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Interview with the Enemy: Houston Texans

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Jeremy Brener of Battle Red Blog joins us to preview the first game of the Saints regular season.

NFL: Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It’s football time, folks, and we’re back with games that count, so we’re back again with the Interview with the Enemy series. This week, Jeremy Brenner of Battle Red Blog answers 5 quick questions about the NFL’s first Monday Night Football game of the year: the New Orleans Saints hosting Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans.

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What will the defensive line (pass rush and run defense) look like without Jadeveon Clowney after Clowney’s trade to the Seattle Seahawks?

It will look different. I mean, it shouldn’t be a bad unit since McKinney, Mercilus and J.J. are there. I imagine Mingo and Jacob Martin will play some role but it’s hard to tell before they’ve played a game.

Definitely not ideal but by no means is the unit dead in the water.

Who do you expect to lead the team in carries against the Saints after losing Lamar Miller in the preseason?

Your guess is as good as anyone’s at this point. Duke Johnson appears to be the favorite as the only surefire RB that will make the squad. But the Texans will be active on the waiver wire and trade market to see if they can bring in someone to get the early down carries to complement Duke’s skillset.

EDIT: The Texans have since added Carlos Hyde after a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.

If you were the Saints, how would you game plan to attack the Houston Texans defense?

Test the secondary. Air the ball out. The CB’s are the weakest area for the team, and the Saints offense is geared to beat you through the air. Michael Thomas should get the ball early and often and they should attack through the air.

Who is a player on the Texans that Saints fans might not have heard of that you expect to make an impact in this game?

This might be cheating, but I think Whitney Mercilus is by far the most overlooked player on the Texans’ D, and he really shouldn’t. He’s a fantastic player who is bound to get more attention with Clowney not on the field. He’s a great pass rusher and his job will be to line up opposite J.J. Watt and put pressure on Drew Brees.

What is your prediction for the game? Who wins? Final score?

NO 42-21. It’s a bad matchup for Houston and with a lot of questions on both sides of the ball, the home team should take advantage and rout the visitors on their home field.

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Thank-you, Jeremy, for taking the time to answer our questions. Saints fans, make sure you check out Jeremy and the work his guys are doing over at Battle Red Blog. You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @JeremyBrener, Battle Red Blog @battleredblog, and of course you can follow me @dunnellz.