton Stick

Easton Stick, the Chargers quarterback, despite showing flashes of brilliance with a couple of rushing TDs, had a night to forget. He turned the ball over three times, with one fumble and two interceptions. Comparatively, the Saints’ quarterbacks showcased better stability by completing 63.2% of their passes, accumulating a combined total of 287 yards without conceding a single interception.

Justin Herbert is as solid a quarterback as they get, but having a backup with flashes of efficiency but room for improvement like Stick will improve Los Angeles NFL Lines as long as he keeps working on his game.

Back on the field, most of the regular starters for both teams chose to rest, having already put in significant effort during joint practices earlier that week. Yet, Jameis Winston, the Saints’ marquee quarterback, commanded attention as he directed three second-quarter scoring drives. But Coach Allen’s satisfaction was overshadowed by the Saints’ lack of discipline, racking up a hefty 14 penalties that cost them 141 yards.

Easton Stick’s performance was a mixed bag. His tenacity brought the Chargers tantalizingly close to a potential comeback, narrowing the score difference to just five points. But his 233 yards from 21 completions in 41 attempts were marred by two interceptions. One of these interceptions, occurring during a critical juncture at the end, was grabbed by Lonnie Johnson, effectively sealing the victory for the Saints.

Kendre Miller’s touchdown for New Orleans was a notable highlight. The decisive 7-yard run followed an impressive fumble recovery by the Saints’ first-round pick, Bryan Bresee. This crucial turnover was enforced by the Saints’ defensive end, Payton Turner, who put immense pressure on Stick, leading to the fumble.

Yet, not all was gloom for the Chargers. Tuli Tuipulotu, their second-round edge defender, showcased his potential with a notable tackle for loss and pressure in his limited snaps. Zion Johnson, in the Saints’ camp, showcased why he’s touted as a player to watch. Playing a considerable number of snaps with the starting unit, he stood as an impenetrable wall, especially in pass-blocking situations.

Wrapping up the game’s performances, Shaquan Davis, an undrafted free-agent receiver, made a statement. With three catches from five targets, and accumulating 63 yards, he proved to be a significant asset for the Saints.

Overall, the game was a true testament to both teams’ resilience and adaptability, both on and off the field. The Saints may have clinched the victory, but both teams showcased why they are interesting teams with improved NFL Odds this year.