Those two throws were big-time big plays that showed Kizer's arm strength.
However, there were four other throws that showed his quarterbacking ability that got far less notice. One was an incompletion, but on each, Kizer showed the talent coach Hue Jackson has talked about since Kizer was drafted in the second round. All the throws were part of a highlight video put together by NFL.com of every one of Kizer's passes in his first preseason game.
The first was the play before the touchdown, a third-and-24 that for years in Cleveland has been like a third-and-324. New Orleans rushed four and dropped seven -- with a picket fence at the first-down line.
Kizer dropped back and gave a shoulder fake to running back Isaiah Crowell running a short route outside. For reasons unknown, linebacker Adam Bighill took a step toward Crowell. That was all Kizer needed. He reset and fired a pass to Ranell Hall running deep a few yards short of the first-down line. Hall caught the ball in the middle of four defenders for a 22-yard gain.
Jackson talked about Kizer's poise, which he showed on this play. He did not panic or force the ball, given the distance to gain, but he did have the arm strength to get the ball to the spot it needed to be. This was an NFL throw.
The second noteworthy throw was not completed and happened on Kizer's second pass. With 14:57 left in the third quarter, Kizer threw a back-shoulder comeback to Josh Boyce 18 yards downfield. The ball was thrown perfectly, though Boyce did not hold on.
Again, this was Kizer showing his arm strength. He let go of the ball when Boyce was 8 yards downfield, 10 yards before his break. The play was timed perfectly.
The third throw to notice came on the game-winning drive. Kizer had held the ball too long on the previous play, but on second-and-17 he again threw a deep comeback to the sideline.
This one went to Richard Mullaney, gained 18, and again showed Kizer's ability to drive the ball downfield and to the sideline. It's a throw NFL quarterbacks need to make.
Finally, early in the fourth quarter Kizer completed a short pass to Jordan Leslie but did it with little room to put the ball in. Kizer's accuracy remains a concern, but on this throw, he put the ball right where it needed to be.
Jackson has been careful to say Kizer has not yet arrived, that there are things the average observer doesn't know or see that he needs to improve. That is no doubt true. But there is talent, and Jackson will continue to test and evaluate it.