In a battle of backup quarterbacks, the New Orleans Saints edged the Los Angeles Chargers 19-17 in Week 2 of the preseason.
Veterans Drew Brees and Philip Rivers remained on the bench, but Taysom Hill came through with 136 passing yards and two touchdowns as well as 53 rushing yards to lead his team to victory Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Wil Lutz hit the go-ahead field goal for New Orleans with 1:05 left in the fourth quarter.
Justin Jackson helped the Chargers with 33 rushing yards on eight carries in a game made for players further down the depth chart to show what they could do on the national stage.
Neither team has a question mark at QB1, and the perception is that both are pretty solid at QB2 with experienced players taking backup roles this offseason.
However, neither quarterback was impressive.
Teddy Bridgewater got the start for New Orleans and finished just 5-of-12 for 40 yards and an interception. He also lost a fumble, and on his only scoring drive, the offense took over at the Chargers' 18-yard line and settled for a field goal.
Chargers starter Tyrod Taylor didn't do much better, ending his day 7-of-10 for 57 yards and an interception.
The offenses on both sides were stagnant throughout the first half, which featured three turnovers, a turnover on downs and five punts.
A rare glimpse of excitement came on special teams when Troymaine Pope took a punt return to the house:
On the plus side, the third-string quarterbacks produced positive results, including Cardale Jones finding Andre Patton on a beautiful touchdown pass:
Jones finished 10-of-14 for 111 yards and the touchdown, and Patton had a big day with four catches for 62 yards. Both players are likely fighting for roster spots.
Still, the best individual effort came from Hill, the gadget player who continues to show his value for New Orleans.
Down two touchdowns at halftime, the quarterback showcased his ability with both his arm and legs:
He led two touchdown drives before leading the Saints down the field for the go-ahead field goal with just over a minute remaining.
Although he often comes in for one play or two during games in the regular season, Hill showed he could be a full-time starter in the future.
The Saints will also be happy with their defensive contributions from Trey Hendrickson, Colton Jumper and A.J. Klein.
On the other hand, Los Angeles showed depth could be a problem defensively. Denzel Perryman made some big plays, but the effort in the second half against Hill left a lot to be desired with plenty of missed tackles and missed assignments. With rookie quarterback Easton Stick also struggling (5-of-13 for 62 yards and an interception), the Chargers have a lot to work on going forward.
The Saints will take on the New York Jets in Week 3 of the preseason on Saturday, while the Chargers will host the Seattle Seahawks on the same day.