New Orleans Saints vs Tennessee Titans
Friday August 15th 7pm Kickoff Mercedes Benz Superdome
Series History: New Orleans has played Houston/Tennessee more times than any other team in the preseason, where the Saints have faced the Oilers/Titans a total of 29 times. The series is deadlocked at 14-14-1. These two have also played 13 times in the regular season, with the Titans up 7-5-1 in the series.
Noteworthy: This is the Saints second pre-season game. New Orleans will play in primetime next Saturday night against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium
The Cajun Cannon: The Cannon is watching to see if one of the back-up QB's can take the upper hand. "So far both Luke McCown and Ryan Griffin have had some good showings. Griffin looked better against the Rams. Now I'm looking forward to see who will perform better this week against the Titans," Hebert said.
Bobby is also keeping an eye on the kickers. In what Hebert calls a good training camp battle, Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke have both been inconsistent. "I really think this will go down to the wire. Last week Graham missed an extra point but came back and made two long (48 & 55 yard) field goals. Dimke has put himself in a position to stick around with pretty good kicking during camp. I don't think the Saints will settle on a kicker until the last preseason game has been played."
Bobby also want's to see if DB's Corey White, Patrick Robinson and Marcus Ball can all continue to build on the impressive camps they have had thus far.
Hokie Gajan's Take: Saints Color Analyst Hokie Gajan will keep a close eye on the progression of the Saints RB's. "Last week Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson looked good. I thought overall as a team, the Saints rushed the ball well, but now can they do that on a consistent basis in the preseason?"
Hokie wants to see if the Saints O-Line can build off of last week's effort against the Rams. "When you play without two of your best linemen (Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs) and still rush the ball well, and don't give up a sack, that's pretty good," Hokie said. The Saints O-Line paved the way for 123 rushing yards for an average of 5.1 yards per rushing attempt in a 26-24 win over the Rams last week.
The Big Chief: I think there were a lot of positives you could take away from the Rams game last week. I would like to see the Saints cover better on kickoffs; they allowed five kickoff returns for 134 yards. St. Louis averaged 23.3 yards per return. New Orleans averaged 18 yards on two kickoff returns against St. Louis.
Go marching right in! On their first offensive possession last week in St. Louis, the Saints offense was on fire. Mark Ingram had three carries for 30 yards and the Saints gained 5 yards on their first play, then 7, then 3, then 19 and Ingram rushed for another 6 yards on the fifth play of the opening drive. Then disaster happened. RB Travaris Cadet was tackled behind the line of scrimmage for -7 yards followed by QB Luke McCown being picked off by Rams DE Chris Long. Getting points on the opening drives of games has been a staple in the Sean Payton era.
I believe you play how you practice. Sure there are great ones that can turn it on when the big lights are up, but how you practice is how you play, in my book. RB Mark Ingram has had a good camp, and last week #22 started off with those three carries for 30 yards on the first drive, and then would tack on 53 more yards on five carries giving him a total of 83 yards on eight carriers for 10.4 yards per rush. That's impressive even in the preseason.
He's always got something cooking so don't stop looking! Rookie WR Brandin Cooks has been all that and then some at camp. And last week with his speedy 25 yard TD grab, Cooks served notice that his playmaking skills are something special. Cooks can be a difference maker, game changer and back breaker for other teams for New Orleans this season. And yes, I do think he's going to be that good!