Following a strong 2-0 start to their preseason, including a 31-24 victory against the Tennessee Titans in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Friday night and one week after returning from the their first phase of training camp at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, the Saints will pack their bags to leave New Orleans again when they head to Lucas Oil Stadium to face the Indianapolis Colts in a nationally televised contest on Saturday night.
Saturday’s game will mark the first time the Saints play a game in Lucas Oil Stadium, having previously practiced at the facility for four days in 2008 after evacuating the Gulf Coast due to Tropical Storm Gustav in their Week One preparations. The Colts lead the preseason series 7-5, while New Orleans has a 6-5 edge in the regular season and also defeated the Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV.
The Saints made strides on offense, defense and special teams on Friday night against the Titans, continuing the progress they have shown from three weeks of training camp practices. An opportunistic defense recorded five takeaways, while the offense scored 17 points off of them. The Saints defense also recorded four sacks.
The New Orleans passing attack was impressive throughout the contest as signal-callers Luke McCown, Ryan Griffin and Logan Kilgore combined to complete 27 -of-42 passes for 324 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Saints offensive line kept McCown’s and Griffin’s jerseys clean in the first half and only allowed one sack in the second half. Griffin has excelled in the preseason, completing 29-of-42 passes (69.0%) for 358 yards with three touchdowns, zero picks and a 118.9 rating.
Defensively, the Saints first unit held their own against the Titans, forcing the five turnovers and only surrendering 88 yards on the ground. ILB Curtis Lofton received the start in the middle and posted a team-leading six tackles (three solo). S Kenny Vaccaro, OLBs Junior Galette and Kasim Edebali and DE Cameron Jordan also added quarterback takedowns.
On special teams, K Shayne Graham drilled a fourth quarter 34-yard field goal. The Saints also enjoyed contributions from several other players who improved their training camp case for extensive playing time and regular season roster spots. WR Joseph Morgan, in the battle for the third receiver spot, excelled, making three receptions for 108 yards (36.0 avg.), including a 52-yard grab. WR Seantavious Jones had a fourth quarter touchdown grab. Defensively, ILB Kyle Knox finished second on the club with five tackles (five solo) and one special teams stop, while rookie S Vinnie Sunseri, the one of the club’s two fifth round draft picks, posted a second half pick and also added four tackles (three solo) and two passes defensed.
The Saints will be facing a Colts squad that captured the AFC South title in 2013 and currently has an 0-2 preseason record.