This Saturday, the New Orleans Saints will take on the Houston Texans at 7 PM (CT). The Saints will be looking to get their first win of the preseason after falling to the New England Patriots.
7 Things to Watch For
- Will the Saints clean up the sloppiness on offense? Starting quarterback Drew Brees threw one pass (37 yd completion to Cooks) in his brief appearance last week, but quarterbacks Garrett Grayson and Luck McCown threw an interception a piece. McCown also fumbled the ball. On the first drive of the game, running back Mark Ingram killed the drive with a fumble. Ball security will definitely be a focus for the team against the Texans.
- How will David Onyemata look at DT? We got to see David Onyemata last week, but a recent injury to first-round pick Sheldon Rankins will give Onyemata more opportunities. The Saints drafted Onyemata as more of a “project”, but he will have chances to contribute this year. It is likely we will see a tandem of Tyeler Davison and David Onyemata at defensive tackle in obvious rushing-situations.
- Can the starting defensive line continue to create pressure? One of the pleasant surprises from last week’s game was the increased pressure from the Saints starting defensive line. More impressive is the fact that they created more pressure without Pro Bowler Cameron Jordan at defensive end. Kasim Edebali has emerged as the starting defensive end opposite Cameron Jordan, and he managed to tally two sacks against the Patriots. Defensive tackles Sheldon Rankins, Tyeler Davison, and Nick Fairley created significant push up the middle on numerous plays.
- The Saints secondary is rather young heading into the season. Undrafted free agents De’Vante Harris and Ken Crawley have received a load of praise from beat writers throughout training camp. With veteran Keenan Lewis still dealing with injuries, the Saints will need one of these UDFA’s to step up. A lack of depth crippled the Saints secondary when the injury bug hit last season, and the team is doing its best to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Both Crawley and Harris played relatively well against the Patriots, but how will they stack up against a rebuilt Texans offense? Second-year corner P.J. Williams has been playing well, and there is a chance he and Delvin Breaux will be the starting cornerbacks when the Saints battle against the Raiders.
- How will the starting offensive line look with Terron Armstead back in the lineup? The Saints offensive line struggled against the Patriots, and that’s putting it lightly. Former first round pick Andrus Peat has played well in training camp according to many reports, but he didn’t have a great game against the Patriots. This week, however, he will get to play at guard, the position he is expected to man. Luckily for the Saints, the Texans will be without J.J. Watt.
- Will Garrett Grayson improve on his performance from last week? Quarterback Garrett Grayson couldn’t have had a rougher start to last week’s game; he threw an interception returned for a touchdown on his first pass attempt. The pass was tipped by wide receiver Brandon Coleman, and the rest is history. By no means did Garrett Grayson have an awful game, however. He showed enough poise to come back and lead the offense on several drives. He also made a few big-time throws when faced with pressure. Saints fans will want to pay attention to Garrett Grayson.
- Will the Michael Thomas hype train ever slow down? Rookie wide receiver Michael Thomas has been blowing up training camp. In the game against the Patriots, Thomas hauled in 4 passes for 67 yards. I don’t know if I’ve seen hype like this since Kanye’s drop of The Life of Pablo. Look for Thomas to get more snaps against the Texans. Below are some of the Thomas highlights we’ve become accustomed to.
Don’t forget to tune in as the Saints take on the Texans at 7 PM (CT) this Saturday!