Football season is back and it’s better than every. Your New Orleans Saints geared up for the first time in a long time to take on the Minnesota Vikings in their first preseason matchup!…… “Wait, What? Preseason?” I know, I know but hear me out. The exciting part about preseason is finally seeing young and new pieces on the field wearing your teams colors. Guys like Dede Westbrook and Kennedy Brooks. Even though the games don’t necessarily count towards anything it still matters to most. They’ll be unknown players out their battling to live the dream and secure a roster spot. But enough about why preseason matters. Let’s dive into the matchup.
Minnesota who unlike the Saints were a playoff team and a good one at that. After some struggles in the regular season the Minnesota Vikings turned a good season into a great season. Coaching carried the wildcard team all the way to a Conference Championship matchup against the all powerful Chicago Bears. Now with a few new faces they look to do the same.
In the preseason matchup the Saints showed good pace and great ball control. They were able to mix up play calling and really keep the Vikings on their heels. Coach Bonanca mentioned this past offseason that he spent the entire offseason perfecting his scheme and how he would play-call. It really showed early as they rode ball control and defense to a 28-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Rookies Kennedy Brooks and JD Spielman both saw their fair share of playing time in this one. And both performed excellently for the offense. Even though it was against or with the number 1’s they showed that they were head and shoulders above the rest. Even Jake Hanson who did play with the 1’s showed he is worth the first round selection that was used to get him. The offensive line as a whole did not give up a single sack to the Vikings who have one of the better pass rushes in the league.
Running back Kennedy Brooks has a big hill to climb if he ever wants to see the field on a regular basis. There’s a lot of guys ahead of him on the depth chart as of now, but don’t tell him that. The rookie showcased both his ability to burst through holes and catch the ball out of the backfield this week. Brooks finished with 88 yards on 14 carries and 1 touchdown. He showed good patience as he waited to accelerate through holes just at the right moment to maximize yardage. With more preseason games like that he could find himself on the field more often in the regular season.
Fellow rookie and ride receiver JD Spielman had himself a good day as well. The Saint were absolutely shocked and excited when the wide receiver fell to them in the late rounds. Even though he’s undersized and not the fastest guy in the world. The young receiver showed his route running savvy and ability to create separation. Blake Bortles showed some great chemistry with the young wide out. Finding him 5 times for 78 yards. Spielman, like Brooks did not play the 1’s but showed he should be considered when it comes to getting the chance.
There were a lot of newcomers on the defensive side of the ball. All of which were mostly just depth pieces to help keep guys fresh and be there barring an unfortunate injury. All of which also had excellent games. Especially the veterans who came in to provide defensive back depth. Eric Weddle, and Reshaan Melvin both were able to snag an interception in this game. Both also provided good ability to come up and stuff the run as the Minnesota Vikings struggled to move the ball on the ground without the recently traded Dalvin Cook.
Offensively and defensively the New Orleans Saints looked really good. But it is definitely only preseason. So how much stock can you put into it? The answer is none. The Saints will have to prove themselves this regular season. For now we sit back and enjoy watching the young prospects get into the fold and hopefully bloom a career out of it.