The New Orleans Saints defense is coming off a historic performance in which they held the Patriots scoreless in Foxborough last Sunday. They now turn their sights to the Houston Texans who are led by rookie QB C.J. Stroud, who the Saints already got a glimpse of in the preseason.
C.J. Stroud has exceeded expectations through five weeks. He’s currently third in the NFL in passing yards and just set the record for the most pass attempts without an interception to begin a career.
Outside of Week 1 and 5, the Texans offense has looked very good. First, they put 31 on Indianapolis in week 2, then they scored 37 on Jacksonville and finally, they hung 30 on a very good Steelers defense.
Stroud has been at the center of Houston’s success, but Nico Collins and Tank Dell deserve their flowers as well. Collins has 25 catches for 467 yards (18.7 YPC) and three touchdowns and Dell has 19 catches for 324 yards (17.1 YPC) and two touchdowns in his rookie campaign. This duo has been one of the more underrated WR tandems in the league this year, but they’re about to go up against their toughest challenge yet, the Saints secondary.
If you’ve been paying any attention, you’d know the Saints secondary has been one of, if not the best secondary in the league through five weeks. Lattimore, Taylor, Yiadom and Adebo (when healthy) have been locking down opposing receivers all year.
While Stroud has been deadly accurate and has been very careful with the football, this Saints secondary is going to challenge this Texans offense. I expect they’ll throw a lot of looks and disguise a lot of coverages to try to force Stroud into his first big mistake all season.
In the run game, the Texans second year running back, Dameon Pierce has looked like a shell of himself so far. He’s amassed just 247 rushing yards through five games and is averaging below three yards per carry.
It doesn’t help that the Texans are quite banged up on the offensive line. They’ve been able to plug the holes and have held up quite nicely in pass protection, but they struggle to get any push in the run game. I think Bryan Bresee and Cam Jordan will wreak havoc on the Texans offensive line this week, especially when they try to run the football.
Just a mere five weeks ago, the Texans were projected to be one of the worst teams in football and it looked like the Saints would have an easy Week 6 win, but now, they look dangerous, and this could very well be a trap game for the Saints if they’re not careful. The defense is going to have to continue to play excellent football, and I think they can do it as long as they stay focused on the task at hand.
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