Tight end Jimmy Graham scored two touchdowns and running back Mark Ingram found the end zone on a 23-yard reception as the New Orleans Saints defeated the Tennessee Titans 31-24 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Friday night.
Graham was on the receiving end of two Luke McCown touchdown passes, one for 6 yards and the other for 19 yards. Graham performed his signature dunk over the goal post following both scores, getting flagged twice for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Friday night had its own in-state quarterback rivalry, with both No. 3 quarterbacks coming from Louisiana colleges. Tennessee rookie Zach Mettenberger was a starter at LSU for two seasons, while Saints second-year quarterback Ryan Griffin started for Tulane from 2010-2012.
Griffin, who has impressed through the first two games of the preseason, is currently battling to become the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart in New Orleans.
Griffin finished 13-of-20 for 79 yards and two touchdowns Friday.
McCown was 12-of-19 for 117 yards and two TDs of his own.
What you need to know
- Colston Out: Prior to kickoff against the Titans, Saints receiver Marques Colston was seen standing on the sidelines in street clothes, indicating that he would be out for Friday’s contest. No reports have surfaced as to why Colston sat out.
- No. 2 QB battle heats up: Luke McCown received the start Friday night, going 6-for-10 for 58 yds and a 6-yd TD on the Saints’ opening drive. McCown finished the night completing 12-of-19 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, former Tulane QB Ryan Griffin had an electric start to his evening, finishing his first half going 4-of-6 for 71 yards and a score. Griffin finished 13-of-20 for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
- No dunking: The NFL may not like the idea of players dunking over the goal post, as indicated by the offseason rule change making the act a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, but that isn’t stopping Jimmy Graham. Graham scored two touchdowns for a total of 25 yards, dunking after both scores. He was flagged for both incidents.
- Vaccaro dominates: Safety Kenny Vaccaro looked to be in midseason form in the first half of Friday night’s contest, picking up a sack and a forced fumble. The second-year safety forced another fumble in the first quarter, but it was overturned after a Titans’ challenge.
- Penalties, penalties, penalties: After only being called for 10 penalties in their preseason opener, the Saints saw a sea of yellow flags in preseason week two. In the first half alone, New Orleans was called for 18 penalties, with 14 being accepted for 116 yards.