The Saints’ 31-24 victory over the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Friday night could hardly have packed more of the horrors commonly seen in mid-August NFL preseason action for New Orleans.
An apparent leg injury forced the second-quarter exit of the Saints’ Keenan Lewis, the only cornerback on the roster entrenched as a starter at that position. There were 22 accepted penalties against the Saints for a mind-numbing 184 lost yards — 14 of those calls and 116 of those yards in the first half, when a significant number of starters — especially on defense — were in.
Nonetheless, the Saints managed something in which they might find a measure of comfort: five total takeaways resulting in 17 points. Those are the kind of plays their defense has prioritized all offseason, plays it could’ve used in a 2013 campaign that ended at Seattle in the divisional round of the playoffs, two wins shy of a Super Bowl appearance.