5 Positives/Negatives From Saints’ Win Over Texans
The New Orleans Saints were victorious in preseason action on Saturday night, defeating the Houston Texans, 13-0, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The win moved the Saints to 2-1 in the preseason, while the Texans slipped to 1-2.
It is the preseason, so you have to make sure you don’t overanalyze things, or be quick to jump to conclusions.
That being said, let’s take a look at five positives to take away from the game, as well as five negatives.
1)—Defense: This one is pretty easy. Quick; when was the last time the Saints recorded a shutout in a preseason game? The answer is 2008, against the Cincinnati Bengals, in which the score, ironically enough, was 13-0. Yes, it's only preseason, but the Saints' defense has been very good in all three preseason games, holding the Chargers to zero offensive touchdowns in week two, before blanking the Texans on Saturday night. The Saints held the Texans to only 254 total yards, with 8 tackles for a loss, including 4 more sacks, and an interception. Is this the Saints, or the 1985 Chicago Bears?
2)—Marshon Lattimore: He saw his most extensive action of the preseason and he passed the test, coming away with two tackles and two passes defended, including a nice knock down of a Tom Savage pass attempt on a third down play in the first quarter. He played, which was the main thing, since we saw very little of him over the first two weeks. He only started for one season at Ohio St., and was hampered by injuries. He's still raw, and has to play.
3)—Cameron Jordan: Another guy who it was just good to see him out there, after not playing in the first two weeks. Jordan had two tackles, including one for a loss, and looked like his normally steady, productive self. I think he's primed for a really big year.
4)—Michael Thomas: Talk about guys that are primed for a big season! Thomas paced the team in receptions, with 4, all on the second offensive series, which helped set-up a 26-yard field goal by Michael Lutz.
5)—P.J. Williams: To me, Williams was absolutely fantastic on Saturday night. Sure, he only had two tackles, but then again, he didn't have a ton of opportunities. What he did do was tackle in the open field and cover well, which is what you want from a cornerback. Williams has been on the roster for two years, but because of injuries, he's only played about a game-and-a-half. If he stays healthy, he can make the defense a lit better.
1)—Back-up Quarterbacks: Chase Daniel was behind center when the Saints scored on a nice 94-yard touchdown drive against Texans reserves in his third series. Other than that however, the Drew Brees back-ups weren't very good. Daniel and Garrett Grayson combined to complete 11-of-18 passes for 143 yards, which isn't bad, but if you exclude that touchdown drive I mentioned earlier, they were able to produce only four first downs and three points in their five other combined series. They were also sacked three times. Obviously, Brees has to stay healthy.
2)—Corey Fuller: He entered camp in a battle for the fifth receiver spot, and things really haven't gone his way. Tommylee Lewis has played well, despite dropping a deep ball in the second half, but Fuller hasn't done enough, and hurt himself on Saturday with an offensive pass interference call. Fuller needed a big game, and zero catches on two targets doesn't qualify.
3)—Kick Coverage: The Texans averaged 24 yards on three kickoff returns, and also averaged 5.4 yards on five punt returns. The Saints allowed a 30-yard kickoff return, and two 9-yard punt returns. Am I overly concerned? No. It's preseason, and I fully expect kickoff/punt coverage to be better this season. Saturday night just gave me flashbacks of the past decade however.
4)—Stephone Anthony: There’s no guarantee that Anthony, a first round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, is even going to make the roster this year. He didn’t play against the Chargers in the second preseason game, and he didn't play on Saturday night either. With Te’o, Klein, Robertson, Alex Anzalone, and Nate Stupar at linebacker, Anthony is going to have to show something in the preseason, So far, he hasn’t. I think he's in serious danger of not making the team, without being put on some sort of injury list.
5)—It's Still Preseason: This is a negative for two reasons. First, I'm getting antsy, it's time for the regular season to begin. And two, it's hard to imagine the Saints playing this well, defensive, in the regular season. They've only allowed 27 points in three games!