A solid outing for the Saints down the road in Houston, and it was nice to see a good showing by the Who Dat Nation. There was a lot of Black & Gold in the stands at Reliant Stadium.
Here are three things I took away from Sunday’s preseason game #3:
1) Rob Ryan’s defense is for real. I think fans and analysts alike are now pretty confident that we won’t see a repeat of last year’s historically bad performance. Against the Raiders is one thing, but to have a good pass rush against the Texans is quite another, and the Saints show that they can get it done. As the Cajun Cannon says, they showed a “bend but don’t break” attitude at times, they were good on 3rd down, in the red zone, a goal line stand, and stopping the Texans on a 4-down situation. They also held Houston to three field goals that could have otherwise been 21 points.
2) Never say die: I thought it was a good test that both the offense and defense faced some adversity early and battled back. The offense started out with rough field position, but they shook off the rust and got going. Drew didn’t play as long as some fans would have liked, and as long as some had predicted, but c'mon...we’re talking about Drew Brees in a preseason game. Sean Payton saw all he needed to see. The sooner he got pulled, the better. (Just look at the Jets' Sanchez debacle.)
3) Work to do: Despite being 3-0 in the preseason for the first time since 2009, we learned that they're not quite a finished product yet. They still have some things to work to do on both sides of the ball before the season opener against Atlanta, now less than two weeks away.
Coming up: Thursday’s preseason game against Miami will be the final chance for bubble players to make an impression. You should not expect to see any starters play at all…I expect the backups will go the whole way. Ryan Griffin will likely start under center and go the whole way, though It’s clear to me that the backup QB position has been locked in by Luke McCown.