Despite the New Orleans Saints‘ defense giving up several big-yardage plays to the Houston Texans in their third preseason game, the Saints were able to take a licking and bounce back for a 31-23 victory. There was much to be desired defensively as the Texans were at able to gain big yardage by both passing and rushing when they needed it. New Orleans’ defense was able to stop several drives, resulting in field goals.
Some individual players on the defense impressed, however. Defensive end Cameron Jordan appeared to play tough, strong football. Jordan was able to compile three tackles, one for a loss and one sack. Glenn Foster also tallied a sack and a tackle for loss at the defensive end position as well.
Rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro led the team with six tackles, and was spotted on the sideline with a bloody face at one point, the end result of him going all-out for a tackle on a play. Linebackers Ramon Humber and David Hawthorne continued to show great individual effort, racking up five tackles and four tackles respectively. Hawthorne also had one pass defended.
So yes, the defense produced some disappointing results as a unit, but the individual efforts were impressive. If defensive coordinator Rob Ryan can figure out how to best use the personnel that he has within his scheme, I have no doubt that the Saints’ defense can muster an average regular-season performance. To be honest, that’s all I am hoping for as a Saints fan.
A potent offensive machine such as the one led by Drew Brees and Sean Payton allows the defense some wiggle room and the ability to bend just a little bit more. Still, time is quickly winding down and Ryan must figure out his personnel and how to best use them.