The Saints fell to the Minnesota Vikings in their preseason opener 34-25. As expected, there was some good, some bad and some plays leaving you shaking your head. Overall, there was a lot to take away from the game, particular the play of the quarterbacks. Teddy Bridgewater played the entire first half and Taysom Hill finished the game in the second half. Here is the breakdown on how both players performed last night:
Calm, Cool, and Collected
Bridgewater finished the game completing 14 out of 19 passes (73.6%) for 134 yards and a touchdown. With hopes that he will succeed Drew Brees one day, this was a pretty good start. He was a lot more comfortable in the pocket compared to the game against Carolina last year. His arm strength and accuracy were on point, with a highlight pass to Cyril Grayson on the sideline with under two minutes in the half. The main knock was his lack of mobility to extend plays and get away from pressure. It is not a bad thing considering he was making smart decisions, reading every progression and holding on to the football. Though sometimes too long. Bridgewater has all the tools to be next quarterback for the Saints and hopefully he can continue his progress upward next week and beyond.
Taysom Is As Taysom Does
Hill had been showing good signs on his progression as a quarterback. However, it seemed like he did not change his style compared to last year. He finished the game completing 8 out of 14 passes for 80 yards including a touchdown and an interception. The main positive was his mobility which is his biggest strength. He ended up leading the team in rushing yards with 45 yards on only six carries. The improvement was in his ability to stay in the pocket even with protection not being up to par in the second half. The downsides were his inconsistent precision and inability to use his eyes. Several times you could see him focused on one target instead of surveying the whole field. Overall, it was not a bad outing but it was not good as well and still has room for improvement.
Overall, the play from both players were very solid but there is still a lot to improve upon. Next game we should see the roles reversed with Hill starting the game and Bridgewater finishing in the second half. Depending on how long the first string plays, we could see a much better performance from Hill with regular starters in the game. In contrast, we should look for Bridgewater to stay consistent even with the second, third and even fourth units on the field. Needless to say, this is probably the most confidence the team has had in the backup quarterbacks in a very long time. Only way to go from here is up.
Follow Dom Lewis on Twitter @BigFella122