The New Orleans Saints defeated the Houston Texans 34-27 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and now improve to 2-2 in the preseason. The game was a high scoring affair that featured two great quarterbacks in Drew Brees and Matt Schaub. This was a good test for the Saints because the Texans have a great defense to go along with the ever improving Schaub, but the Saints played better on both ends of the field.
Brees had another great game as he completed 17 of 25 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 115.2. As far as I’m concerned the Saints’ offense is never in question when Brees is at the helm. Brees got the Saints started and Chase Daniel was able to close the game and capitalize on Brees’s first half success. Daniel finished the game with 88 yards and a touchdown. The Saints offense was able to counter the Texans’ defense and put the game away. However, it was the Saints defense that proved to be superior on this night.
I have to admit that I was a little concerned with the Saints defense coming into this game. The Saints linebacker corps is very much depleted as they have been hit hard with the injury bug. During yesterday’s victory the Saints were without starting linebackers Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne as well as Ramon Humber and Chris Chamberlain, who will be out for the year with a torn ACL. Furthermore, the Saints were without starting cornerback Jabari Greer.
Despite all of the injuries the Saints’ defense played great and was really a difference maker in the game. The Saints’ defense had a combined total of 62 tackles as they were giving the Texans’ offense everything they had. Furthermore, the defense forced the Texans into five fumbles of which three were recovered. However, the greatest effort by the Saints’ defense was the pressure they put on the quarterback.
The Saints ended the game with six sacks and eight QB hits and really showed good hustle on the defensive end all night. If this game is any indication I would say that the hiring of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was one of the best moves of the offseason. Spagnuolo’s defensive scheme is somewhat complicated but the players respond to him and as they get more comfortable with the system they will only get better. I really commend Spagnuolo for working with what he’s got and really getting the players prepared for each game.
I know the Saints defense will keep getting better with time and that is a scary thought for opposing teams. The Saints already have one of the best offenses in the NFL and if their defense can get on point they could go very far. Despite everything that has happened in the offseason and upcoming challenges in the regular season I am confident the Saints will have another successful season.
You can follow him on Twitter @aaviles312