Deke: Saints-Texans should show how much the D has really improved
Deke Bellavia Reporting
New Orleans Saints (2-0) @ Houston Texans (2-0)
Sunday August 24 3PM Kickoff Reliant Stadium
3 things the Cajun Cannon is looking for:
Can the Saints run the ball more effectively?
”We have run the ball with a good number of attempts, but we need to average more yards per carry. The Texans have a good defense, and if we can rush the ball against them... to me that would be a good sign.”
A real test for the Saints Defense
”Houston has consistently had one of the best offenses in the NFL the last several seasons. Our (Saints) defense has done a pretty good job overall the first two preseason games. If the defense can do what it did against KC and Oakland in this game against Houston,that would be impressive.”
To be sacked or not to be sacked!
”The Saints had 12 sacks total last preseason in five games. Right now we have 11 sacks in two games. Houston does a very good job of protecting QB Matt Schaub. If we put pressure on him, then I know we are moving in the right direction. On the flip side, Houston has a very good defense and one of the best players in the league in pass rusher JJ Watt. This week's game against the Texans defense is by far the greatest challenge for our offensive line.”
What they are saying about this week's game
Saints Coach Sean Payton on the Houston Texans:
”Gary (Kubiak) and his staff have done a great job. The Texans have become a complete team that plays complementary football on offense, defense and special teams. We have come to know them over the years playing them in the preseason.”
Saints WR #88 Nick Toon on his approach to the Saints vs Texans Game:
”Any time you get the opportunity to line up against a great opponent, it's a great opportunity to go out there and compete. For myself personally, the more snaps I take, the more comfortable I get. I am just trying to learn and continue to get better every day, every game, every snap, every practice; and just try and learn and take something from each and every opportunity I get.”
The Big Chief's thoughts:
The Saints defense through the first two preseason games has been a pleasant surprise. Now many folks feel like the matchup with the high powered veteran laden Texans offense will serve as a much better gauge of how much improved the Black and Gold defense is.
The beauty about numbers is that they are what they are. Now you can break numbers down by first half yards allowed to second half yards allowed, first team defense, second team defense, etc. All I will do here is give you the numbers the Saints defense has allowed through two preseason games.
The Saints have beaten Kansas City 17-13 and Oakland 28-20 in the preseason. Kansas City's offense scored all of their points, whereas the Raiders scored a defensive touchdown in their loss to New Orleans. So, subtract that defensive score and the Saints defense is allowing 13 points per game.
Kansas City gained 215 yards and Oakland had 185, for 400 yards total allowed in two games for an average of 200 yards per game. The Saints have been excellent on third downs. In two games, opposing teams have converted just eight of 29 on third downs. That's an average of 28%.
The Saints defense has faced 24 offensive possessions in two games. The defense has forced 13 punts, created two turnovers, two turnover on downs, allowed two touchdowns and four field goals. The Saints defense has picked up 11 sacks and posted 15 tackles for a loss in their first two preseason games.
Last preseason the Saints had just 12 sacks in five preseason games. Regardless of what happens against the Texans, by the looks of what we have seen in the first two games, the Saints defense is obviously more aggressive. The Saints will not sit back and let teams come after them without returning the favor.
Last week's preseason results:
New Orleans beat Oakland 28-20 and Houston beat Miami 24-17
The Saints and Texans will meet for the seventh time in preseason play Sunday. The six game preseason series is knotted up at 3-3. Both teams are 2-0 in preseason play. Both teams close out preseason play Thursday night as Houston plays at Dallas and New Orleans plays at Miami.
The Houston Texans are 2-0 in the preseason after wins over Minnesota 27-13 and Miami 27-14. The Texans offense is 2nd in the league right now averaging 427 yards per game. The Texans defense is fourth in the NFL preseason.