Saints come back to beat Jacksonville for first preseason-opening win since 2014

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By Joel A. Erickson | The Advocate

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The New Orleans Saints defense spent most of the first two weeks of training camp looking like a unit ready to build on the momentum of the giant leap forward it took last year.

Cody Kessler and the Jacksonville Jaguars doused a few of those flames with a bucket of water from the St. Johns River on Thursday night.

An efficient, chains-moving approach from Jacksonville's top two quarterbacks carved up the New Orleans defense at times, taking control until a late burst from the Saints ended up giving them a 24-20 victory — the franchise's first win in a preseason opener since 2014.

“You’d rather it happen now than the opening game (Sept. 9) against Tampa,” defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said. “We had a lot of confidence in the way we’d been practicing, so to come out here and allow them to drive the way they did, it’s unacceptable.” ...

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