Ed-itorial: analysis of Patriots 34, Saints 22

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There were few surprises in the Saints 34-22 loss to the Patriots.

A lot of what we saw in training camp in West Virginia we saw on Thursday night in Foxboro.

Second round pick, wide receiver Michael Thomas, was stellar. He had 4 catches for 67 yards including two grabs on deep balls.

Thomas is a big target, and for Drew Brees he will be a big asset, especially in the red zone.

Running back Daniel Lasco, a 7th round pick, had 41 combined rushing and receiving yards, and made a terrific tackle on special teams.

And, we also got confirmation on what we already knew.

The Saints do not have a lot of depth on the offensive line. On a sack fumble for a touchdown, quarterback Luke McCown should have done a better job protecting the football.

But, he should have much better protection.

Even though the game was the first of preseason, Sean Payton was as animated as we have seen him during the exhibition season.

Television cameras caught Payton barking at coaches and players, a scenario that is usually far more prevalent when the games count.

In his post game presser, Payton said something  that is often said in the regular season.

“The thing is the four turnovers,” said Payton. “You go on the road like that and win many games.”

Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw only one pass.

Understudy Garrett Grayson bounced back from an interception thrown for a touchdown to complete 10 of 16 passes.

But, while Grayson appears to have a solid feel for the game, the jury is still out on Grayson’s ability to stick tight throws in tiny windows, a must for a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did not play.

Last year’s Saints first round pick, offensive lineman Andrus Peat appeared to struggle during some time at right tackle.

Peat may be better inside at guard.

Kicker Kai Forbath shanked a 50 yard field goal try.

Forbath is competing with Connor Barth for the Saints placekicking job.

Or is he?

Sean Payton is notorious for his lack of patience with kickers.

And, Thursday night, an animated Payton walked the sidelines in Foxboro.

He commended his team for playing hard.

But, for the Saints, it amounted to a 5th consecutive preseason loss.

The Saints last preseason win came in week 3 of 2014 against the Colts.