New Orleans QB Drew Brees , along with the much-maligned Saints defense, opened the NFL 2012 preseason schedule with a solid effort tonight. Playing in the annual Hall of Fame Game, at Fawcett Stadium, in Canton, Ohio, New Orleans scored a 17-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The NO defense knocked Cardinals projected starting QB Kevin Kolb out of the game with a rib contusion on the third series – after they had intercepted him on his first pass attempt of the contest.
Brees, who played in just the first series (and took a couple of solid hits) completed four of five passes for 41 yards as the Saints offense marched 77 yards in 10 plays on their first possession. The game opening drive was capped by a 1-yard TD plunge over left guard by RB Mark Ingram . It was vintage Brees as he worked the run and pass to perfection on a drive where the Saints did not face a third down conversion.
Ingram, RB Pierre Thomas , and RB Darren Sproles all saw action in this contest. In all, eight different players had a Saints rushing attempt. That number will drop prior to the season opener against the Washington Redskins, but there are still a lot of hungry hands in the Saints backfield. New Orleans receivers were plentiful as well as 12 different Saints had at least one target. Rookie RB Travaris Cadet, out of Appalachian State, was busy as he hauled in eight of his nine targets for 80 yards and one TD. Before you get too excited, it's good to remember that Sproles will be the player posting those numbers once the games start to count.