Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints
Two winners in week one of the NFL preseason face off ad the Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints meet in week two of the NFL preseason at Reliant Stadium. The Texans are -2.5 point favorites over the Saints with an over/under point total set at 37.5
The Houston Texans held on in week one of the NFL preseason and they had to have seen a lot of things they liked but plenty to work on as well. Matt Schaub saw limited action in week one against the Jets completing just two of his five passes but backups Matt Leinhart and T.J. Yates both looked solid and could end up being a nice tandem insurance policy for Schaub down the road. With Arian Foster and Steve Slaton out and Derrick Ward going down with a head injury early it was Chris Ogbonnaya who made the most of his chance to show the coaches he is worth of a roster spot as he ran for 37 yards and a touchdown and caught six passes for 67 yards and another score. Another player who impressed the coaches was rookie Lestar Jean who caught two passes with one of them called a touchdown but was overturned as replay showed he was down just shy of the goal line. More impressive than anything the offense did was the defense who under new coordinator Wade Phillips went to a 3-4 and put the Jets’ QB’s on the turf for sacks seven times and were in the backfield with pressure every play. Xavier Adibi had two sacks while third stringers Bryan Braman and Steven Friday had a sack and a half each and Braman just missed on several opportunities for more. We should see the starters play more this week though we will need to watch for the status of the big guns like Andre Johnson and Arian Foster.
The New Orleans Saints are clearly a team on a mission as they are one of the better prepared teams by virtue of player organized practices during the lockout. While Drew Brees has been at the center of the New Orleans practicing and such, it was Chase Daniel who was on the field for the better part of the game as the Saints still try and figure out if he ever will be a viable NFL backup or future QB. Pierre Thomas carried four times as he eases back from last season’s injury plagued year and Mark Ingram carried six times including one that went for a 14 yard touchdown and Darren Sproles got a carry as well as the Saints are pretty well set on the front end and Sean Payton used game one to look at some of the guys competing to make the team. Defensively the starters just didn’t play much but Will Smith had a sack as did Roman Harper. The highlight for the Saints was a 78 yard punt return for a TD by Joseph Morgan.
These are two teams with expectations this season and while they will use the preseason to get their starters up to game speed, more of that will be in week three though we should see more of the starters here. Sean Payton likes to look at every player on his roster and more than likely he will continue to do so. The issue here for the Texans is running back is getting thin already and can Leinhart repeat last week’s performance? I doubt it. Take the Saints plus the 2.5.
New Orleans Saints +2.5 Houston Texans