After Further Review: Five takes from Saints vs Vikings

After Further Review: Five takes from Saints vs Vikings
Taysom Hill scrambles out of the pocket against the Vikings. Source: Mark Lagrange

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -Take One: Tracking Teddy

Teddy Bridgewater looked poised and comfortable leading the Saints offense. Above all else, he gave a glimpse of what this Saints offense would look like with him at quarterback. Bridgewater is at his best when making quick decisions in the short to intermediate area of the game. He’s the most accurate in these situations.

Bridgewater’s first and last drives of the game were perfect examples of this. He opened the game 6/7 hitting mostly throws to backs out of the backfield or receivers on quick, short throws like the one to Tre’Quan Smith in the flat. During the two-minute drill to close the half, he was decisive in his throw to Cyril Grayson down the sideline and to Dan Arnold on the touchdown.

But where Bridgewater struggles was on display as well. When the play requires longer developing routes downfield, Bridgewater’s anticipation and timing are a little off. This was the biggest reason he was sacked four times (twice were negated by Vikings penalties). When that anticipation doesn’t come together, he has a tendency to hold on to the ball too long. This has popped up at times during practice as well, as he’s been sacked the most of any quarterback.

Overall though, I thought this was Bridgewater best effort, practice or game, to date in a Saints uniform.

Take Two: Tracking Taysom

Much like Bridgewater above, the best thing Taysom Hill did was give a glimpse of what the Saints offense would look like with him at the helm. His athleticism and ability to make a play when everything breaks down is special. He did it a few times in the game tonight. The best thing about his running Friday was most of it was done after he had gotten through his reads downfield. His also made some nice downfield throws to Travin Dural, which should have been caught, and Lil’ Jordan Humphrey on the touchdown pass.

His weakness is his inconsistency in his accuracy. Everyone saw the low throw in the flat to A.J. Derby that should have been a touchdown. You just can’t miss those types of passes in the NFL. Plus, he’s still not quite there with his patience in the pocket.

Overall, Hill looked like a player that has grown in this offense and appeared more comfortable within it. He’s also adding his own twist to some of the plays.

Take Three: Who helped themselves

Lil’ Jordan Humphrey- It’s been a tough camp up until this point for Humphrey, but he rose to the occasion Friday with two catches, 42 yards and a touchdown. On both catches, Humphrey made tough run after catch yards.

Deonte Harris- Harris has been out of practice for a while. But he returned with a bang with three kickoff returns for 90 yards. Harris has some speed to him and seems to have the proper vision to get himself back into the returner battle.

Cyril Grayson – Grayson’s catch on the sideline was good because it’s one of the few times he made a big play without blowing the top off the defense. He also added two returns for 61 yards with a long of 40 yards. There’s no two ways about it, Grayson must contribute on special teams to have a chance. If he can be a consistent return option, then perhaps he has a chance.

Take Four: Dan Arnold

The highs and lows of Arnold’s camp are striking. On Friday, he made an incredible effort on his touchdown from Bridgewater when he outstretched the ball over the goal line. That showed tremendous will. But then he caught a pass from Hill, then bobbled the ball as he was tucking it away and it landed right in the Vikings’ defender’s arms who returned it for a pick six.

Arnold still has a strong shot at making this roster. But ultimately, he must show consistency down-to-down to stick around.

Take Five: Other Observations

- Sean Payton challenged a pass interference penalty on Kayvon Webster that was ultimately upheld. Payton said afterwards, that the biggest transition for him was realizing that that’s a play he can challenge from now on.

- Mike Zimmer challenged a no-call early in the game when he wanted an offensive pass interference called on a short pass to Alvin Kamara. He was unsuccessful as well.

- Vince Beigel has had a nice camp. His fumble recovery sparked the Saints’ offense who marched right down and scored before halftime.

- Wil Lutz looked in midseason form.

- Nick Easton got the start at left guard with Andrus Peat out.

Patrick Robinson and Eli Apple both seemed to lose track of the ball in coverage on big Vikings’ completions

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