Both the Chargers and Saints entered Friday’s game with 0-2 records during the month of August. While these exhibition games don’t matter in the long run, players are still playing their hearts out to earn an opportunity to stick around following final cuts.
Unfortunately for the Chargers reserve players, they had to face several drives against the Saints starters — on both sides of the ball — before they got to line up against someone down at their talent level.
The overwhelming start to the game was enough to squash any early efforts to keep things competitive and the Saints held on to a multi-touchdown lead throughout the night en route to a 27-10 victory at home.
Jameis Winston led the first-team offense against the Chargers third-stringers which unsurprisingly led to a pair of touchdown drives in the first quarter. Both were capped by a Mark Ingram touchdown run.
Once the starting units left the game, the Chargers began to find a bit of a groove prior to halftime. Chase Daniel marched his unit down the field on a 10-play, 75-yard drive to put the score back within a touchdown at 14-7. Larry Rountree capped it off with a one-yard score, his first of the preseason.
The score held for most of the second quarter before Dustin Hopkins and Will Lutz traded field goals inside the final minute. The Saints went into the locker room with a 17-10 advantage.
The second half came and went without much of note. Easton Stick and the Chargers offense failed to add anything to the scoreboard while the Saints managed an Ian Book to Kirk Merritt touchdown reception and another Lutz field goal before all was said and done.
Hopkins had an opportunity to convert his second field goal from over 50 yards out near the end of the third quarter but pushed it wide left.
Daniel finished the game going 10-of-11 for 113 yards. Stick was a bit more sporadic, converting nine-of-14 passes for 74 yards.
Joshua Kelley led the team with 40 rushing yards on six carries which was easily his best performance of the preseason. He highlighted his night with a slick hurdle over a defender during one of his first half runs. At this point, it’s safe to say he’s won the team’s RB2 gig for now.
Jalen Guyton led the team with 48 receiving yards on two receptions while Michael Bandy and Travon Bradford each caught three balls to tie for the team high.
Linebacker Cole Christiansen ended the night with a team-high nine tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack. This notable performance likely isn’t enough to see him make the final roster but he certainly deserves another spot on the practice squad. Safety Ben DeLuca and defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko each chipped in a tackle for loss, as well.