After a long offseason of anticipation around the New Orleans Saints, the preseason began with the team traveling to Houston to take on the Texans. There were a few highlights both positive and negative that I’ll highlight in this article, let’s take a look at the ups and downs from the game!
Up: Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton would start at QB for the Saints first drive of the game in terrific fashion. Dalton showed tremendous poise in the pocket and also showed his ability to escape the pressure as he eluded defenders while scrambling for a 6-yard rush. Dalton would drive down the field almost without a sweat to the tune of a perfect 5/5 through the air and a touchdown. Those who worried whether or not Dalton would be a sufficient backup to Winston, should worry no more.
Down: Ian Book
There’s no way to sugar coat it, Ian Book didn’t look all that great. Although this was the preseason and players tend to be given more room to have error during this time, Book looked like he was struggling for a majority of the game.
Most of what Book struggled with were the same things he struggled with last season. His accuracy with the ball was off at times, his inability to escape the defensive pressure continues to haunt him, and on top of both of those two facts, he also threw an interception. Now this is not to say that Book can’t grow into a better QB, but judging off of this performance alone, I’d be worried having on my backup QB list.
One constant the Saints have continued to have year after year is their stellar defense. The defense showed strong signs of life all throughout the game and kept it close until the very end.
Paulson Abedo would make a tremendous tackle for loss on the Texans second play of the game, stopping them behind the line which would ultimately set the tone for the entire game. Rookie Justin Evans would later make a diving interception to continue to give the Saints hope in their efforts to outlast the Texans.
If you were worried that the Saints would lose their edge on the defensive side of the ball, fret not. All is well.
Up: Will Lutz
This may have snuck by a few folks, but Will Lutz is indeed back folks! Lutz would return to kick a 23-yard field goal to tie the game in the second quarter.
After missing last season due to a reoccurring injury, it’s good to see the veteran kicker back in good form. The Saints desperately needed Lutz last season and probably would’ve won at least 3 more games had he been an active member of the roster. From the looks of it, Lutz seems poised to make an impact in New Orleans once more.