In their 31-23 victory over the Houston Texans, the New Orleans Saints once again showcased their potent offensive attack. By the end of the game, 14 different receivers had caught a reception. Andy Tanner caught two touchdown passes, Pierre Thomas turned a short pass from Drew Brees into a nice 29-yard touchdown and rookie Kenny Stills was able to haul in a touchdown catch as well.
While it’s unlikely that Stills and fellow receiver Nick Toon will ultimately get the nod for the third wide receiver spot on the roster, both showed enough tonight to warrant not only a second look this upcoming week, but possibly earning a solid roster spot as well. Although the offense stepped up to get the Saints back into the game, I am not without my concerns.
For instance, left tackle Charles Brown, left guard Ben Grubbs and right guard Eric Olsen all got beat off the line in the first quarter, which resulted in quarterback Drew Brees either being pressured, hurried or sacked. This will surely draw the attention of Sean Payton and the rest of the coaching staff when they look at tape for the game.
I was mostly satisfied with the running game, and liked what I saw out of Mark Ingram. Ingram took a screen pass from Brees in the second quarter and turned it into a nice 29-yard gain. Additionally, Travaris Cadet looked fairly decent, rushing four times for 16 yards and caught three passes for 37 yards.
Khiry Robinson, who is battling for a roster spot alongside Cadet, fared a little worse, rushing five times for 11 yards and catching one pass for 10 yards.
Besides the aforementioned mistakes on the offensive line that resulted in broken down plays, the Saints should be mostly set offensively for the beginning of the regular season.
I still want to see better running from the Saints, however. Against the Texans, they only rushed for 78 yards with a 3.7 yard-per-rush average. For New Orleans to be successful this season and make a playoff run, the Saints will need to improve their rushing to complement their potent passing attack. Look for Payton and his crew to hammer this out as week four of preseason starts.