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Todd Graffagnini's observations from Saints-Chargers preseason game

Quarterback Taysom Hill leads Saints rally

1.*Turf concern:* Doing some pregame research, I learned the Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounds played to a 2-2 draw in an MLS match on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park. I mentioned on social media that it would be interesting to see how the footing would hold up on the Bermuda grass surface with such a quick turnaround. After watching New Orleans Saints players slip repeatedly during pregame warmups it became a concern. It never got better, only worse, as players on both sides continued throughout the afternoon. Saints running back Devine Ozigbo slipped making a cut falling right into a hit that led to a fumble inside the Chargers' 5-yard line. Chargers defenders slipped on the final game-winning drive as the Saints went ahead 19-17 with 1:05 left. All in all, it was a tough day for the groundskeeper.

2.*The man was unblockable*: If you ever want to call a one-tackle performance dominant, look no further than defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who practically lived in the Chargers' backfield pretty much every play he was in there in the first half. He forced three holding penalties, hurried quarterback Tyrod Taylor into several incompletions, and was just a one-man wrecking crew. He lined up on both sides at end, but was most effective on the left side where Chargers right tackle Sam Tevi will be seeing Hendrickson in his nightmares. Good to see Trey making the most of his extended reps in the preseason, since Cam Jordan still has not played.

3.*Momentum-turner:* Up until midway through the second quarter, the Saints defense was playing dominant football. Forcing a turnover on downs, an interception by linebacker A.J. Klein, and many pressures on Chargers quarterbacks. Los Angeles had a third-and-eight at their own 4-yard line when Cardale Jones threw high and incomplete to Andre Patton. Despite the pass seemingly uncatchable, a pass interference flag was called on cornerback Ken Crawley, extending the drive. The theme held as the Chargers would convert on third down twice more culminating in a 10-play, 98-yard drive for a touchdown to put Los Angeles ahead 7-3. The Saints did not get the momentum back in the ballgame until 3:10 left in the third quarter when the they cut the deficit to 17-10 on Taysom Hill's 27-yard touchdown pass to Austin Carr.

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