New Orleans Saints and Derek Carr Hang On For 16-15 Victory
It certainly didn’t start off very well.
The New Orleans Saints 2023 season got off to a rocky start, fumbling the kickoff, but capitalizing on three Ryan Tannehill interceptions for a 16-15 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
Derek Carr, making his first start for the Saints, was 23-33, 305 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
Neither team scored a touchdown until the end of the 3rd when Carr hit rookie wide receiver Rashid Shaheed for a 19-yard score on a nice double move by Shaheed.
Up until that point, it was all field goals. Saints rookie Blake Grupe hit 26, 33 and 52 and was matched by 16-year veteran Nick Folk with 50, 27, 31, 45 and 29. Eventually Folk hit 5 field goals, accounting for all of the Titans’ points.
Returning wide receiver Michael Thomas 4 passes for 53 yards, including Carr’s first pass of the game. Chris Olive led the Saints with 8 catches for 112 yards.
Marcus Maye, Marshon Lattimore, and Paulson Adebo each picked off Tannehill, directly resulting in 10 Saints points.
The Saints defense was outstanding, bottling up Derek Henry for just 63 yards on 15 carries. Meanwhile, Tannehill was erratic, going 16-34, 194 yards and those 3 big interceptions.
Carr and the Saints put the game away, facing a 3rd & 6th, and hit Shaheed down the sideline for 41 yards. For good measure, new Saints running back Jamal Williams converted a 3rd & 4, allowing New Orleans to run out the clock.
New Orleans begins the season 1-0 and will play at Carolina next Monday night.