Sun Aug 18 7:14pm ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Austin Carr, left, runs into the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull )
Los Angeles Chargers running back Troymaine Pope (35) returns a punt for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo )
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Andre Patton, left, makes a touchdown reception against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Andre Patton (15) celebrates after a touchdown reception against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull )
Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Jaylen Watkins (27) intercepts a pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater fumbles during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo )
New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) is pressured by Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (42) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
CARSON, Calif. (AP) Taysom Hill had 191 yards of offense and directed three second-half scoring drives to help the New Orleans Saints rally for a 19-17 exhibition victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
In a game where Philip Rivers and Drew Brees were sideline observers, Hill supplied most of the quarterback highlights. The third-year, all-purpose player was 11 of 15 for 136 yards and a pair of touchdowns and ran for 55 yards. New Orleans trailed 17-3 at halftime.
Hill threw a 27-yard TD pass to Austin Carr with 3:10 remaining in the third quarter to bring the Saints (1-1) to 17-10.
He then directed an 11-play, 69-yard drive midway through the fourth quarter that culminated in a 1-yard TD pass to Devine Ozigbo. The Saints went for 2, but Hill was sacked by Anthony Lanier II.
Following a Chargers punt, Hill drove the Saints into field goal range, where Will Lutz made a 28-yarder with 1:08 remaining.
Troymaine Pope returned a punt 81 yards and Andre Patton had five receptions for 62 yards for the Chargers (0-2).
The Chargers led 10-3 late in the second quarter when Pope ran back Thomas Morestead's punt with three seconds remaining. Pope - a second-year running back - made three New Orleans defenders miss within the first 15 yards before finding an opening up the left sideline and outrunning Dwayne Washington to the end zone.
Patton, who did not play in the Aug. 8 preseason opener at Arizona due to injury, gave the Chargers a 7-3 lead with 5:32 remaining when he got past New Orleans cornerback P.J. Williams and hauled in a 26-yard pass from Cardale Jones to complete a 10--play, 98-yard drive.
Jones, who is in a battle with fifth-round pick Easton Stick for the third quarterback spot, was 10 of 14 for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson, who have been getting most of the snaps at running back while Melvin Gordon holds out, struggled.
Ekeler was held to nine yards on three carries while Jackson had eight rushes for 33 yards. Both backs didn't have many clean rushing lanes as the Saints' defensive line had the advantage over the Chargers' offensive line.
New Orleans moved the ball well at times but had two critical turnovers in the red zone. Washington had a ball bounce off his hands and into the arms of safety Jaylen Watkins at the Chargers' 2-yard line for an interception during the second quarter. Los Angeles would take advantage and drive for a touchdown.
During the fourth quarter, linebacker Denzel Perryman forced Ozigbo to fumble and it was recovered by Adarius Pickett at the LA 9.
Chargers first-round pick Jerry Tillery played in his first game and recorded a sack during the second quarter. The defensive tackle, the 28th overall selection in April's draft, got past two offensive linemen to bring down Teddy Bridgewater.
Saints: Visit the New York Jets next Saturday as Brees is likely to get his only snaps of the preseason.
Chargers: Host Seattle next Saturday.
Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 3
New York Giants running back Devonta Freeman, who signed a one-year deal worth up to $3 million on Tuesday, will officially sign his contract Wednesday morning and then practice with the team, and he could play as soon as this Sunday against the 49ers. Freeman reportedly turned down more money elsewhere because he like the opportunity with the Giants the most. He'll try to help replace Saquon Barkley (knee), who was lost for the year in Week 2. The 28-year-old should be a high waiver priority this week for those that lost Barkley or another running back last week, but he may be slow to get going as he learns this offense. The matchup against the Niners isn't the greatest, either. Expect to see more of Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman this week.
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller, who had 12 catches on a whopping 16 targets for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Monday night win over the Saints, had at least one reception from all four skill-position alignments. The breakdown was as follows: Fourteen routes at tight end (six catches, 44 yards and a TD), 12 routes from the slot (four catches, 37 yards), two routes as a wideout (one catch, 13 yards) and one route out of the backfield (one catch, nine yards). More than 52 percent of his 1,145 receiving yards in 2019 came after the catch, too. Only George Kittle had more yards after the catch. Waller has 586 receiving yards since Week 13 of last year. He's the real deal and is a must-start, high-end TE1 in fantasy. "It's been a long time since we've seen a guy like this," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. "He's definitely more than a receiver playing tight end." The Pats will look to contain Waller in Week 3.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said he's "not really" surprised that tight end Rob Gronkowski has just four targets in the first two games of the season. His lone target in the Week 2 win over the Panthers was intercepted. "We're not throwing the ball 50 times to the tight ends. That's what we have receivers for, that's the way our offense is built. Gronk's playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I'm not concerned with his pass catches or his targets," Arians said. The 31-year-old is competing with a lot of aerial playmakers in Tampa, so he won't see close to the target share he saw in his prime with Tom Brady in New England. And as long as Gronk continues to block well, he may only get a handful of looks per game. He's become a low-end TE2 that's droppable in shallow leagues.
Free-agent DBs Blake Countess (Jets), Mark McLaurin (Giants), Obi Melifonwu (Patriots), Tyvis Powell (Broncos) and Abraham Wallace (Bills) tried out for the Indianapolis Colts Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Updating a previous story, free-agent RB Devonta Freeman (Falcons) officially agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million with the New York Giants Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Fantasy Spin: It may take Freeman a couple weeks to get fully up to speed but he should eventually control the bulk of the touches out of the Giants' backfield. His dual-threat abilities should allow him to be a FLEX option most weeks.
Tennessee Titans LB Daren Bates, WR Cameron Batson, PK Tucker McCann and QB Trevor Siemian were designated as protected practice squad players Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Deon Cain, LB Jayrone Elliott, DE Henry Mondeaux and RB Wendell Smallwood were named as the team's protected practice squad players for Week 3 Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Kansas City Chiefs DB Chris Lammons and RB DeAndre Washington were named as protected practice squad players Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Cleveland Browns QB Garrett Gilbert, RB Dontrell Hilliard, PK Matthew McCrane and OT Greg Senat were placed on the team's Week 3 protection list Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Dallas Cowboys DB Deante Burton, DE Ron'Dell Carter, DB Rashard Robinson and OT Eric Smith were named to the Week 3 protection list Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Houston Texans C Greg Mancz, DB Jonathan Owens, RB C.J. Prosise and WR Devin Smith were named to the Week 3 protection list Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Atlanta Falcons QB Kurt Benkert, P Cameron Nizialek, LB Edmond Robinson and WR Chris Rowland were named the team's protected practice squad players Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Cincinnati Bengals DE Freedom Akinmoladun, QB Brandon Allen, WR Stanley Morgan and G Keaton Sutherland were named as the team's protected practice squad players Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Pittsburgh Steelers NT Daniel McCullers terminated his practice squad contract Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Free-agent DE Muhammad Wilkerson (Packers) had his suspension lifted by commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Free-agent RBs Paul Perkins (Ravens), Karan Higdon (Texans) and Austin Walter (Giants) are among the running backs trying out for the San Francisco 49ers.
Arizona Cardinals DE Jonathan Bullard, DE Michael Dogbe, RB Jonathan Ward and DB Jace Whittaker were protected from selection off the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 22.
New Orleans Saints WR Bennie Fowler and DT Margus Hunt were bumped from the active list to the inactive list Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Baltimore Ravens TE Xavier Grimble (undisclosed) was added to the practice squad's injured list Tuesday, Sept. 22.