Houston Texans Vs. Saints: Pre-Week 3: What To Look For


As we meander into Week 3 of the NFL preseason, the Houston Texans continue to gear up for what’s ahead.

They know what’s on the horizon and they know the score…

Their backs will be up against the wall this season.

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There are many uncertainties with a new quarterback, questions about how efficient our offense will be causing the experts to think that this season will be one that’s quite mediocre.

But as with all teams that are based in Houston, we usually beat the odds, shatter the mold and silence the critics.

In words of the utmost of optimism, that’s certainly how I feel at this moment about this team.

We’re going to exceed those expectations and invoke random occurrences of jaw-dropping as the season wears on.

Just wait and see…

Any way, there’s a game that will be occurring Sunday and the Texans will have a soiree with the New Orleans Saints.

This could be an interesting match up, so here’s some things to look for before both teams take the field:

QUARTERBACK:  As I’m sure you know by now, Brian Hoyer has been named the starting quarterback from this point forward.  It’s not surprising that this decision was made, considering Bill O’Brien and he have a long history together.  But honestly, he looked a lot more polished and accurate last week against the Denver Broncos than Ryan Mallett, who still has incredible athletic ability but still hasn’t put those tools together quite yet.  As you know, he was MIA from practice Thursday but returned Friday working with the third string.  He’ll play tonight but I’m sure the likely tantrum that he threw didn’t help his cause to get another shot to start at QB. But I’m supportive of the decision because I believe and trust in BOB as far as knowing what he’s doing.  Tom Savage has been on tear and he’s proving that he can be quite useful later down the line.  He’s still developing but I can tell that he has been working hard and has come a long way.  Sure, he’s facing competition that may not even be on the roster in a few weeks but it’s just great to see him out there being aggressive with his style of play.  Savage is 7th among quarterbacks in terms of passing yards at 265 through these two preseason games.  He has 60.5 completion percentage along with a 90.4 quarterback rating.  We may see a bit of Drew Brees but likely it will between 34-year-old backup Luke McCown as well as 2nd-year quarterback Ryan Griffin and rookie Garrett Grayson.  I’d keep my eye on Savage — he’ll get plenty of playing time Sunday.

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  • RUNNING BACK:  Chris Polk is demonstrating that one can put him anywhere and can succeed.  He has had just as much yards rushing as receiving.  Last week, he had seven carries for 36 yards and caught five balls for 34 yards.  Polk is eager to make this team and with the way he’s showing how well he’s standing up to the competition, there will be a spot for Polk on this team.  Jonathan Grimes had five carries for 23 yards — expect the battle between these two to get heated so it will be notable to keep an eye on these two.  Long-time Buffalo Bills back C.J. Spiller was acquired by the Saints in the off season so it will be interesting to see what he does along with 3rd-year back Khiry Robinson and Tim Hightower — I wondered what happened to him — to fill out the roster.  Mark Ingram, the featured back for now, may get a few reps as well.

    WIDE RECEIVER:  Keshawn Martin is trying to make an attempt to get back into the fray of the competition.  He had some nice catches but then unmentionable drops as well last week.  He ended up catching two balls for 33 yards but it’s just a situation where it’s just too little, too late.  We’ve got too much other talent on this roster to continue to invest time in developing him.  Hell, Damaris Johnson is a better option because at least he’s decent returning the football when in transition.  Aside from Marques Colston — he won’t play that much — I don’t see any wide receivers outside of him that are watchable for the Saints.

    DEFENSE (FRONT 7):  Kourtnei Brown is going to make this team — plain and simple — the guy has given it his all every preseason game so far and has continued to make a big play to help the team out.  His 69-yard interception return late in the third quarter is evidence as to why he needs to be around here in some way.  It would be a travesty if he wasn’t.  This guy has been cut seven times for seven different teams in the past three seasons and I’m sure he’s quite tired of the uncertainty.  I hope he finds a home here with the Texans.  He had one tackle to go along with the interception return this past Saturday.  Whitney Mercilus lead the front with four tackles and four assists, Charles James II, Quintin Demps and A.J. Bouye had three tackles each.  For the Saints, outside of linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who also won’t play that much, there’s really not much of their defense that I’d want to see.

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    SPECIAL TEAMS:  Alan Bonner has trailed off a bit in terms of his momentum but is still in the running to be the lead return man.  He did record one punt return for nine yards last week.  Chandler Worthy is right there as well, I’m hopeful these guys get some opportunities to strut their stuff this Sunday.

    And there you have it — plenty to watch out for the Texans’ upcoming matchup!

    The Texans hit the road to take on the Saints this Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

    Kick-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. CDT.

    The game will be televised on FOX and broadcast on 610 SportsRadio AM/100.3 (KILT).

    Go Texans!

    Next: The Case For Brian Hoyer