The Los Angeles Chargers held the lead for most of the game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday but fell late in a 19-17 defeat.
With the loss, the Chargers drop to 0-2 in the preseason. Of course, wins and losses don’t matter in the preseason, it’s the development of the players and the team as a whole that does.
After the Saints took a 3-0 lead, the Chargers bounced back with a nice touchdown pass from Cardale Jones to Andre Patton which covered 24 yards. It was a big second quarter for the Chargers, who also got an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown with just seconds left in the first half.
The Chargers took a 17-3 lead into halftime but would fail to score points for the remainder of the game.
The Saints turned to backup quarterback Taysom Hill in the second half. He passed for 136 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 53 yards in the game. The Saints took a 19-17 lead with just over one minute to play. However, the Chargers were working their way into position for a game-winning field goal attempt after Easton Stick connected with Artavis Scott on a 31-yard pass downfield.
Just two plays later, Stick threw a terrible pass that was intercepted, allowing the Saints to put the game on ice.
Those who shined
-Jones looked better than he ever has in a Chargers jersey. Not only did he complete 10 of his 14 throws for 111 yards and a touchdown, but he also looked confident in the pocket and did a great job of making his way through his progressions.
-Pope looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for the team’s No. 3 (or 4 if you count Melvin Gordon) running back right now. Not only did he come into the game before Detrez Newsome, but the punt return for a touchdown gives him a solid chance of making the 53-man roster.
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– The wide receivers as a whole looked much better than they did last week against the Arizona Cardinals, but Patton stood out. He had four catches for 62 yards and the touchdown. He also made a good grab on another throw from Jones in the first half. Scott added four catches for 64 yards on the day.
-Ty Long is going to win the punting job over Tyler Newsome at this rate. He just looks like the far more polished player out of the two. He placed two of his three punts inside the 20-yard line in this game. One of those traveled 56 yards and was downed at the New Orleans 7-yard line.
Those who didn’t
-Stick looked considerably worse in this game than he did in the preseason opener. He completed 5-of-13 passes for 62 yards and the interception. He threw an interception against Arizona where you just wondered what he saw and this one was just as bad.
The Chargers will host the Seattle Seahawks next Saturday night in the third preseason game for both teams, often considered the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season.